courtesy of thecaymanclassic.com
Starting Pitcher: Bret Saberhagen (2)
To be fair, one could build an entire starting rotation from the Royals starters that made two All-Star Games, and it would be quite impressive. Along with Saberhagen, Steve Busby, Mark Gubicza and Jose Rosado also got named to the Mid-Summer Classic twice. However, given Saberhagen’s performance to clinch the World Series in 1985, he gets the nod.
Despite the bizarre even numbered year/odd numbered yet splits, Bret Saberhagen was one of the best pitchers in Kansas City Royals history. Along with his two All-Star appearances, Saberhagen won two Cy Young awards; oddly, in seasons that he did not make the All-Star game. Had he made the game in those years, there would be no question who would be the Royals selection.
In his time in Kansas City, Saberhagen was one of the better pitchers in the game. From 1984 through 1991, Saberhagen went 110-78 with a 3.21 ERA and a 1.134 WHiP. A master of control even then, Saberhagen walked only 1.9 batters per nine innings while striking out just under six batters per nine. In Saberhagen’s best season, 1989, he went 23-6 with a 2.16 ERA and a 0.961 WHiP, leading the American League in all three categories as he won the Cy Young, a Gold Glove award and finished eighth in the MVP vote. Yet, he was not an All-Star.
A case could be made that Bret Saberhagen was the best starter in the history of the Royals. He certainly dominated the league from the middle to the end of the 1980’s.