Kansas City Royals Countdown: Top Five Second Basemen
By David Hill
2. Jose Offerman (1996-1998, 8.1 WAR)
When I first saw where Jose Offerman ranked amongst WAR leaders at second base for the Kansas City Royals, I simply assumed that I missed a couple of players. Then I looked at his statistics and realized that Offerman was a lot better than I thought he was.
Perhaps this was a matter of perception versus reality. My perception was that Offerman was an average player at best, but he was much more than that, at least offensively. During his three years with the Royals, Offerman produced the best stretch of his career, with a .306/.385/.419 batting line. Even though he only hit 14 home runs, Offerman hit 27 triples, leading the American League with 13 in 1998. That season, in a career year, Offerman produced a .315/.403/.438 batting line with 45 stolen bases, over 26% of his career total.
Even though Offerman was not a Gold Glove caliber second baseman, he was a versatile player. While primarily a second baseman, Offerman did spend time at short and first for the Royals, and even had a start in center in 1996. In all reality, Offerman was a quality defensive player, and a lot better than I thought he was.
It is strange how perceptions are formed, even illogically. For some reason, I had a negative perception of Jose Offerman, but looking back at his time in Kansas City, I have finally begun to appreciate that he was, after all, a very good player.
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