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3. Carlos Beltran (1998-2004, 24.8 WAR)
If the Kansas City Royals had been willing to spend on their players in the early to mid 2000’s, Carlos Beltran would likely be higher on this list. He was a true power and speed threat, an All-Star, a Rookie of the Year and a legitimate MVP candidate, despite the limited success the Royals had during his tenure.
During those six and a half seasons, Beltran put together some impressive numbers. He had a .287/.352/.483 batting line, hitting 123 home runs and stealing 164 bases. Despite not having nearly the same amount of time in Kansas City as quite a few other players, Beltran’s name still comes up in numerous categories in the Royals top ten on offense.
Defensively, Carlos Beltran was a very solid player, going on to win two Gold Gloves during his time with the Mets. He likely deserved a couple with the Royals as well, as he saved 34 runs in his time patrolling center. His 1999 season ranks as his best defensively, leading American League center fielders in putouts and assists while finishing second with 20 runs saved. A Gold Glove award should have gone along with that Rookie of the Year trophy.
Carlos Beltran was truly a great player for the Kansas City Royals. It would have been interesting to see where he would have ranked if the Royals were spending on payroll at the time.
Next: One of the all time greatest Royals