Kauffman Stadium is killing the Royals' power

Jamie Squire

Hey, the Royals don't hit home runs! But at least their hitting coach -- well, one of them anyway; last winter the Royals fired their hitting coach and hired two coaches to replace him -- isn't making any excuses!

Maloof has conceded, like many Royals hitting coaches before him, that hitting in Kauffman Stadium simply isn't conducive to home runs, at least not for the home team.

"There is just no reward here (for us) to try and hit home runs," Maloof said. "We try to stay down on the ball, be more line-drive oriented, and do more situational hitting at least through the first two or three rounds (at home) here.

--snip--

"Baltimore? Better reward. I'm not using it as an excuse. But it is a mindset."

--snip--

"I'm not making excuses. We play half of our games here. I'm just talking about the ability for a ball to carry out here the way it would in Anaheim or Philadelphia or in Baltimore, where we have hit home runs."

--snip--

"I understand what Kansas City fans and baseball fans have been through here," he said. "They want winning. In spring training and in April, expectations were high. I get that. But again, we're looking at players whether it's Sal Perez or Lorenzo Cain or Eric Hosmer or Mike Moustakas – they don't have much service time. Not an excuse, but it's a fact.

Boy, if home runs were bullshit, the Royals would be the '61 Yankees.

Eric Hosmer's got 1,350 plate appearances in the major leagues. Mike Moustakas has 1,142 plate appearances. At some point, inexperience is no longer a valid excuse.

Now, about the ballpark ... Kauffman Stadium is a tough place for power hitters. No doubt about it. From 2010 through 2012, Kauffman was probably the fourth- or fifth-hardest place in the American League to hit a home run. You know where it's been even harder to hit a home run? Oakland. This season the A's have out-homered the Royals 53 to 28. Last season the A's out-homered the Royals 195 to 131.

It's not about the ballpark. Not all of it. Back in 2011, the Royals actually out-homered the Athletics. That same season, the Royals actually finished sixth in the American League in scoring. It's a funny thing ... When you hit home runs, you tend to score a fair number of runs. Very few teams are able to just punt power and still pile up runs, because without power you have to do everything else well, i.e. hit for average and draw lots of walks. And of course the Royals haven't been interested in walks since Jimmy Carter was in the White House.

This organization is lost. Nearly seven years into Dayton Moore's reign, the Royals are lost. And every time the manager or one of the hitting coaches opens his mouth and blames sabermetrics or the ballpark or impatient fans or whatever the hell else, this only becomes more obvious.

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