We would like to welcome you to a new series here at Royals Blue. We will continue to post segments breaking down the 300 best players to ever play for Kansas City. There will be some familiar names, some not so familiar, and probably a few surprises along the way.
These are the Top 300 Kansas City Royals Players ranked in descending order. Each player's ranking is based on the Modified Production Index Formula (MPIF). Position players and pitchers, respectively, have a formula that is used to rank their overall contribution to the Kansas City Baseball Franchise in their Royals' career. The position player and pitching formula are located HERE.
The following players, ranked from #150 to 121, have biographical and statistical information about their tenure in Kansas City.
RANK #150 – DON SLAUGHT (#7) – Catcher (1982-1984)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 774.50
183rd Royals Player in Franchise History
Don Slaught was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 1980. He made his major league debut on July 6, 1982. He was made the backup catcher to veteran John Wathan. He hit .278 in 43 appearances with the Royals in the later-half of the 1982 season. Slaught continued to backup Wathan in 1983, but it was clear that Slaught was well on his way to taking over the starting roll. Slaught hit .312 during that season. In 1984, Slaught did take over the primary role as catcher for the Royals. He hit .264 with four home runs. On August 16, 1984, Slaught hit his first-ever grand slam against the Texas Rangers. He helped the Royals to the playoffs, hitting .364 against the Detroit Tigers. At the end of the season, Slaught was involved in one of the most complex trades in Royals history. The four-team trade sent Slaught to the Texas Rangers, Frank Wills to the New York Mets, and the Royals received all-star catcher Jim Sundberg. Slaught hit .283 in Kansas City and was catcher for 1,943 1/3 innings.
RANK #149 – ONIX CONCEPCION (#22) – Shortstop (1980-1985)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 775.46
154th Royals Player in Franchise History
Onix Concepcion was signed as a non-drafted free agent in 1976. He made his major league debut on August 30, 1980. In 1980, Concepcion was primarily used as a pinch runner and only played 12 regular season games. He was used three times in the 1980 World Series as a pinch runner for the Royals. Most of his 1981 season was spent in the minor leagues. In 1982, he was brought back to the majors as a backup second baseman to Frank White and backup shortstop to U L Washington. Concepcion hit .234 in 1982. This continued through 1983 with his batting average improving to .242. With the departure of Washington, Concepcion became the Royals’ full-time shortstop in 1984. He had the best season of his career, hitting .282 with nine stolen bases. He started in every game for the Royals in the 1984 ALCS, but went 0-7 batting. He started 109 games at shortstop in 1985, but with his offensive production greatly diminished, it was the decision of manager Dick Howser to replace him with backup Buddy Biancalana during the ALCS and the World Series. His World Series highlight was that he scored the tying run as a pinch runner in Game 6 off a hit from Dane Iorg in the bottom of the ninth inning. He was released by the Royals just prior to opening day of 1986. He would not play again in the majors until he was picked up briefly by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1987. Concepcion is ninth all-time in innings played at shortstop with 2,232 1/3 innings. He hit a career .238 with the Kansas City Royals.
RANK #148 – BIP ROBERTS (#1) – Utility Player (1996-1997)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 778.35
391st Royals Player in Franchise History
Leon “Bip” Roberts was traded to the Kansas City Royals, along with a minor league player, for Wally Joyner and a minor leaguer. He was the opening day second baseman for the Kansas City Royals in 1996, a position that he played most of his career. He hit .283 with 12 stolen bases in Kansas City. His best game as a Royals player came on June 8, 1996 against the Seattle Mariners when he went 3-6 with two doubles and four RBIs while batting leadoff. An injury kept him from playing most of June and early July. When he returned, Keith Lockhart was moved from third base to second base and Roberts became more of a utility player and a designated hitter, outfielder and infielder. In 1997, Roberts was converted to a left fielder due to the acquisition of Jose Offerman. He played 82 games in the position, hitting .309 and stealing 15 bases. The Royals decided to deal Roberts to the Cleveland Indians for a Roland de la Maza in late August. Roberts hit .296 in his two seasons with the Royals.
RANK #147 – VINCE COLEMAN (#29) – Left Field (1994-1995)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 780.55
359th Royals Player in Franchise History
The Royals traded Kevin McReynolds to the New York Mets to get Vince Coleman to Kansas City. He was the 1985 National League Rookie-of-the-Year and played against the Royals in the World Series. Many believed that Coleman was past his prime, but he made an immediate impact being the lead off batter on opening day for the Royals as well as stealing 50 bases in his first season. Regrettably, the 1994 season was cut short by the baseball strike. His best game came May 29, 1994 when he went 4-5 with two triples and four RBIs as the Royals beat the New York Yankees 10-6. In his second season, he hit .287 with 26 stolen bases by August. However, the Royals elected to trade Coleman in mid-August for Jim Converse of the Seattle Mariners. He played 1,366 1/3 innings in left field.
RANK #146 – JAY BELL (#28) – Shortstop (1997)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 783.45
407th Royals Player in Franchise History (along with Jermaine Dye and Jeff King)
Jay Bell was traded, along with Jeff King, to the Kansas City Royals in 1996 in exchange for Joe Randa, Jeff Wallace, Jeff Granger and minor leaguer Jeff Martin. He started 144 games with the Kansas City Royals at shortstop batting .291 with 28 home runs. On June 27, 1997, Bell hit a grand slam against the Milwaukee Brewers in the fourth inning. He also picked up five RBIs in that game. He was second in the American League at shortstop in assists with 450 and second in double plays turned with 102. He was second only to Jeff King on the club in RBIs with 92. Jay Bell’s 1997 season was one of the most productive offensive seasons by a shortstop in team history. Bell was granted free agency at the end of the season and went on to play for and score the Game 7 winning run for the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2001 World Series.
RANK #145 – KEVIN MCREYNOLDS (#22) – Left Field (1992-1993)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 812.86
322nd Royals Player in Franchise History
Kevin McReynolds was traded to the Kansas City Royals, along with Keith Miller, by the New York Mets for pitcher Bret Saberhagen and utility player Bill Pecota. The trade outraged many Royals fans because they did not want to see the departure of Saberhagen from Kansas City. McReynolds was the 1992 opening day right fielder for the Royals, but played most of the season in left field. McReynolds was a veteran in decline, with his batting average dropping to .247, the lowest since 1985. He was on the disabled list much of August for the Royals, but still managed to hit 13 home runs on the season. In 1993, he played in all but one game in left field, but his numbers had fallen further. His home run production dropped to only 11 for the season as well as a batting average of .245. He had his best game in Kansas City on August 15, 1993 in a 7-5 victory against the Chicago White Sox, hitting 2-4 with a walk, home run and three RBIs. In 1994, McReynolds was traded to the New York Mets for veteran Vince Coleman. HE played 1,630 innings in left field for the Royals.
RANK #144 – TIM COLLINS (#55) – Middle Relief Pitcher (2011-2014)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 816.23
729th Royals Player in Franchise History
Tim Collins was traded by the Atlanta Braves, along with Gregor Blanco and Jesse Chavez to the Kansas City Royals for Rick Ankiel and Kyle Farnsworth in July of 2010. Collins stands only 5’7” tall, but pitched a 97 mph four-seam fastball. He made his major league debut on March 31, 2011, striking out Torii Hunter of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Collins pitched 68 relief games in 2011 and 72 games in 2012. He had an ERA of 3.49 over his first two years with the Royals, striking out 153 in 136 2/3 innings. In 2013, Collins was a part of the best bullpen in the American League with a 3-6 record and 3.54 ERA. Unfortunately, Collins got off to a horrible start to the 2014 season. His ERA was 4.91 by the end of May and the Royals sent him down to AAA Omaha in mid-June to work on his delivery. Collins was called back up in late September to fill in for the struggling Aaron Crow. He posted a 2.45 ERA in four games and was included in the 25-man roster for the Royals’ first playoff berth in 29 years. He appeared five innings over three games in the post-season with a 3.60 ERA. Before the 2015 season began, Collins had a season-ending injury and surgery on his elbow. Collins has 44 holds in 228 appearances for the Kansas City Royals in his four years with the team. He is still part of the Royals organization, but missed the entire 2015 and 2016 seasons.
RANK #143 – MELKY CABRERA (#53) – Center Field (2011)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 822.47
723rd Royals Player in Franchise History (along with Alcides Escobar, Jeff Francoeur, and Matt Treanor)
Melky Cabrera signed as a free agent in 2010 after being released by the Atlanta Braves. Cabrera became an instant star on the team, hitting .305 for the season. He had 18 home runs, 102 RBIs and 20 stolen bases. He was fourth in the American League in hits with 201 and only the sixth player in Royals history to have over 200 hits. On July 29, 2011, Cabrera hit a grand slam home run against the Cleveland Indians. Cabrera, along with Alex Gordon and Jeff Francoeur, became the best outfield in major league baseball. He led the American League in double plays turned by an outfielder. However, by the end of the season, Cabrera was traded to the San Francisco Giants for Jonathan Sanchez and Ryan Verdugo. He played 1,265 2/3 innings in center field.
RANK #142 – KEITH LOCKHART (#4) – Second Base (1995-1996)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 824.37
377th Royals Player in Franchise History
Keith Lockhart was signed by the Kansas City Royals as a free agent after playing with the San Diego Padres. Lockhart began the 1995 season at AAA Omaha, but was brought up to Kansas City after Jose Lind walked away from the team due to personal reasons. His start for the Royals was outstanding. He hit .321 in 94 appearances with the Royals, including six home runs, 33 RBIs and eight stolen bases. His best game came on September 16, 1995 when he went 2-3 with a homerun and three RBIs in a 7-6 win over the California Angels. In 1996, Lockhart switched to third base on opening day and split his time between third and second base. He hit .273 for the Royals in 1996 with 11 stolen bases and seven home runs. Before opening day of 1997, Lockhart was traded, along with Michael Tucker, to the Atlanta Braves for outfielder Jermaine Dye and pitcher Jamie Walker. Lockhart hit .291 with the Royals in 232 appearances. He logged 1,015 innings at second base.
RANK #141 – DESI RELAFORD (#12) – Second Base (2003-2004)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 826.77
537th Royals Player in Franchise History
Desi Relaford was signed by the Kansas City Royals as a free agent after playing for the Seattle Mariners in 2003. Relaford split time at second base with the slumping Carlos Febles. In his first season, Relaford hit .254 with 20 stolen bases. His best game came on July 29, 2003 against the Chicago White Sox when he went 3-3 with a walk, home run and three RBIs. His role, however, changed in 2004 when Relaford became a utility player, having time in both the outfield and infield. Relaford became a free agent at the end of the season and he signed with the Colorado Rockies. Relaford had a .240 career batting average in 255 appearances with the Royals.
RANK #140 – PAT TABLER (#30) – Utility Outfield (1988-1990)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 832.78
259th Royals Player in Franchise History
Pat Tabler was traded to the Kansas City Royals by the Cleveland Indians for pitcher Buddy Black in June of 1988. Tabler split his time in his first season with the Royals between left field and designated hitter. Tabler hit .309 with 49 RBIs for the Royals. His best game with the Royals was on June 16, 1988 against the Oakland Athletics when he went 3-5 with four RBIs. In 1989, Tabler was the opening day designated hitter. His offensive production dropped to .259 with only two home runs. His average improved to .272, but then Tabler was traded to the New York Mets for Archie Corbin in August. Tabler hit .279 in 287 appearances in his Royals career.
RANK #139 – KENDRYS MORALES (#25) – Designated Hitter (2015-2016)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 839.94
800th Royals Player in Franchise History
Veteran Kendrys Morales signed as a free agent in 2015 after playing for the Seattle Mariners. Morales defected from Cuba after eight attempts, which landed him in jail several times. He was brought to Kansas City to replace Billy Butler as designated hitter. Morales hit .302 after the All-Star break and hit 22 home runs during the season. Morales was brought in occasionally to play first base for Eric Hosmer when playing in an interleague game. His 106 RBIs during the season was the best on the team and sixth in the American League. One of his best games of the season was at home against the St. Louis Cardinals in which he hit two home runs and drove in five RBIs to help the Royals win 5-0. Another game that etched his name in the record books came on September 20 in Detroit against the Tigers. Morales went 4-4 with three home runs, a triple and five runs scored. He broke George Brett’s single game record with 15 total bases in the game and became only the seventh player since 1900 to accomplish the feat in the major leagues. His consistent power hitting helped the Royals earn their second playoff-berth in a row. During the ALDS against the Houston Astros, Morales hit three home runs and drove in six RBIs. He hit another home run during the Toronto ALCS series. Unfortunately, his playing time was limited in the World Series because of the lack of a designated hitter in the National League park. However, his efforts in the postseason helped the Royals win their second-ever World Series title. He was also named the winner of the 2015 Outstanding Designated Hitter Award. Morales is currently playing for the Royals as designated hitter.
RANK #138 – CHRIS GETZ (#17) – Second Base (2010-2013)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 860.51
702nd Royals Player in Franchise History (along with Rick Ankiel, Jason Kendall, and Scott Podsednik)
Chris Getz was traded to the Kansas City Royals, along with Josh Fields, from the Chicago White Sox for Mark Teahen. Getz was the backup second baseman in his first season in Kansas City for Mike Aviles. He hit .237 in his first season with 15 stolen bases. In 2011, Getz was the opening day second baseman. He played at second base most of the season and his batting average improved to .255 with 21 stolen bases. However, his 2012 season was marred by injury. He only made 64 appearances hitting .275. His production fell in 2013, only hitting .220 with one home run. Toward the end of the season, he was replaced by newly acquired Emilio Bonifacio from the Toronto Blue Jays. Getz has a .248 batting average with the Royals as well as 61 stolen bases. Getz was released at the end of the 2013 season by the Kansas City Royals and was picked up by Toronto Blue Jays. He is currently fifth all-time for innings played at second base with 2,453 2/3. Getz had 1,123 plate appearances in 332 games for the Royals.
RANK #137 – OMAR INFANTE (#14) – Second Base (2014-2016)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 861.36
778th Royals Player in Franchise History
Omar Infante signed as a free agent to the Kansas City Royals after playing for the Detroit Tigers. The Royals were looking to shore up their second base spot by replacing Chris Getz. The veteran Infante filled the position with a much better bat and fielding accuracy. Infante hit .252 in 135 games for the Royals. He drove in 66 RBIs for the Royals as well as stealing nine bases. He missed part of May with an injury, but came back and kept his consistency at second base. On June 27, Infante hit a grand slam home run against the Los Angeles Angels to secure the 8-6 victory. Infante was a consistent player all season and his glove helped contribute to the best defensive team in the major leagues. With his playoff experience, he helped the Royals make their first playoff berth in 29 years. During the post-season, Infante did have a key home run in the World Series, but his overall offensive performance was a disappointing .098 batting average. During the 2015 season, Infante was hitting .264 by mid-May and was in the running to be a starter on the All-Star team for the American League. Unfortunately, by September, his offensive production dropped to just above a .200 batting average. He did, however, have seven RBIs in one game on September 21, 2015, but then suffered from an oblique strain that ended his season. Infante has returned as the everyday second baseman for the 2016 season. As of 2015, Infante is seventh all-time with 2,230 1/3 innings player at second base.
RANK #136 – MIKE MACDOUGAL (#54) – Closing Pitcher (2001-2006)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 866.48
516th Royals Player in Franchise History
Mike MacDougal was a first-round draft pick by the Kansas City Royals in 1999. He made his major league debut on September 22, 2001. He made three starts in September of 2001. In his final start, he was struck in the head by a bat that came loose from the hands of Carlos Beltran and he suffered a fractured skull. He lost the feeling in his right arm was was on the DL for three months. After rehabilitation throughout 2002, he was able to pitch again in September of 2002, made only six appearances in relief. His big break came in 2003 when he was made the closer for the Royals. MacDougal appeared in 68 games, pitching 64 innings and earned 27 saves. He was named to the 2003 All-Star Game, but did not pitch. The next season, MacDougal was on the DL again with a virus. When he returned, he struggled and was demoted to AAA Omaha. In 2005, he returned as the Kansas City in the closer’s role and earned 21 saves in 68 appearances. In 2006, he was on the DL again with a shoulder injury and did not return until mid-July. After only four appearances, he was traded to the Chicago White Sox for two minor league pitchers. MacDougal is seventh all-time in career saves with the Royals, earning 50 in 162 appearances. He also had 162 strikeouts in 174 innings pitched.
RANK #135 – YUNIESKY BETANCOURT (#3) – Shortstop (2009-2010, 2012)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 879.79
696th Royals Player in Franchise History
Yuniesky Betancourt defected from Cuba in 2003. In July 2009, the Seattle Mariners traded him to the Kansas City Royals for two minor league players. He replaced shortstop Mike Aviles after he sustained a season-ending injury. Betancourt hit .240 with four home runs in the second half of the 2009 season. He was named the opening day shortstop in 2010. During the season, Betancourt became only the second Royals player to hit three grand slam home runs in one season. He hit his first off of Boston Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield on May 28, 2010. His second came on July 17 against the Oakland Athletics and his third on August 21 against the Chicago White Sox. He was ranked one of the five best defensive shortstops in the major league for the 2010 season. At the end of the season, Betancourt was traded, along with starting pitcher Zack Greinke, to the Milwaukee Brewers for Jeremy Jeffress, Alcides Escobar, Lorenzo Cain and minor league superstar Jake Odorizzi. After just one season with the Brewers, he re-signed with Royals for the 2012 season. His second stint with the Royals was a far cry from the 2010. He only hit .228 and was released in mid-August. He re-signed with the Milwaukee Brewers for the 2013 season. Betancourt hit .248 in his career with the Royals and 11th all-time in innings played for the Royals at shortstop with 1,951 2/3.
RANK #134 – AL HRABOSKY (#39) – Closing Pitcher (1978-1979)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 891.92
126th Royals Player in Franchise History
Known as “The Mad Hungarian,” Al Hrabosky was traded to the Kansas City Royals from the St. Louis Cardinals for pitcher Mark Littell and catcher Buck Martinez. He earned his nickname due to his unusual pitching routine of vigorously pounding the ball into his glove while walking toward second base and taking deep breaths in between each pitch. In addition, he was known for his bad temper and his menacing fu manchu. Hrabosky had a 17-11 record with the Royals with 31 saves over two seasons. He was the primary closer in 1978, but began to pitch as a middle relief pitcher in late 1979 due to the rise of rookie pitcher Dan Quisenberry. Hrabosky was granted free agency in 1979 and he went on to sign with the Atlanta Braves.
RANK #133 – PAT KELLY (#18) – Right Field (1969-1970)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 897.56
12th Royals Player in Franchise History
Pat Kelly was acquired from the Minnesota Twins in the 1968 Expansion Draft. His brother played football for the Cleveland Browns and was inducted into the Football Hall of Fame. Kelly was a devote Christian and would later become a minister. Although he was not on the opening day roster, Kelly became the season’s top right fielder. In the second-ever Royals game, Pat Kelly became the first Kansas City Royals player to be a pinch runner in a game, replacing Jerry Adair and scoring a run. He batted .264 in his first season with the Royals with eight home runs and 40 stolen bases. His best game came on June 15, 1970 when he went 1-4 with a home run. In the ninth inning, he hit a sacrifice fly that scored the tie run and was followed by a game-winning RBI from Amos Otis to beat the Boston Red Sox 7-6. Despite having his best game in 1970, Kelly’s production dropped with a batting average of .235 and 34 stolen bases. Kelly was traded, along with Don O’Riley, to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for Gail Hopkins and John Matias. He ended his Royals career with a .249 batting average. He played 1,507 2/3 innings in right field for the Royals.
RANK #132 – FRAN HEALY (#16) – Catcher (1969, 1973-1976)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 903.93
38th Royals Player in Franchise History
Fran Healy was selected from the Cleveland Indians during the 1968 Expansion Draft. He only played ten games in the 1969 season. He played the 1970 season in the minors and after a successful stint in Omaha, he was traded to the San Francisco Giants. However, in 1972, he was traded back the the Royals. Healy would become the Royals primary catcher for the next two seasons. Healy would catch the first two no-hitters in Royals history. Both games were pitched by Steve Busby. The first was on April 27, 1973 against the Detroit Tigers and the second was on June 19, 1974 against the Milwaukee Brewers. Healy had a career .258 batting average for the Royals and is currently eighth all-time in innings as a catcher with 2,424. In 1974, he lead the American League in games caught with 138. On May 16, 1976, Healy was traded to the New York Yankees in exchange for starting pitcher Larry Gura.
RANK #131 – MITCH MAIER (#12) – Center Field (2006-2012)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 906.70
642nd Royals Player in Franchise History
Mitch Maier was a first round draft choice by the Kansas City Royals in 2003. He made his major league debut with the Royals on September 23, 2006. He only played six games in 2006, spent all of 2007 in the minor leagues, and only made 34 appearances in 2008. His first full season came as a utility outfielder in 2009. He played all outfield positions until a season ending injury to center fielder Coco Crisp gave Maier the opportunity to become the everyday player at the position. Maier hit .243 with three home runs during the season. Maier split time with Gregor Blanco at center field in 2010, hitting .263 with five home runs. The last two seasons, the Royals elected to only play Maier in 77 games, mostly as a backup outfielder and pinch runner. Maier also pitched two games in his last two seasons in emergency situations. He was released in 2012 and Maier signed with the Boston Red Sox. Maier never played in the major leagues again, playing every major league game in his career with Kansas City. Maier is currently 10th all-time in innings played in center field for the Royals with 1,532 1/3.
RANK #130 – FELIX JOSE (#34) – Right Field (1993-1995)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 912.50
342nd Royals Player in Franchise History (along with Greg Gagne and Jose Lind)
Former all-star outfielder Felix Jose was traded to the Kansas City Royals, along with Craig Wilson, by the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for Gregg Jefferies. In his first season with the Royals, Jose hit .253 with 31 stolen bases. During the strike-shortened 1994 season, Jose improved his numbers with .303 batting average and 11 home runs. His best game came on May 17, 1994 in a 4-0 win over the Seattle Mariners when he hit 2-3 with a walk, double and three RBIs. Jose only played nine games with 30 at bats and a .241 batting average. He was released by the Royals and signed with the Chicago Cubs. He was a career .269 hitter for the Royals with 41 stolen bases. His 1,961 1/3 innings in right field ranks Jose sixth all-time in franchise history.
RANK #129 – AARON GUIEL (#45) – Right Field (2002-2006)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 919.50
528th Royals Player in Franchise History
The Kansas City Royals purchased the contract of Aaron Guiel from Oaxaca in the Mexican League in 2000. Guiel made his major league debut on June 22, 2002. He played in 70 games with four home runs and a .233 batting average. Guiel split his 2003 season with Kansas City and AAA Omaha, but improved his offensive output with a .277 batting average and 15 home runs. On August 3, 2003, Guiel hit an inside-the-park home run against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. His best game came on August 26, 2003 in a 9-2 victory against the Texas Rangers. Guiel hit 3-5 in the leadoff position with a double, a homerun and four RBIs. Guiel was on the opening day roster in left field in 2004, but by May, he was only hitting .173. He missed most of the season with an eye injury. Guiel was brought back up to the majors in August of 2005 and hit .294 with four home runs in 33 appearances. He was brought up for the month of May in 2006, but demoted yet again to AAA Omaha. He was released and picked up off waivers by the New York Yankees in July. Guiel hit .245 in his career with the Royals and played 1,359 2/3 innings in right field.
RANK #128 – TOM POQUETTE (#25) – Left Field (1973-1979, 1982)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 922.40
85th Royals Player in Franchise History
Tom Poquette was a first round draft choice of the Kansas City Royals in 1972. He had his major league debut on September 1, 1973 against the Oakland Athletics. He only made 21 appearances in 1973 before being sent back to the minor leagues for the next two years. Finally, in 1976, Poquette got his big break with the Royals. He split time in left field with Jim Wohlford. While Wohlford was faster on the base pads, Poquette had better power. Poquette was hitting .347 for the Royals when a freak accident, which lead to an inside-the-park grand slam against Kansas City, placed Poquette on the disabled list. Poquette slammed his head against the concrete outfield wall and suffered a concussion and broken cheekbone. A week later, the Royals installed pads on the outfield walls. Despite his batting average dropping after his return, Poquette finished the season with a .302 batting average which lead all rookies in the major leagues. In 1977, Poquette split time with rookie Joe Zdeb and part-time outfielder Hal McRae and had a .292 season batting average. However, in 1978, his production fell, hitting only .216. Poquette became a backup outfielder to Willie Wilson, Amos Otis, Clint Hurdle and Al Cowens. In June of 1979, Poquette was traded to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for George Scott. He would play for a very limited time for the next 2 1/2 years. He missed the entire 1980 season due to a torn rotator cuff. He would return to Kansas City in 1982 by signing as a free agent. He played only 23 games before being released in July of 1982, ending his major league career. Poquette hit a career .266 with the Kansas City Royals and is 10th all-time in innings played in left field with 1,646.
RANK #127 – ESTEBAN GERMAN (#3) – Utility Player (2006-2008)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 922.95
622nd Royals Player in Franchise History
Esteban German was traded by the Texas Rangers to the Kansas City Royals for Fabio Castro in 2005. German had only played a few major league games over the last four years for two different teams. In 2006, German had his big break with the Royals, making 106 appearances as a utility player in several different positions. His best game came September 14, 2006 as designated hitter against the Seattle Mariners. German went 3-5 with a triple and three RBIs. In 2007, German narrowed his defensive positions to third base and second base. He hit .264 with 11 stolen bases. He played in 121 games in 2007. In 2008, his offensive production fell off considerably and he was released in 2009. German was picked up by the Chicago Cubs. He was a career .280 hitter for the Royals in 316 appearances.
RANK #126 – RUSTY MEACHAM (#27) – Middle Relief Pitcher (1992-1995)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 930.22
328th Royals Player in Franchise History
Rusty Meacham was claimed off waivers from the Detroit Tigers in 1991. In his first season with the Royals, Meacham pitched fantastic from the bullpen with a 2.74 ERA in 101 2/3 innings and a record of 10-4 in 64 appearances. His best game came on August 8, 1992 when he pitched three innings of scoreless relief with four strikeouts against the Oakland Athletics. Injuries plagued Meachem in 1993 and he only pitched in 15 games. The next two seasons, Meacham’s ERA rose to 4.40 in 85 appearances. Despite the downturn, he continued to be a fan-favorite. He continued the tradition started by Dan Quisenberry of spraying down the right field fans with the bullpen hose. He was sent to the minor leagues in 1996 and ultimately traded to the Seattle Mariners for a minor league player. He had a 3.79 ERA, eight saves and 28 holds in 164 relief appearances in his career with the Royals.
RANK #125 – KEN HARVEY (#28) – First Base (2001-2005)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 931.55
514th Royals Player in Franchise History
Ken Harvey was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 1999. Harvey made his major league debut on September 18, 2001 and played four games that season. Harvey spent the entire 2002 season at AAA Omaha, however he started at designated hitter on opening day of 2003. Harvey split time playing first base and designated hitter with Mike Sweeney. He hit .266 in his first full season with 13 home runs. But in 2004, Harvey had the best season of his career. He was hitting .327 by the end of June with eight home runs. He was picked to be the sole representative from Kansas City in the All-Star Game. He had one at bat in the All-Star Game as a pinch hitter. Harvey cooled off after the all-star break, but still finished the season with a .287 batting average and 13 home runs. Harvey had a very rough 2005 spring training and he was sent to AAA Omaha in favor of Calvin Pickering. He was brought back to Kansas City in late April. On April 30, 2005, Harvey had his best game against the Cleveland Indians when he went 3-5 with a grand slam home run. After that game, Harvey went 4-31 before going on the disabled list with back problems. It would be the end of his major league career. Harvey hit .274 in his career with the Royals and logged 1,500 1/3 innings at first base.
RANK #124 – JASON GRIMSLEY (#38) – Middle Relief Pitcher (2001-2004)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 932.85
501st Royals Player in Franchise History
In June of 1997, Jason Grimsley was traded to the Kansas City Royals by the Milwaukee Brewers for minor league starting pitcher Jamie Brewington. Prior to arriving in Kansas City, Grimsley had a rocky career, bouncing up and down and being involved in scandal. He was involved in the famous 1994 “Bat Burglary Incident” with Cleveland’s Albert Belle. He spent his entire 1997 season at AAA Omaha. He was released and played for the the Cleveland Indians and New York Yankees before re-signing as a free agent with the Royals in 2001. His 2001 season was the best of his career, posting a 3.01 ERA with 61 strikeouts in 73 appearances. He became the setup pitcher for closer Roberto Hernandez. He would pitch in 70 plus games each of the next two season for the Royals.. He is the second all-time holds leader for the Royals with 72 during his career in Kansas City. He would be traded in June of 2004 for Denny Bautista to the Baltimore Orioles. He finished his Royals career with a 3.94 ERA, 196 strikeouts in 251 relief appearances. Grimsley became one of the greatest setup pitchers in Royals history.
RANK #123 – DEAN PALMER (#38) – Third Base (1997-1998)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 933.00
426th Royals Player in Franchise History
Dean Palmer was traded to the Kansas City Royals by the Texas Rangers in exchange for Tom Goodwin in July of 1997. Palmer replaced the struggling Craig Paquette at third base. Instantly, Palmer made an impact, hitting .278 with nine home runs and 31 RBIs in 49 appearances. In 1998, Palmer became one of the best third basemen in the American League. He hit 34 home runs, just two shy of the team record, and batted in 119 runs. Palmer was selected to the 1998 All-Star team at third base. Between July 30 and August 1, Palmer went 5-11 with four home runs and 10 RBIs. He was ranked the third best fielding third baseman in the American League and he became only the second Royals third baseman, other than George Brett, to win the Silver Slugger Award at that position. Palmer became a free agent at the end of the season and signed with the Detroit Tigers. Palmer hit .278 in his short time in Kansas City. He logged 1,530 innings at third base.
RANK #122 – JEREMY AFFELDT (#48) – Middle Relief Pitcher (2002-2006)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 940.39
519th Royals Player in Franchise History
Jeremy Affeldt was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 2002. He made his major league debut on April 6, 2002 against the Chicago White Sox. The Royals decided to replace Bryan Rekar with Affeldt in the starting rotation, but Affeldt sustained an injury that placed him on the disabled list for much of the middle of the season. The injury, blisters on his hand, would nag Affeldt for much of his time with the Royals. During the 2003 season, Affeldt had more opportunities as a starter. On May 12, 2003, Affeldt earned a 3-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins. He pitched six innings and struck out eight. In August, he was moved to the bullpen to help alleviate his blister problem. He ultimately had part of his fingernail removed from his middle finger in order to fix the problem. He was placed back into the starting rotation in 2004, but after an going 0-3 in his first eight starts, Affeldt was moved to the bullpen again. Over the next two seasons, the Royals tried to make Affeldt into a starter with little success. On July 31, 2006, Affeldt and Denny Bautista were traded to the Colorado Rockies for Ryan Shealy and Scott Dohmann. Affeldt went 17-22 with a 4.77 ERA with the Kansas City Royals in 399 2/3 innings pitched.
RANK #121 – JIMMY GOBBLE (#41) – Middle Relief Pitcher (2003-2008)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 941.45
556th Royals Player in Franchise History
Jimmy Gobble was selected in the first round of the 1999 draft. He made his major league debut for the Royals on August 3, 2003. He earned a spot on the starting rotation in 2004. He started 24 games with a 9-8 record that season, but only had an ERA of 5.35. He split time with Kansas City and AAA Omaha in 2005 before coming back as a full-time relief pitcher in 2006. His best season was in 2007 when he led the Royals with 74 appearances. His ERA dropped to 3.02 and he posted a 4-1 record as a relief pitcher. His career took a dramatic turn in 2008 when his ERA rose to 8.81. He set the franchise record with the most earned runs given up by a relief pitcher with 10 in one inning on July 21, 2008 against the Detroit Tigers. Gobble was released at the conclusion of the season and was picked up by the Texas Rangers. His career record was 22-23 with an ERA of 5.23 in 235 appearances.
Tavish Whiting is an American Government teacher in Lee's Summit, MO
Wake me up when May ends. The emerald month has been historically less than stellar for this crop of Royals. Since 2011 (in which Eric Hosmer was called up on May 6th, therefore starting the clock on the core of this team), the boys ... Read more