Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
1. Alex Gordon (2007-present, 26.8 WAR)
There was a time when it seemed that Alex Gordon was destined to be a bust. Originally touted as the heir to George Brett at third, Gordon struggled both offensively and defensively. He was banished to the minors in 2010, where he learned to play left field in a last ditch effort to save his career. Turns out, that was one of the best moves the Kansas City Royals made.
A two time All-Star, Gordon has produced a career batting line of .268/.345/.435 with the Royals, hitting 121 home runs and stealing 79 bases. Yet, a true look at Gordon’s offensive value involves looking at the last four seasons, where Gordon has posted a .283/.356/.453 batting line.
Defensively, Alex Gordon is peerless in left. The winner of the last four Gold Glove awards for left field, Gordon has been worth 54 runs saved in left, including the American League leading 25 runs he saved last year. Gordon has led the American League in putouts in left over each of the last four seasons, and led in assists from 2011 through 2013. Although few runners dare attempt to take an extra base on Gordon any longer, he still finished fourth with eight assists from left last season, and his 64 assists are third among active left fielders. Not bad for just four full seasons in the position.
It may have taken longer than expected for Alex Gordon to reach his potential, but he has certainly done so. Gordon is, without question, the greatest left fielder in Kansas City Royals history.