Good Players on Bad Teams: Joe Randa

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This is a Royals Blue Series of Good Players on Bad Teams. To qualify for this list a player had to play the majority of their time with the Royals from 1995-2012.

Player:  Joe Randa

Time with Royals:  1995-1996, 1999-2004

Why’d he leave?:  1996 – Traded to Pittsburgh Pirates for Jay Bell and Jeff King.  2004 – Granted free agency.

He always had a smile on his face and was also fun to watch.  Joe Randa was one of the most underrated players of his team, mostly because he played for the Royals when they were not that great.

Randa made his major league debut on April 30, 1995 against the New York Yankees.  Joe recorded his first hit on May 14, 1995 against Mark Langston and his first home run on May 16, 1995 against Dave Fleming.

In 1996, Randa played 110 games for the Royals, hitting .303 with 24 doubles and 47 RBI.  After the season, however, Randa was traded to Pittsburgh for shortstop Jay Bell and first baseman Jeff King.

Joe  Randa collected over 1,000 hits while driving in 553 runs in 2 stints with the Royals.

After a season with the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Detroit Tigers, Randa was traded to the New York Mets and then traded to the Royals for Juan LeBron.

Randa would become the Royals everyday third baseman in 1999 and he would play in over 150 games for four consecutive seasons.  

In July of 1999, Randa hit .442 with 6 home runs and 19 runs batted in, earning him American League Player of the Month.  His best season was in 2000, when he hit .304 with 15 home runs and 106 runs batted in.  In 2003, Randa helped the Royals to their first winning record in nearly a decade while batting .291 with 16 home runs and 72 runs batted in.

While Randa was good at the plate, he was outstanding in the field.  Joe finished fifth or higher in fielding percentage for a third baseman in five seasons with the Royals, including leading the league in 2003.  Randa also is 45th all-time in fielding percentage by a third baseman.

On September 9, 2004, in one of the few bright spots during the Royals 58-104 season, the Royals defeated the Detroit Tigers, 26-5.  In that game, Randa collected six hits with two runs batted in, tying Kevin Seitzer and Bob Oliver for most hits in a game by a Royal.

After the 2004 season, the Cincinnati Reds signed him.  He played half a season with the Reds before a trade deadline deal with the Padres sent Randa to San Diego.  There Joe Randa would finally see action in the postseason.  He would play in three games going 4-12 with a double and a run scored, though the Padres would get swept by the St. Louis Cardinals in 3 games in the National League Division Series.

2006 would be Randa’s final season, playing 89 games in his second stint with the Pirates.

Overall, Randa batted .288 with the Royals while recording 1,084 hits and driving in 553.  Randa was one of the better players in Royals history.  Had he played for the current Royals, he’d get a lot more recognition.  However, he was a great leader who always had a smile on his face and who was a huge fan favorite in Kansas City.

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Christopher Till

Author: Christopher Till

Christopher is a lifelong Royals fan who loves long walks on the beach, sunsets, and trips to #DongTown. He also loves writing about the Royals (pants optional). Ian Kennedy once ruined a perfect game Chris had going (though, to be fair, Chris' pitch came before the game with nobody in the batter's box). His favorite Royals' memory is sitting in Section 401 with his daughter when Salvador Perez laced a line drive past Josh Donaldson to win the 2014 American League Wild Card Game.

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