The Five Best “Batting Seventh” Seasons In Royals History Reviewed by Momizat on . It’s time to look at the best batting seasons in the seventh spot in Royals’ history. Looks like we’ll wrap this up just in time for spring training, whic It’s time to look at the best batting seasons in the seventh spot in Royals’ history. Looks like we’ll wrap this up just in time for spring training, whic Rating: 0
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The Five Best “Batting Seventh” Seasons In Royals History

The Five Best “Batting Seventh” Seasons In Royals History

It’s time to look at the best batting seasons in the seventh spot in Royals’ history. Looks like we’ll wrap this up just in time for spring training, which is just around the corner. It won’t be long now! Just keep telling yourself that on these freezing cold mornings.

Based on what I’m looking at for this spot, I think the next two lists are going to be tough to compile. I kind of expected that, but it’s still interesting to see the dropoff from the previous spot in the order.

Speaking of, here are links to the previous rankings:

First
Second
Third
Fourth
Fifth
Sixth

1. Bo Jackson, 1988
350 PA, .251/.292/.462, 50 R, 18 HR, 45 RBI, 11 2B, 24 SB

If you’re a Royals fan under say, 30, I don’t know which is worse for you: you don’t remember 1985 or you didn’t see Bo play. The Royals chose to break Bo in slowly, and they could afford to, with George Brett and Danny Tartabull and Kevin Seitzer and Willie Wilson and Frank White in the lineup. That’s the advantage of a veteran team, and a battle future Royals teams will likely be fighting more often than not. Anyway, this was Bo’s second full season in the majors, and it was pretty good. In fact, his offensive numbers improved every year before he got hurt. Stupid football.

2. Clint Hurdle, 1980
205 PA, .311/.371/.503, 24 R, 6 HR, 32 RBI, 15 2B, 0 SB

On Opening Day, 1980, Clint Hurdle was a 22-year-old right fielder who had already played 201 major league games and been on the cover of Sports Illustrated. He would play 130 games for the American League champions that season and put up a 120 OPS+. And then…the bottom dropped out—he would only play 184 major league games after the 1980 season. Injuries played a part. Maybe the pressure did too. Probably only Hurdle knows for sure. Anyway, that’s two straight cautionary tales on this list regarding getting overly excited about young players. Just something to think about.

3. Steve Balboni, 1985
160 PA, .286/.344/.639, 25 R, 13 HR, 25 RBI, 11 2B, 1 SB

Balboni actually hit fifth or sixth more often in 1985, but he led the team in plate appearances in the seventh spot as well. And put up a .983 OPS there. That was the highest of anyone on this list, but I marked him down a bit for the lack of plate appearances. No disrespect intended, though—Balboni was my favorite Royal when I was a kid.

4. Paul Schaal, 1972
176 PA, .291/.389/.411, 16 R, 2 HR, 17 RBI, 10 2B, 0 SB

Paul Schaal is probably best-known to Royals fans as the third baseman before George Brett came along. But Schaal actually had a pretty good career. Plucked from the Angels in the expansion draft, Schaal really came into his own in KC. He didn’t have a lot of power (career high in home runs: 11), but he would take a walk (103 in 1971).

5. Alberto Callaspo, 2009
154 PA, .331/.383/.496, 19 R, 3 HR, 21 RBI, 10 2B, 0 SB

Here’s a question: given what you know about Callaspo’s defense, and what you know about Chris Getz’s offense, and what we’ve seen offensively from Johnny Giavotella so far, would you rather have Callaspo starting at second base on Opening Day this year? It might be nice to have his bat in the lineup, but at the expense of better defense? It’s a dilemma, and I don’t know which way I would answer it, even.

Honorable mention

Darrell Porter, 1977

David McCarty, 2000

Steve Balboni, 1987

Angel Berroa, 2005

Mike Macfarlane, 1992

And one that stunk…

Jerry Adair, 1969
138 PA, .223/.255/.223, 6 R, 0 HR, 10 RBI, 0 2B, 0 SB

Another expansion draftee, Adair was a classic good-field, no-hit middle infielder. Unlike Schaal, Adair was at the end of his career (he played 7 games in 1970 and was done). His overall numbers for the year were better than these, and he wasn’t in the lineup for his bat, but that’s pretty awful.

About The Author

I grew up in Topeka, and learned to love the Royals over many summer nights listening to Denny and Fred. Of course, the Royals were much easier to love back then. They got their claws in me some 30 years ago, then they went to the playoffs in 1984 and won it all in 1985. And I thought to myself, "This is easy. This team is always going to be good!" Sigh. But what can I say? If I've made it this far, I suppose I will always be a fan. But whenever they get good again, I'll be sure not to take it for granted. I promise. I'm also a fan of the Chiefs, Jayhawks (even the football team), Sporting KC, and the Nashville Predators. By day, I'm a mild-mannered project manager for a publishing company, and every night I'm lucky to come home to my amazing wife Michelle. We've been married since 2005 and live in Overland Park. Fun fact, she grew up in Memphis watching many future Royals when Kansas City's AA team was there. So it didn't take much to make a Royals fan out of her. We don't have kids, but we've got three cats (one named after Alex Gordon) and a dog. Follow me on Twitter! @Darin_Watson

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