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2008 Kansas City Royals

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[edit] 2008 Kansas City Royals / Franchise: Kansas City Royals / BR Team Page

Record: 75-87, Finished 4th in AL Central Division (2008 AL)

Managed by Trey Hillman

Coaches: Mike Barnett, Rusty Kuntz, Bob McClure, John Mizerock, Dave Owen and Luis Silverio

Ballpark: Kauffman Stadium

[edit] History, Comments, Contributions

The 2008 Kansas City Royals had one of their best seasons in years, with 75 victories and a fourth-place finish.

Trey Hillman, who achieved fame as a manager in the minors and in Nippon Pro Baseball, managed the Royals in his first season as a major league manager.

The Royals, playing in a pitcher's park that does not favor home run hitters, had some of the American League's lowest marks for home runs, walks, and slugging percentage. They were, however, better at hitting singles, doubles, and triples.

27-year-old rookie Mike Aviles hit .325 in 419 at-bats, making his debut on May 29 (he hit .336 in the PCL in 2008). Veteran David DeJesus, in his sixth major league season although only one year older than Aviles, hit .307. Alberto Callaspo hit .305 in 213 at-bats. Ryan Shealy, who slugged over .500 in the minors in 2008, appeared in 20 games with the Royals and hit .301 with a .603 slugging percentage.

Seven players had at least 10 home runs, with Jose Guillen the leader with 20. His 42 doubles and 97 RBI also led the team, although he slugged only .438. Alex Gordon, at age 24, was second with 16 homers and 35 doubles. Gordon also led the team in walks.

22-year-old Billy Butler hit .275 with a .400 slugging percentage, showing that he could be a force for years to come.

Joey Gathright led the team with 21 steals (and was caught stealing only four times).

Gil Meche, with 14 wins, and Zack Greinke, with 13 victories, were stars of the pitching staff. Greinke, along with starters Luke Hochevar and Kyle Davies, are all 24 years old, promising that the staff may have a good future.

Also 24 was Joakim Soria, noteworthy for getting 42 saves on a sub-.500 team. His ERA was 1.60.

The oldest pitcher on the staff was 37-year-old Ron Mahay, who appeared in 57 games. The workhorse of the staff, appearing in 71 games, was Ramon Ramirez, who posted an ERA of 2.64.

Guillen and Meche were the only two players paid over $5 million.

All in all, the team looks poised for further improvement in coming years.

[edit] Awards and Honors

[edit] Team

Kansas City Royals
Designated hitters: Billy Butler, Miguel Olivo, Esteban German
Infield
Catchers: John Buck, Miguel Olivo First basemen: Ross Gload, Mark Teahen
Second basemen: Mark Grudzielanek, Mike Aviles, Esteban German, Alberto Callaspo Third basemen: Alex Gordon, Esteban German, Mark Teahen
Shortstops: Mike Aviles, Tony Pena Jr., Esteban German
Outfield
Left fielders: Jose Guillen, David DeJesus, Joey Gathright, Ross Gload Right fielders: Mark Teahen, David DeJesus, Ross Gload
Center fielders: David DeJesus, Joey Gathright, Mark Teahen
Pitchers
Starting: Gil Meche, Brian Bannister, Zack Greinke, Luke Hochevar, Kyle Davies
Relieving: Joakim Soria, Jimmy Gobble, Ron Mahay, Ramon Ramirez (ramirra02), Horacio Ramirez, Joel Peralta, Robinson Tejeda, Leo Nunez, John Bale
Other
Coaches: Mike Barnett, Rusty Kuntz, Bob McClure, John Mizerock, Dave Owen, Luis Silverio Manager(s): Trey Hillman


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