Kansas City Royals Top Five Center Fielders

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2. Willie Wilson (1976-1990, 35.2 WAR)

At times, it seems as though Willie Wilson is a forgotten member of the great Kansas City Royals teams of the 1970’s and 1980’s. Players like George Brett, Frank White, Paul Splittorff and Dan Quisenberry are fondly remembered, but Wilson never seems to be mentioned among those names. It is truly unfortunate, as he was truly one of the better players ever to don the powder blue.

Wilson was a two time All-Star, a two time Silver Slugger winner and finished as high as fourth in the MVP award. He led the American League in triples five times, stole 83 bases in 1979 and won a batting title with a .332 batting average in 1982. During his time with the Royals, Wilson posted a .289/.329/.382 batting line, stealing 612 bases and hitting 147 triples. He was the perfect catalyst for the Royals of that era.

On defense, Willie Wilson was equally solid in center as he was in left. He saved 108 runs in his career, ranking 41st all time and 15th as an outfielder. Wilson is tenth all time with a 2.87 range factor per nine innings in the outfield, as his 2.94 range factor in center is 14th all time and his 2.77 range factor in left is the best in baseball history. Wilson was truly a great defensive player.

On the list of the all time greatest members of the Kansas City Royals, Willie Wilson does not seem to get enough attention. He truly was one of the great Royals to patrol the outfield.

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