Royals All-Time Team v.2012

Today, we're taking a look at the Royals All-Time team, version 2012. 

As part of our roster re-vamping, we had to add an infielder and two starting pitchers to last year's team (which can be seen here). 

This team was fairly easy for us to nail down. The current roster is very young and doesn't really boast many players worth considering for the All-Time team so we didn't have any legwork to do there.  Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas certainly look like great players but they're a long way away.  We did look at Billy Butler as a potential candidate for the extra infield spot and as a replacement at first base but didn't feel like he was quite ready to make this team. 

His OPS+ sits at 123 which puts him right up there with the current Royals All-Time first baseman, Mike Sweeney, but Sweeney spent thirteen seasons in Kansas City and has far better cumulative numbers.  With regards to the extra infielder, we took John Mayberry over Butler. 

Mayberry posted an OPS+ of 132 in six full seasons with Kansas City, earning MVP votes in four seasons (once as a runner-up) and a spot in the Royals Hall of Fame.  He also played in two all-star games and helped the Royals reach the postseason twice; well worthy of recognition on this team as the extra infielder.  We also considered Cookie Rojas, who spent eight years in Kansas City playing alongside Mayberry on those mid-70's Royals teams (also a member of the Royals Hall of Fame), but Mayberry was far better offensively and accumulated three times as many wins (if you believe in WAR) so he was our guy.

The decision to add extra starting pitchers was a bit tricky.  There were five guys that we considered here and no one really stood out, in our opinion.  The names we tossed around - Paul Splittorff, Mark Gubicza, Steve Busby, Kevin Appier and Zack Greinke

In most cases, the all-time wins leader is a slam dunk for these teams but if you check out the numbers below, you'll see why the decision to add Splittorff, the all-time Royals wins leader, wasn't so easy.  In terms of raw talent, we probably left off two of the better pitchers in franchise history but these teams are about more than talent.  We aim to answer the question, "Who best represents this franchise?"  To that end, we had to go with Paul Splittorff and Mark Gubicza. 

Here's our updated All-Time Royals team.  Tell us what you think.

C - Darrell Porter
1B - Mike Sweeney
2B - Frank White
SS - Freddie Patek
3B - George Brett
IF - John Mayberry
OF - Amos Otis
OF - Willie Wilson
OF - Carlos Beltran
OF - Hal McRae
SP - Brett Saberhagen
SP - Dennis Leonard
SP - Paul Splittorff
SP - Mark Gubicza
CL - Dan Quisenberry


  1. Wow, Superb post. Really enjoy your write up. And now I decide to form a new baseball team at my university and want to collect jerseys from PIJ as my new baseball Bat with very cheap rate. Thanks for your nice share. :)

  2. Basically George Brett and some other guys.

  3. don't forget... both Orlando Cepeda and Harmon Killebrew played for the royals for 1 season late in their careers. And Bob Boone. And lets not nay-say bret saberhagen, one of only two pitchers to win 2 cy young awards not in the hall. Also, compare frank white stats to bill mazeroski, very comparable! If you add killebrew, cepeda, and boon (perhaps not at the peak of their careers but still) you have a pretty darn good team.

  4. oh, and david cone won a cy young there as well.

  5. Hey Philip - thanks for commenting. The premise behind our All-Time teams is to find the players that best represent each franchise. In light of that, we have a heavy bias for tenure over prime... swan song guys don't typically make the cut. We look at things like franchise rankings, years played, hardware/accolades and franchise moments... a guy like Joe Carter will make the cut because of the 1993 World Series Walk-Off. To that end, Cepeda and Killebrew, while certainly better than almost every name on this roster, won't make the cut because they were only here one year. We definitely looked at David Cone... again, it's hard to justify putting him ahead of the guys that we selected knowing that he started 1/3 of the games that they did (as a Royal). Thanks so much for commenting...

  6. I like Alex Gordon over Hal McRae. I like Kevin Appier and Zack Greinke over Splittorf and Leonard.


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