As we’ll see below, the Royals all time home run leaders list has just one player who has slugged more than 300 home runs during their time with the club. That one dude didn’t show up on KC’s single-season home run leaderboard, but he managed to do a few other things well, snowballing it into a Hall of Fame career.
Let’s chat about him a little more, the active player currently chasing him for the top spot, and who else is currently in the Royals’ top 27.
Royals All Time Home Run Leaders: Top 5
George Brett: 317 Home Runs
George Brett accomplished quite a bit during a 21-year MLB career that ended with him getting enshrined at Cooperstown. The legendary third baseman racked up three batting titles (including hitting .390 in 1980), one MVP award, a World Series title, three Silver Sluggers, a Gold Glove, and 13 All-Star Game appearances. He’s obviously among the team-specific all-time home run leaders, but that didn’t seem to be a big part of his game.
Brett collected eight seasons of 20-plus homers during his career but isn’t anywhere to be seen on the Royals’ single-season home run leaderboard. He did enjoy one 30-homer campaign when he slugged exactly 30 and drove in 112 while slashing .335/.436/.585 in 1985. Brett took home a Silver Slugger and his only Gold Glove during that campaign but finished second in MVP voting. Since his year ended with a World Series title, I think he was probably OK with that trade-off.
The left-handed hitter collected exactly 15 dingers at home and another 15 on the road. He really stepped it up over the final three months, though. By the end of June, he had hit just eight homers (including none in June). From July through September, he didn’t hit fewer than seven in a month, finishing off the regular season with eight in the final month.
Salvador Perez: 217 Home Runs (…and counting)
Salvador Perez owns a share of KC’s single-season home run record with Jorge Soler. His 48 dingers in 2021 also gave him a share of the AL lead in home runs with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Although 2022 is his age-32 season, he’ll likely have plenty of opportunities to get himself past Brett on the Royals’ career home run list. The veteran backstop is under contract through 2025, and Kansas City also holds a team option for 2026.
His 2021 performance obviously sticks out, but Perez has been consistent in the home run department since making his debut. Outside of hitting just three in 39 games during 2011, Salvy has never finished a season with fewer than 11. That included the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. He returned to the field after missing all of 2019 due to injury and slashed .333/.353/.633 with 11 homers and 32 RBI in 156 plate appearances. That won him a Silver Slugger award and proved to be a foreshadowing of the ridiculous power display he put on the following season.
Mike Sweeney: 197 Home Runs
When it came to the Royals in the late 1990s and early 2000s, there wasn’t exactly a ton of good stuff to root for consistently. One thing KC fans could enjoy was the performance of Mike Sweeney. He experienced a nice peak between 1999 and 2005 for the club, and it sticks out on his Baseball-Reference page because of the years it’s sandwiched by before and after that run.
Between 1995 and 1998, Sweeney slugged 19 homers with 90 RBI and a .716 OPS in 691 plate appearances. From 2006 to 2010, he slugged 33 homers with 143 RBI and a .756 OPS in 1,111 plate appearances. In the middle, though? A typical year from the right-handed hitter included a .905 OPS (.313/.384/.522 line) with an average of 23 home runs and 97 RBI in 567 plate appearances. All five of his All-Star Game appearances came during this span, as well as the three instances where Sweeney placed within the top-25 of AL MVP voting.
Amos Otis: 193 Home Runs
Amos Otis spent his first two big-league seasons with the New York Mets in 1967 and 1969, along with playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the final year of his career in 1984. He spent the other 14 of his 17 seasons in the majors with the Royals, which allowed him to rack up as many dingers as he did. Otis was more of a base-stealing threat on the diamond (he stole 341 total bases), so he only eclipsed 20-plus homers twice as a big leaguer (26 in 1973 and 22 in 1978).
The outfielder finished in the top five of AL MVP voting on both of those occasions, but the overall best offensive performance of his career came in 1978. He placed fourth in MVP voting after posting a career-best .905 OPS (.298/.380/.525 line). This campaign included the only 20-20 performance of Otis’ career (22 homers, 32 steals) and was accompanied by a career-high 96 RBI.
From 1970 to 1982, Otis did finish with double-digit home runs 11 times. The two occasions he didn’t? He just missed double digits by hitting nine homers both times (in ’75 and ’81).
Alex Gordon: 190 Home Runs
A career Royal, Alex Gordon‘s calling card during his 13 years in the big leagues was what he did with his glove in the outfield. The three-time All-Star and 2015 World Champion won eight Gold Gloves and two Platinum Glove awards. His first four Gold Gloves came consecutively from 2011-14, and his last four also came consecutively from 2017-20.
Similar to Otis, Gordon only racked up two different seasons of 20-plus homers. He remained consistent in hitting double digits, though, collecting at least 10 dingers 10 times. Gordon’s best two-year stretch on offense came in 2011 and 2012. His OPS marks of .879 and .822 were the two best single-season numbers of his career, and it was the only time he finished above .800 in consecutive years.
Meanwhile, Gordon’s 2011 performance led to career-high marks in homers (23) and RBI (87). However, he did put up more than respectable numbers in those categories the following year (14 and 72, respectively). He also posted back-to-back seasons with 40-plus doubles, which included a league-leading 51 in 2012.
Royals All Time Home Run Leaders: The Rest
The Royals’ top-27 career home run leaders currently looks like this:
- Hal McRae: 169 home runs
- Frank White: 160
- John Mayberry: 143
- Mike Moustakas: 139
- Eric Hosmer: 127
- Billy Butler: 127
- Danny Tartabull: 124
- Carlos Beltran: 123
- Steve Balboni: 119
- Bo Jackson: 109
- Mike Macfarlane: 103
- Joe Randa: 86
- Jermaine Dye: 85
- Jorge Soler: 80
- Willie Aikens: 77
- Whit Merrifield: 74
- John Buck: 70
- Hunter Dozier: 69
- Johnny Damon: 65
- David DeJesus: 61
- Darrell Porter: 61
- Gary Gaetti: 61
If you’re curious as to which hitters are on the outside looking in, check out the full list on FanGraphs.