Opinion

Royals award winners for August: Ben Zobrist, Yordano Ventura and more

Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Yordano Ventura.
Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Yordano Ventura. JSLEEZER@KCSTAR.COM

The Royals finished 19-9 in August and there were plenty of highlights in the month. Here are our award winners:

Player of the month

Ben Zobrist’s first month in a Royals uniform was a terrific one. He joined the team on July 28 from the Oakland A’s and on Aug. 1 against the Blue Jays became the first Royals player to hit a home run from both sides of the plate. For the month, Zobrist hit .343 with four home runs and 12 RBIs. Among American League hitters, he ranked second with 17 walks and sixth with 35 hits.

Pitcher of the month

Yordano Ventura was perfect in August, going 4-0 with a 3.41 ERA in six starts. His final start in the month was his best — Ventura recorded a career-best 11 strikeouts in a 5-3 victory over the Orioles on Aug. 27. Opponents hit .210 against Ventura in August.

Best game

On Aug. 18 in Cincinnati, the Royals trailed the Reds 1-0 entering the ninth inning and the Reds brought in Aroldis Chapman, one of the game’s best closers and hardest-throwing left-handed relievers. Chapman had converted 56 straight saves, but that streak ended with one batter in the ninth. Zobrist drilled a 2-1, 83-mph slider into the left-field seats, sending the game into extra innings. In the 13th, the Royals pushed across two with the Reds mishandling pitcher Kris Medlen’s sacrifice bunt as the big moment and won 3-1.

Comeback of the month

On Aug. 23, the Royals trailed the Red Sox 6-4 entering the ninth, and the outcome seemed sealed when Omar Infante led off the ninth with a shot off the Green Monster and the ball got away from left fielder Jackie Bradley. But he recovered and fired a strike to the plate that got Infante out. Undeterred, the Royals kept hitting. Base hits by Drew Butera, Alcides Escobar and Lorenzo Cain loaded the bases with two outs. Eric Hosmer’s single drove in two, and Mike Moustakas’ double drove in two more as the Royals finished the series with an 8-6 victory.

Best defensive play

Mike Moustakas had plenty of gems in August, but let’s go with his grab at Tampa Bay on Aug. 29. Moustakas dived to his right and snagged a ringing one-hopper by Evan Longoria, then threw to second to force out Daniel Nava. In the 6-3 Royals’ victory, Moustakas had three hits and drove in three runs.

By the numbers

Category

Royals in April

in May

in June

in July

in August

Wins-losses

15-7

14-12

15-11

17-11

19-9

Batting average

.306

.253

.260

.268

.267

On-base percentage

.362

.297

.306

.320

.328

Slugging percentage

.450

.392

.379

.408

.410

Runs per game

5.4

4.0

3.6

4.4

4.6

Home runs

18

19

19

24

22

ERA

3.10

3.82

3.59

3.64

3.51

Starters’ ERA

4.25

4.26

4.34

4.19

3.85

Relievers’ ERA

1.02

2.56

2.38

2.76

2.80

Strikeout-to-walk ratio

2.48

1.96

2.58

2.47

2.80

Opponents’ batting average

.222

.242

.247

.270

.236

Opponents’ home runs

17

24

18

28

29

Royals’ top hitters

April (BA/HR/RBI)

May

June

July

August

C Salvador Perez

.326/3/14

.235/3/14

.250/7/9

.179/2/8

.275/3/13

1B Eric Hosmer

.310/3/15

.296/4/16

.267/1/9

.385/3/15

.292/3/22

2B Ben Zobrist

.125/0/2

.343/4/12

SS Alcides Escobar

.291/0/8

.262/2/9

.288/0/11

.277/0/8

.197/1/3

3B Mike Moustakas

.356/3/9

.282/2/7

.299/2/15

.188/3/8

.281/5/20

LF Alex Gordon

.303/3/13

.250/3/12

.256/3/7

.385/2/7

CF Lorenzo Cain

.329/2/12

.267/1/8

.294/3/13

.367/5/13

.304/1/12

RF Alex Rios

.321/1/8

.000/0/0

.189/0/3

.297/1/5

.264/0/6

DH Kendrys Morales

.315/3/17

.293/3/20

.250/3/11

.267/3/24

.298/3/18

Royals month-by-month

April*

May

June

July

August

Final record

2015

15-7

14-12

15-11

17-11

19-9

2014

14-12

12-17

17-10

12-13

19-10

89-73

2013

14-10

8-20

16-11

15-10

16-15

86-76

2012

6-15

15-13

14-13

7-19

17-11

72-90

2011

15-13

10-17

9-18

13-14

10-19

71-91

2010

9-14

12-17

13-14

10-15

12-16

67-95

2009

12-10

11-17

10-16

7-19

10-19

65-97

2008

12-15

10-19

16-11

12-14

7-20

75-87

2007

8-18

11-17

15-12

13-12

13-15

69-93

2006

5-17

8-21

12-14

11-16

12-18

62-100

*includes March

To reach Blair Kerkhoff, call 816-234-4730 or send email to bkerkhoff@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter @BlairKerkhoff.

  Comments