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Baseball City Royals

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The Baseball City Royals (based in Davenport, FL) joined the Florida State League in 1988. Managed by Luis Silverio, the Kansas City Royals farm team had the FSL's second-best record that year at 79-60 but lost the first-half central division to the Osceola Astros by two games and the second-half race to the Lakeland Tigers by half a game. They were sixth in the 14-team league in attendance (63,746). Outscoring opponents just 557-545, the team had two All-Stars - catcher Carlos Escalera (.253/~.293/.345) and pitcher Aguedo Vasquez (3-2, 33 Sv, 1.67, 54 H in 80 2/3 IP). Vasquez led the FSL in saves and games pitched (62) and won the league's MVP award. Going on to fairly long and productive big league careers would be a sizeable contingent of Kevin Appier (10-9, 2.75), 1B-DH Jeff Conine (.272/~.345/.443), 3B Sean Berry (.234/~.309/.319, 24 SB) and 2B Brian McRae (.308/~.378/.355).

In 1989, the Royals had a worse overall record by one game (78-61) but won the first half in the central division (42-27). In the playoffs, they fell 2 games to 0 to the St. Petersburg Cardinals. The attendance plummeted to 39,220 (12th). Silverio's club led the FSL in offense (698 runs) while they allowed 615. They had no All-Stars that season. OF Pete Alborano (.337/~.385/.411) and C Jorge Pedre (.327/~.367/.500) provided excellent contact, while Escalera improved to .294/~.344/.417. Also returning were Berry (.266/~.339/.378, 37 SB) and Conine (.273/~.335/.433, 32 SB, a team-high 14 HR and 91 K). Dazzling on the hill were Carlos Maldonado (11-3, 9 Sv, 1.17, 47 H in 77 IP) and Dennis Moeller (9-0, 1.77).

Brian Poldberg became manager in 1990 and the team fell to 60-78 while they drew a league-low 18,884. Outscored 675-542, the club had few bright spots. A few bright spots were Mark Parnell (2-2, 17 Sv, 1.86, 24 H, 40 K in 39 IP) and Greg Harvey (5-1, 2.04, 27 H in 40 IP) on the mound. OF Jacob Brumfield overcame a release in spring training and won the batting title at .366/.429/.417. He also paced the FSL in OBP and stole 47 bases in 57 attempts. He made the league's All-Star team.

The 1991 Baseball City team had a 446-461 run margin and the Carlos Tosca-managed nine went 62-69. At 35-30 in the second half, they were one game behind Lakeland in the Central. Doug Harris (10-6, 2.47) finished ninth in ERA for the All-Star-less team. OF Kerwin Moore (.210/~.319/.322) led the FSL in steals (61) and strikeouts (141) while the top offensive threat was 3B Phil Hiatt (.298/~.344/.451, 28 SB). Brian Ahern (7-2, 2.00) was effective in 13 starts, while the bullpen boasted fine production from Matt Karchner (6-3, 5 Sv, 1.97, 49 H in 73 IP), Tony Long (7-3, 10 Sv, 1.96) and Skip Wiley (4-2, 17 Sv, 1.68). They drew 21,174 fans, next-to-last in the FSL.

In 1992, the Royals were 71-60 and finished sixth under the guidance of Ron Johnson. Their attendance of 17,406 was second-lowest, but almost 40,000 less than the next team. Making the playoffs as a wild card, they stunned the favorite Sarasota White Sox 2 games to 0 then beat the Osceola Astros 2 games to 1, before falling to Lakeland 2 games to 0 in the finals. They had a 532-464 edge in runs. FSL managers selected C Lance Jennings (.259/~.317/.420) as the 8th-best prospect in the loop and he was their only All-Star, sharing FSL All-Star honors with Dunedin's Carlos Delgado. 1B Joe Vitiello (.283/~.357/.388) made the league's top 10 in average, while 3B Joe Randa hit .275/~.318/.328 in 51 contests. Long (3-3, Sv, 1.83) again pitched well, as did Kevin Kobetitsch (3-0, 4 Sv, 1.26, .78 WHIP). Jon Lieber (3-3, 4.65) made seven appearances en route to a fine MLB career.

In 1993, Kansas City moved their high class-A affiliate in 1993 to the Wilmington Blue Rocks.

Sources: 1989-1993 Baseball Almanacs, 1989 and 1991 Baseball Guides


[edit] Year-by-Year Record

Year Record Finish Manager Playoffs Hitting coach Pitching coach
1988 79-60 2nd Luis Silverio
1989 78-61 4th Luis Silverio Lost in 1st round
1990 60-78 11th Brian Poldberg
1991 62-69 9th Carlos Tosca
1992 71-60 6th Ron Johnson Lost League Finals U L Washington
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