Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
Throughout the course of the Kansas City Royals history, shortstops have generally been expected to be excellent defensively, steal a few bases and not be a complete embarrassment at the plate. While there have been a few exceptions to this rule (looking at you, Yuniesky Betancourt) that standard has been essentially the same since the Royals began in 1969.
Those first two requirements have almost taken on a life of their own recently, especially given the Royals proclivity towards outrunning the opposition and run prevention. Yet, that has seemingly always been the requirement for Royals shortstops, as, according to Fangraphs.com, not a single player listed at short who had over 1000 plate appearances finished their tenure with the Royals worth positive batting runs.
Those offensive issues might make the top five shortstops in Kansas City Royals history an interesting list to look at. These players may not have been the best with the bat, but they could play defense well, were solid on the basepaths and may have even been better than we realized. A few of these players even went on to make the occasional All-Star Game.
As with the previous countdowns, the same rules apply. Fangraphs computation of Wins Above Replacement was used as a guide to compile the list, and can be used as statistical evidence that Betancourt was the worst shortstop in Royals history. If we do an all-time worst Royals team, he will make the list. Hmm…..
As always, let us know if you feel there is someone who should rate higher on the list or if there was someone that you feel was snubbed!
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