Kansas City Royals: Top Twenty Hitters In Team History

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Jul 13, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals left fielder Raul Ibanez (18) at bat against the Detroit Tigers during the fifth inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

20. Raul Ibanez

It is easy to remember Raul Ibanez for what he was back in 2014 when he returned to the Kansas City Royals for his swan song. While his skills had almost completely eroded, he was essentially another coach on the field, and will be best remembered as the man who convinced the Royals that they were a good team. He got the 2014 squad to believe in themselves, catapulting the Royals towards consecutive World Series appearances.

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Yet, it is easy to forget that during his previous stint in Kansas City, Ibanez had gone from a part time player to an excellent hitter. Given his first real chance at age 29, Ibanez became more than the Royals likely would have expected, producing a .291/.347/.492 batting line with 55 home runs and 85 doubles. His career, which had appeared ready to stall out, was rejuvenated by his time in Kansas City.

Allowed to leave as a free agent following the 2003 season, Ibanez went out to find success in Seattle and with the Phillies. He did come back to Kansas City after being released by the Angels, and even though he became the oldest player to hit a home run in Royals history, that was one of his few contributions on the field.

Despite on establishing himself in the game in his late twenties, Ibanez finished his career playing 19 seasons with a solid career .272/.335/.465 slash line with 2035 hits and 305 home runs. He earned his only All-Star nod at age 37 as a member of the Phillies.

Ibanez, who seems destined for a coaching or managerial position in the near future, had been a solid hitter in his first go around with the Royals. In his second, his closed door meeting and speech almost helped push them to a title. That combination of production and leadership are worthy of a spot in the Royals top hitters.

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