4. Cookie Rojas (1970-1977, 6.2 WAR)
Here is a fun fact: Cookie Rojas is second in Kansas City Royals history for home runs by a second baseman. He hit 25 home runs for the Royals in eight seasons. That speaks volumes as to how much of a revolving door that position has been in recent years, and to the players that have manned second base.
Even though Rojas was not much of a threat offensively, he was fairly adept at putting the bat on the ball, never striking out more than 43 times during his Royals tenure. Overall, Rojas produced a .268/.314/.346 batting line for the Royals, stealing 46 bases and hitting 139 doubles.
Where Cookie Rojas was most valuable, and the likely reason why he made four All-Star Games from 1971 through 1974, was on the defensive side. A valuable player who filled in everywhere on the diamond in his career, Rojas was a solid infielder. He was approximately league average most seasons, but was capable of making any play that he could get to. While he may not have had the best range in the game, he was sure handed and did not hurt the Royals in the field.
Rojas was a lot more valuable to the Royals than the numbers indicate. He was a veteran leader, and someone who helped develop the expansion Royals into the powerhouse they became in the mid 1970’s. Unfortunately, WAR just has not figured out a way to reflect intangibles yet.
Next: A professional in every sense of the word