Royals Single Season Home Run Record at Each Position

royals single season home run record

Last Updated on October 4, 2023 by Matt Musico

If you’ve ever wondered what the Royals single season home run record is at each position, then you’re in the right place. Outside of pitcher, each player had to man their position for at least 100 games (or 75% of games played) for the season in question.

After you’re done checking this out, head over to the Royals’ all-time and single-season home run leaderboards.

Want to see the Royals slug dingers in person? Grab tickets from our friends at Vivid Seats. And before you get to the stadium, make sure you’re decked out in the right gear. Get official Royals merch from the MLB Shop or a ‘Big Dinger Energy’ shirt from our apparel store.

Royals Single Season Home Run Record

Catcher: Salvador Perez, 2021: 48 Home Runs

Just two seasons after Jorge Soler set the Royals’ single-season home run record, he received some company from Salvador Perez. His 48 dingers in 2021 are also the MLB record for one season at catcher.

This performance earned him his fourth Silver Slugger Award, seventh All-Star Game selection, and his first top-10 finish in MVP voting (he placed seventh). What’s interesting is that while he was great when hitting with no outs (.904 OPS) and one out (.985), his production tanked with two outs (.688).

Perez found a way to spread his home run production quite evenly throughout the first seven innings of games in 2021. He slugged at least six dingers in each frame, except the second (he hit two). That probably only happened because he spent 506 of his 665 total plate appearances hitting in the third spot of the order.

Pitcher: Jim Rooker, 1969: 4 Home Runs

The 1969 season was Jim Rooker‘s first full campaign in the big leagues. It resulted in a disappointing 4-16 record, but that was paired with a much more respectable 3.75 ERA in 158.1 innings.

He entered this campaign with just two MLB plate appearances under his belt. They both came the year prior while playing for the Detroit Tigers. He racked up 59 more plate appearances in ’69, which led to a .281/.305/.544 line, four homers, three doubles, and eight RBI.

In the next 10 years that followed (607 plate appearances), Rooker slashed .194/.223/251 with three homers, 14 doubles, four triples, and 48 RBI. So, from a power perspective, the hurler definitely peaked in 1969.

First Base: Steve Balboni, 1985: 36 Home Runs

Until Mike Moustakas came along and broke his record, Steve Balboni was the Royals’ single-season home run king. While he’s bumped down the franchise leaderboard now thanks to recent performances, he’s still at the top of the heap for first basemen.

This was the second consecutive season in a five-year stretch where the right-handed slugger hit at least 20 homers. His ’85 campaign was the only time he surpassed the 30-homer plateau.

In 357 first-half plate appearances, Balboni collected 14 homers, 16 doubles, and 41 RBI. Despite stepping up to the plate 52 fewer times after the All-Star break, he took things up a notch with 22 homers, 12 doubles, and 47 RBI. His slugging percentage went from .423 to .540 between these two periods.

Balboni really did save his best work for last. He didn’t finish with more than five homers or 14 RBI in any of the season’s first three months. Down the stretch, he slugged at least six homers with 15 RBI during each of the final three months.

Second Base: Frank White, 1985 & 1986: 22 Home Runs

During his 18-year MLB career, Frank White finished with double-digit homers seven times. Six of those occasions came consecutively between 1982 and 1987. He set the Royals’ record for homers in a season by second basemen in 1985 with 22. So, the only way to follow it up is to tie that mark the following year. Right?

During the ’85 season, White actually performed better in Royals losses (.755 OPS) than he did in victories (.654). It was the complete opposite the following season, as White posted a 1.003 OPS in KC wins, compared to a .582 OPS in losses.

What I also found interesting was that all but one of White’s homers in 1986 came against right-handed pitching. Instead of having the platoon advantage against southpaws as a right-handed hitter, he posted a .686 OPS in that situation (compared to .822 against righties).

Shortstop: Bobby Witt Jr., 2023: 30 Home Runs

Bobby Witt Jr. just barely missed breaking Jay Bell’s 1997 Royals shortstop record of 21 homers in 2022 when he slugged 20. He left no doubt this time around by posting the first 30-homer season by a shortstop in franchise history. Witt also added 49 steals to become a member of the 30-30 club.

Witt’s season was more powerful at home, with 19 of his homers coming at Kauffman Stadium. However, he swiped 31 of his 49 bags on the road. His best two-month stretch came in July and August. Across 225 plate appearances, Witt slashed .325/.362/.636. This was accompanied by 12 doubles, four triples, 15 homers, 43 RBI, 32 runs scored, and 15 steals in 18 tries.

Third Base: Mike Moustakas, 2017: 38 Home Runs

Between 2011 and 2016, Mike Moustakas suited up for at least 130 games four times. During that span, he averaged 17 home runs per season. So, yea, his 38-homer onslaught in 2017 kind of came out of nowhere.

Two situations in which he thrived were as a visiting player (24 home runs) and in the first half (25 home runs). Moustakas also enjoyed coming to the plate when the Royals had a lead. He posted a 1.130 OPS in that situation, compared to a .672 OPS when the Royals were losing, and a .712 OPS in tie games.

He was slow out of the gate against starting pitchers, too. In his first at-bat against a starter, he hit .212/.245/.394 with seven homers. Those numbers increased to .293/.350/.569 and nine the second time through the order. If he got a third crack at that day’s starter, the third baseman hit .313/.343/.586 with eight homers.

Royals Single Season Home Run Record

Left Field: Bo Jackson, 1989: 32 Home Runs

It took a while, but we finally have an opportunity to talk about Bo Jackson. The 1989 season was when everything came together for him in the big leagues. He was selected to his only All-Star Game, and finished 10th in AL MVP voting thanks to career-high marks in homers (32), RBI (105), runs scored (86), and hits (132).

Of those 32 dingers, 21 came on the road. He also hit 21 before the All-Star break. Bo was pretty consistent in his power production on a month-to-month basis, not hitting fewer than four at any time.

The recipe for victory in Kansas City during 1989 was pretty simple: get Bo going. When he was hot, good things happened. Jackson slashed .295/.350/.606 with 26 homers, 80 RBI, and 68 runs scored in wins. When the Royals lost, those numbers dropped to .195/.247/.320, six, 25, and 18, respectively.

Center Field: Carlos Beltran, 2002: 29 Home Runs

As long as Carlos Beltran suited up for 100-plus games with the Royals, he was collecting at least 20 homers and 100 RBI. It happened in 1998 when he won AL Rookie of the Year, and then three more times between 2001 and 2003.

His overall performance in 2022 was quite consistent. His monthly OPS never finished below .806 or above .907. He also hit exactly four homers in each of the first three months of the regular season. In nearly an identical number of plate appearances, Beltran found a way to hit most of his homers (17) and collect the majority of his RBI (58) in the second half.

He saved some of his best work for last, which included eight homers and 24 RBI in September.

Right Field: Jorge Soler, 2019: 48 Home Runs

Jorge Soler led the league in three categories in 2019: homers, games played (162), and strikeouts (178). So far in his nine-year career (entering 2023), the only other time he’s hit more than 13 homers was 2021 when he hit 27.

The outfielder didn’t slug fewer than six dingers in any month of the year. However, Soler did hit 20 of his 48 homers in August and September, spreading it out evenly by hitting 10 in each month. The change in his batting line was quite drastic, too.

Between March and July, Soler slashed .246/.327/.509 in 456 plate appearances. Compared to his numbers from previous years, this was already outstanding. But over his final 223 trips to the plate, That triple slash rose dramatically to .307/.409/.699.

Designated Hitter: Chili Davis, 1997: 30 Home Runs

Chili Davis enjoyed nine seasons of 20-plus homers during his 19-year MLB career. The last time he did it was 1997, which happened to be the only time he’d reach the 30-homer plateau. He accomplished that as a 37-year-old, as well.

His home OPS (.909) wasn’t much different than how he produced on the road (.880). But when it came to hitting homers, Davis preferred to be at home — 21 of his dingers came in Kansas City.

The designated hitter’s last three months of the year were a roller coaster. In July, Davis slashed .286/.381/.451 with three homers and eight RBI. Then he absolutely went off in August, slugging 12 homers with 26 RBI while posting a .327/.407/.720 line. Everything came crashing down in September, as he hit just .156/.286/.266 with two homers and eight RBI.

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