With no baseball being played currently, I have decided to take a look at the best of the Kansas City Royals and make an all-time lineup. The Royals started playing baseball in the year 1969. Since then, the club has 4 American League Pennants and 2 World Series titles. The strategy for this team would most likely to utilize their speed, defense, and some play small ball. This will be all nine positions plus the DH.
Catcher: Salvador Perez
Salvador Perez was injured throughout all of the 2019 season. However, Perez has played for the Royals since 2011 and has done nothing but flash the leather. Perez is a five-time Gold Glove winner, six-time All Star, and the 2015 World Series MVP. He has a career batting average of .266, with 141 home runs, along with 503 RBI’s in his 8 year career. The Venezuelan born catcher also has over 6,000 put outs in his career and has only committed 36 errors, and is currently sitting at a .995 fielding percentage. Perez is known as a fan favorite and a leader in the clubhouse and was a key to their success in the 2014 and 2015 postseason runs.
First Base: Mike Sweeney
Mike Sweeney was the face of the Royals in some rough seasons while he was in Kansas City, Just because the Royals had a couple of bad seasons, doesn’t mean we can discredit what Sweeney did. Sweeney was a five-time All Star in his 13 year career in Kansas City. Over that time, Sweeney batted .297, with 215 home runs and 909 RBI’s. Sweeney ranks 5th all time in RBI’s in Royals franchise history, along with 2nd all time in home runs. He now serves as a Special Assistant-Baseball Operations, a role he has had since retiring from baseball. He still brings his talent to many Royals players, including working with Ryan O’Hearn.
Second Base: Frank White
Frank White played for the Royals from 1973-1990 and was a very smoothed middle infielder. White collected 8 Gold Gloves awards in his career, which is most in franchise history. Defensively, White posted a .984 fielding percentage at second base. He also is a 5-time All Star, 1980 ALCS MVP, 1985 World Series Champion. In his 18 years with the Royals, he had played 2324 regular season games with a .255 average, 160 home runs and 886 RBIs. His number 20, is currently retired by the Royals in 1995. Currently, White is on the coaching staff of the Kansas City T-Bones in the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball.
Shortstop: Freddie Patek
Freddie Patek played for the Royals from 1971-1979. During this time, he was a 3-time All Star. Patek was not destined to become a baseball player. He grew up in Seguin, Texas, which isn’t exactly a baseball hotbed. And he only stood 5’5’’ and weighed 148 pounds. For 8 consecutive years, Patek posted 30 or more stolen bases and he led the American league in double plays turned 4 straight years. He was a durable player for the Royals and he ranks among the Royals all-time leaders in hits (1,076), walks (413), runs scored (571), stolen bases (336), and games played (1,245).
Third Base: George Brett
The most famed player in Royals history, George Brett played for the Royals from 1973-1993. A 13-time All Star, 3-time Sliver Slugger, and AL MVP in 1980. Brett’s 3,154 career hits are the most by any third baseman in major league history and 16th all-time. Brett was also famous for the Pine Tar Incident in 1983. He was elected into the Hall of Fame in 1999 with what was then the fourth-highest voting percentage in baseball history (98.2%).
Left Field: Alex Gordon
Alex Gordon was a First-Round pick out of the University of Nebraska in 2005 as a third-basemen. However, he quickly transitioned into one of the best fielding outfielders in the game. Since moving to the outfield in 2010, Gordon has won 7 Gold-Glove awards. Gordon has one of the most memorable Royals World Series Moments when he hit a Home-Run in the bottom of the 9th of Game 1 in the 2015 World Series. During his 13 year career in Kansas City, he has been named an All-Star 3 times. While his hitting stats have certainly gone down in recent years, Gordon remains a viable option at the plate and can still hit for a decent average. In his prime, he was a five tool player but nowadays, he’s a glove and contact bat.
Center Field: Amos Otis
Amos Otis was a 5-time All Star and a 3-time Gold Glove winner. He played for the Royals from 1970-1983. He hit as many as 26 homers in a season, knocked in 90 runs or more three times, twice led the AL in doubles and once in stolen bases with 52. His speed worked well with the Royals’ team philosophy of speed and defense. He compiled a career total of 341 steals, while being caught stealing 93 times. Otis was a clutch performer, and he consistently produced for the Royals as the team became a perennial contender.
Right Field: Willie Wilson
Willie Wilson played 15 years with the Kansas City Royals. During his time with Kansas City, he was a 2-time All Star, 2-time Sliver Slugger, and won the batting title in 1982. He only hit 41 Home runs in his career but 13 of them were inside-the-park home runs which is the most of any major league player playing after 1950. He topped a .300 batting average five times and also led the league in triples five times, being one of only four players to accomplish the feat. Wilson posted a .987 fielding percentage as an outfielder in the majors.
Designated hitter: Hal McRae
After beginning his career with the Reds, Hal McRae shifted leagues and changed his career. He quickly became one of the best hitters for the Royals and showed great numbers all around. He was a 3-time All Star and a 1-time Sliver Slugger. McRae finished second in the AL in the 1976 batting title only behind teammate George Brett. In his career, he posted a .290 batting average, with 191 home runs and 1097 RBI’s. He also had 484 doubles, 65 triples and 109 stolen bases in 2084 games played. He added a .351 on-base percentage and a .454 slugging average for a combined .805 OPS. After retirement, McRae managed the Royals from 1991-1994.
Starting Pitcher: Bret Saberhagen
Saberhagen played for the Royals from 1984-1994 where he was a 3-time All-Star, 2-time Cy Young Award winner, and a Gold Glove Award winner. Bret Saberhagen couldn’t have asked for a better scenario. The team was tremendous at the time and reached the playoffs that year, though eventually they would lose to the rival Tigers. However, in 1985, he helped the Royals capture a World Series title. He led MLB in wins and earned run average in 1989, and threw a no-hitter in 1991. He ended up with a record of 167-117 with a 3.34 ERA.
Also, be sure to check out the Overtime Heroics Forums page to join in on the discussion!