KC Royals: The Biggest Impact Hitter Thus Far

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Kansas City Royals left fielder Alex Gordon (4) – Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The KC Royals have started off very strong at the plate in 2015. Which hitter has made the biggest impact thus far?

The KC Royals are sitting in first place in the American League Central , a game and a half ahead of the Detroit Tigers. They trail only the surprising Houston Astros by a half a game for the best record in the American League overall.

The Royals have been able to forge their 24-14 record despite the starting rotation struggling with injuries, suspensions, and poor performances. Their 4.46 ERA as a unit ranks 11th in the AL.

The bullpen has made up much of the difference with a 1.60 ERA, and a Left on Base Percentage of 88%, both easily the best marks in the league.

The most surprising aspect of the success of the Kansas City Royals has been their offense. In recent years, players have fallen short of expectations and potential, and the Royals have struggled to score runs.

That isn’t the case so far in 2015.

The KC Royals are second in the league in Runs Scored with 192, first in Batting Average at .287, first in Wins Above Replacement with 10.1, and crazy enough, in Slugging Percentage at .435.

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The last number is a bit wacky because, while the Royals started off hot in the Home Run department, they have since cooled of significantly. They only have 29 total round trippers, 13th in the American League.

There are more ways to build up a Slugging Percentage though, and the Kansas City Royals have excelled in these. They are second in the league in Doubles with 85, and second in Triples, with 14.

They have the lowest Walk Rate, by far, at 5.5%, which is bad, but they offset that with the lowest Strikeout Rate, by far, at 14.6%.

Numerous players themselves have stepped up their offense this season so far. We will take a look at the case for a number of key offensive players, and let you decide which has been the most important hitter this season.

Check out the numbers for each candidate, and vote at the end for whom you think have been the most valuable.

Next: Candidate #1