Ken Harvey #28 of the Kansas City Royals (Photo by Dave Kaup/Getty Images)
Although once a somewhat-exciting power-hitting prospect for the Kansas City Royals out of the University of Nebraska, Ken Harvey finished his major league career with less than 1,000 at-bats and only 27 home runs. In 2004, he was Kansas City’s lone All-Star.
Although a sub-par first baseman, Harvey did bat over .300 the first half of the year, accompanied by 10 home runs. Those numbers dwindled to .253 and three home runs for the 42 games he played in the second half, succumbing to injuries that would end up limiting him to just 12 games in 2005, his final season with the team.
Harvey actually performed well in independent ball after leaving the Royals, hitting .381 as recently as 2009 – but again, injuries continued to plague him and he simply couldn’t stay on the field.
It’s tough to say if there was a better option that year, which is sad after the Royals “success” in 2003. They lost 104 games in 2004, and their winningest pitcher also happened to have a league-leading 19 losses.
Not one Royal had 80 or more runs batted in that year, and no one hit .290 or above (although somehow Harvey, DeJesus, Randa, and Sweeney all finished the year at .287). Remember – this is after the 2003 off-season when the Royals went “all-out” on guys like Juan Gonzalez to ensure their competitiveness would continue into 2004.
I guess you could’ve thrown Sweeney out there again; he had 16 home runs and had batted in 57 at the halfway point (not to mention he did that with a .262 BABIP), but I’m sure at the time it was more exciting to have the new guy get a shot to play in the game. Harvey struck out in his lone plate appearance.
Next: Kurt Who?