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MLB Power Rankings: The Top 50 Kansas City Royals of All-Time

Bill RobbinsCorrespondent IJanuary 13, 2017

MLB Power Rankings: The Top 50 Kansas City Royals of All-Time

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    The Kansas City Royals franchise have produced many great players since their inception in 1969.

    From Cy Young Award winners to Hall of Fame third basemen to speedy outfielders, the organization has seen a great amount of talent come and go.

    In this feature, I have examined the best 50 Royals that have played on the team over the course of the last four plus decades.

50. Bruce Dal Canton

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    Dal Canton only lasted four seasons in Royal blue.

    He did, however manage to win 24 games and have an ERA of 3.76 during that time span.

    He was one of the oldest living Royals when he passed away at age 66 in 2008.

49. Luis Aquino

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    Aquino played with the team for five seasons from 1988-92.

    He had a career 3.54 ERA with the team and also registered three saves and three shutouts.

    He was originally signed by the Toronto Blue Jays and ended up playing for five different teams over a nine-year ML career.

48. Billy Butler

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    Butler is another player who will likely jump many people on this list as his career goes on.

    The former 2004 1st round pick got called up during the '07 season and has hit .299 with an amazing 199 extra bases hits in his brief career with the Royals.

    He also excels defensively, as he has posted a .993 fielding percentage at first base throughout his time in the big leagues.

47. Mike Hedlund

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    Hedlund had by far one of the shortest major league careers out of anyone on this list as he only played for six seasons.

    Four of this years were with the Royals, which was highlighted by his spectacular 1971 season where he went 15-8 with a 2.71 ERA.

    He finished his Royals career with 25 wins and a 3.51 ERA to show for it.

46. Roger Nelson

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    Over his 10-year career in the big leagues, Nelson had two stints in Kansas City.

    His 1972 season, where he compiled 11 wins and a 2.08 ERA, was his best year with the club.

    In fact, that ERA is ranked first all-time for a starter in a single season in franchise history.

45. Tom Burgmeier

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    The St. Cloud, Minnesota product is another member of the original 1969 Royals team that makes this list.

    He played just five seasons in a KC uniform, but had a stellar 1971 season where he saved 17 games and had a ridiculous 1.73 ERA.

    Today, he is the pitching coach of the Royals AAA affiliate Omaha Storm Chasers.

44. Lou Piniella

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    "Sweet Lou" is known by many for his managerial career, but he also got his big start with his playing career in Kansas City.

    He won the Rookie of the Year in 1969, one of only a handful of Royals to do so.

    Piniella also garnered his only All-Star selection in 1972 as a member of the Royals.

43. Darrell Porter

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    Porter was an excellent catcher in his brief time with the team.

    He played on three All-Star teams and in 1979, he led the league in walks with 121 for the year.

    Unfortunately, Porter died in 2002 after a long battle with substance abuse.

42. Gary Gaetti

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    The Maryville, Missouri native was a power hitting third basemen that played just three years in KC.

    In 1995, he hit 35 homers, which is still second all-time for a single season in team history.

    After he retired in 2000, he later became a pitching coach for the Houston Astros.

41. Willie Aikens

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    Many know of Aikens because of his past drug problems, but before this came to light, he was a very good first basemen for the Royals.

    Aikens played from 1980-83 in Kansas City and hit 77 home runs during this span.

    He was recently released from prison in 2008, and he has since been educating others about the problems of drug abuse.

40. Kevin Seitzer

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    Seitzer is second all-time in team history with a career .380 OBP.

    He was a great hitter in his time with the Royals, as he led the league in hits with 207 in the '87 season.

    A longtime supporter of the team, Seitzer is currently the Royals hitting coach.

39. John Wathan

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    Wathan was another career Royal, as he played his entire 10-year stay in the majors was all in KC.

    Not known for having a big bat, Wathan was known more for his defensive prowess and ability to work with his pitching staff.

    He also had 105 stolen bases throughout his Royals' career, which is very rare for a catcher.

38. Al Cowens

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    Cowens played for the team from 1974-79 and was one of the most durable right-fielders that the club has ever had.

    His breakout year was in 1977, when he hit 23 homers, drove in 112 runs, stole 16 bases and hit .312 for the season.

    He also won a gold glove that year and was second in the MVP voting.

37. Danny Jackson

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    The former Oklahoma Sooner was a first overall pick the '82 draft by Kansas City.

    He was another key member for the '85 World Championship team due to his dominance on the mound that season.

    He is seen celebrating in this picture after shutting out the Toronto Blue Jays in game five of the 1985 ALCS.

36. Mike MacFarlane

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    Mac was arguably best and only franchise catcher that this team has ever seen.

    He was very solid behind the plate, committing just 39 errors in nearly 800 career games for KC.

    MacFarlane also put together one of the best offensive years for a Royals catcher in 1993, as he hit 20 homers, drove in 67 runs, and had an OBP of .360 that season.

35. Steve Farr

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    One of the most under-appreciated pitchers in Royals' history, Farr was a menace coming out of the pen.

    His career 3.05 ERA with the team speaks volumes about how effective he really was on the mound.

    In 1988, he had a minuscule 2.50 ERA in 62 games, which is among the very top performances for a Royals reliever since they have been a franchise.

34. Steve Balboni

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    He is known by most as the Royals all-time single season home run leader with his 36 round-trippers in the historic '85 season.

    Some of Balboni's best seasons were in Kansas City, as he hit 119 homers in just four-plus seasons there.

    Known for his power, Steve was also a slick fielding first baseman too.

33. David Cone

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    The Kansas City native only played three seasons for the Royals, but left his mark on Royals' history forever.

    I'm referring to his wonderful '94 CY Young season where he won 16 games, had a 2.94 ERA and had three shutouts.

    The team had traded him by the time the '95 season rolled around, but Cone won his CY Young Award, a feat that has only been accomplished just three other teams in club history.

32. Marty Pattin

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    Pattin got his big-league career started in 1968 with the California Angels, before coming to KC in 1974.

    He finished his Royals career with an excellent 3.48 ERA.

    The former Milwaukee Brewer was versatile, as KC used him in both the rotation and then pen.

31. Jermaine Dye

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    Dye was easily one of the biggest outfielders to play for the franchise, as he was well put together at 6'5, 220 lbs.

    Jermaine was an superior defensive outfielder, as he picked up 17 outfield assists during the '99 season.

    Although he was great on defense, he is likely more known for his offensive skills, where he hit 85 home runs in just 547 games with the Royals.

30. Bo Jackson

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    Jackson was one of the only professional multi-sport players to play in Kansas City.

    He played for the Royals for five seasons, and in 1989, he earned his only All-Star selection.

    Bo's pro sports career was later derailed due to injuries, but his short impact is still remembered by many Royals fans today.

29. Danny Tartabull

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    Similar to his outfield teammate Bo Jackson, Tartabull only played five years in Royal blue.

    Also like Jackson, he made his mark in his brief stay in KC.

    Tartabull hit over 20 homers four different times in his Royal career, including his magnificent '87 season where he hit 34 big flies.

28. Joe Randa

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    Nicknamed "The Joker", due to his constant smiling while on the field, he became a fan favorite to to many while in Kansas City.

    He had two stints with the Royals, spanning a total of eight seasons.

    Behind Hall of Famer George Brett, Randa was arguably the second-best third basemen in Royals history, as he finished with a .288 career batting average with the team.

27. David DeJesus

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    DeJesus could be the most versatile outfielder that the Royals have ever had.

    In his eight seasons with the club, he played right, left and center-field on the way to a .992 fielding percentage over that time.

    He also was a threat with the bat as well, as he hit over .300 in two different seasons and logged nearly 300 extra base hits in his Royals' career as well.

26. Bud Black

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    Black played seven seasons in KC, winning 56 games and posting a career ERA of 3.73 with the organization.

    He was also a part of the 1985 World Champion Royals, as he started 33 games for that team.

    Today, Bud is still around baseball as he is the manager of the San Diego Padres.

25. John Mayberry

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    He was one of the most patient hitters ever to play with the boys in blue.

    Mayberry twice had over 100 walks in a season in his Royals career, which is still a great feat to this day.

    He finished his six-year career in Kansas City with 143 homers and a .374 OBP, which is good enough to rank him 4th all-time in team history.

24. Doug Bird

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    Bird played for five teams during his 11-year major league career, but his stint in KC from 1973-78 ended up being his longest.

    His 3.56 career Royals ERA was one of the best in team history for a pitcher.

    Although he was used more as a reliever, Bird was equally effective in the rotation as well.

23. Dick Drago

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    He is one of the few Royals on this list that played for the inaugural team from 1969.

    The former University of Detroit star wound up playing his first five seasons in Kansas City, and was very efficient on the mound.

    Drago will be remembered for his '71 season, where he went 17-11 with a 2.98 ERA, and picked up 15 complete games and four shutouts.

22. Joakim Soria

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    One of the best closers in the game today, and could easily move his way up on this list as his career continues to progress.

    He has been selected to two All-Star games in just four seasons with the Royals and also has saved over 90% of his opportunities.

    "The Mexicutioner" could be the best player that most people haven't heard of right now in baseball.

21. Johnny Damon

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    Damon, like his Royal teammate Beltran, had many tools in his arsenal as well.

    Johnny even had one game where he went 6 for 6 toward the end of his Royals career.

    He finished his time in KC in 2000, finishing with 65 homers, 47 triples, and 156 stolen bases as a Royal.

20. Zack Greinke

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    Greinke, the former high school shortstop has made a name for himself in the major leagues as an All-Star pitcher.

    He won a Cy Young in 2009 as he had a microscopic 2.16 ERA, 252 strikeouts and a 16-8 record for the season.

    The 27-year old phenom was recently traded to the Milwaukee Brewers but his contributions to the team in his Cy Young season will be remembered for a long time.

19. Carlos Beltran

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    One of the only five-tool offensive players to ever come through Kansas City.

    Beltran won the Rookie of the Year award in 1999 and quickly became one of the best talents in baseball at the time.

    After having four 20 homer, 100 RBI seasons, the team elected to trade him during the '04 season, marking the end of his fantastic seven year-run in KC.

18. Steve Busby

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    Busby played his entire eight-year career in Kansas City and won 70 games during that time.

    He became a Royals legend when he tossed the first two no-hitters in club history, back in 1973 and 1974.

    He also was a two-time All-Star selection and won an amazing 22 games during the '74 season.

17. Charlie Leibrandt

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    The former Cincinnati Reds draft pick stayed six years in Kansas City.

    He ranks eighth all-time in team history with 76 wins, including 17 in the World Champion '85 season.

    Leibrandt is also one of only nine Royals pitchers to record 10 shutouts for his career with the club.

16. Al Fitzmorris

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    Fitz was a solid right-hander that pitched in the Royals rotation from 1970-76.

    His banner year was in '74, when he went 13-6 with a 2.79 ERA and recorded four shutouts.

    More recently, Fitzmorris has hosted a Royals' post-game radio show where he gives his insight on the current team.

15. Larry Gura

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    Gura is one of only six Royals pitchers to ever win 100 games for their KC career.

    He also was a driving force in Kansas City's 1980 World Series run, as he went 18-10 with a 2.95 ERA that season.

    The lefty also made one All-Star team during his nine-year career with the blue and white.

14. Mark Gubicza

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    Gubby was a dominant pitcher at times and could be very intimidating as he stood at 6'6 on the mound.

    His 1,366 strikeout and 16 shutouts were both good enough to place him second all-time in Royals history for their respective categories.

    He also went to two All-Star games and led the league in starts with 36 in 1989.

13. Freddie Patek

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    Patek is known as the best shortstop in franchise history.

    He played for the team from 1971-79 and made three All-Star squads.

    For his KC career, he stole nearly 400 bases and finished as one of the most underrated Royals of all-time.

12. Jeff Montgomery

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    One of the best closers in MLB history and he is also one of the smallest as well at 5'11, 170 lbs.

    Monty closed out a club record 304 games and was a guy that no opponent wanted to see once the ninth inning rolled around.

    He was an All-Star three times and along with fellow Royals Hall of Famers Frank White and Splittorff, he offer his own analysis on the Royals TV broadcasts today.

11. Mike Sweeney

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    He was one of the better power hitters to ever play for Kansas City.

    The Orange County, California product was selected to five All-Star teams and hit nearly 200 home runs while he was in KC.

    In 2000, he set a club record by driving in 144 runs.

10. Kevin Appier

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    Known for one of the craziest pitching wind-ups of his time, Appier lived up two his first round status and played well in his two stints with the franchise.

    He is the Royals all-time leader in strikeouts with 1,458 and finished fourth in wins with 115 for his career.

    Appier was a very efficient starting pitcher in KC, as he had an ERA of 3.49 in his time with the team.

9. Paul Splitorff

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    "Split" was a crafty left-handed starter who was one of the better finesse pitchers that this team has seen.

    His 166 career wins and over 2,500 career innings pitched both rank him first all-time in Royals history.

    Splittorff still hangs around the team as he has been working with the Royals TV broadcast team for several years.

8. Dan Quisenberry

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    To many longtime fans of the team, he was the best Royals closer ever.

    In his career, "Quiz" compiled 238 saves(second in team history) and a 2.55 ERA(first in team history).

    This isn't too bad considering he would come in during the seventh inning at times in order to finish out games.

7. Dennis Leonard

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    Leonard was probably the first dominant right-handed starter for the organization

    Like many others on this list, he played his whole career with the team and his 144 wins places him second all-time in team history.

    He also threw a club record 103 complete games and 23 shutouts in 12 seasons with the team.

6. Hal McRae

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    Hal was one of the best designated hitters in team history.

    He was an All-Star on three different occasions and in '77, he lead the league in doubles with 54 for the season.

    McRae has more ties to the team as he managed the club from '91 to '94 and his son Brian later played for the Royals as well.

5. Amos Otis

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    Otis had an amazing combination of speed and power that helped him become a staple for Royals baseball through the entire decade of the 1970's.

    When he left Kansas City in 1983, he had been an All-Star five different times and racked up three gold gloves.

    He also ranks second in stolen bases and third in homers in Royals history.

4. Brett Saberhagen

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    Saberhagen was arguably the best starting pitcher that has ever donned a Royal uniform.

    He won two Cy Young Awards, one in 1985 and the other in 1989.

    He was also an All-Star three times and was an one of the main reasons the franchise won their first and only championship in the '85 season.

3. Willie Wilson

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    One of the fastest and most efficient base-stealers in the history of the game.

    Over the course of his Royals career, Wilson swiped an amazing 612 bases in his 14 years with the club.

    He was also an excellent defensive center-fielder, as he won a gold glove during his tenure in Kansas City.

2. Frank White

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    Arguably the best defensive players in the history of the franchise, White won eight gold gloves in his KC career.

    He also played in five All-Star games and is second all-time in Royals history with 2,006 hits, trailing only Brett's 3,154 career base knocks.

    He currently serves as a color analyst for the Royals TV broadcast team.

1. George Brett

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    Brett is unanimously the best Royal ever and is one of the best third basemen in MLB history.

    He compiled over 3,000 hits, over 300 home runs and hit over .300 in his career and also added over 200 stolen bases as well.

    The former El Segundo high star was selected to 13 All-Star games, and won an MVP and gold glove for his efforts. In 1999, he was elected in the MLB Hall of Fame.

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