Looking at the stand out stars on both teams will give each team one point. In 1985 that star was Hall of Famer George Brett at third base. No disrespect to Mike Moustakas, but he is no George Brett. This point goes to 1985.
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The 2015 leader was MVP finalist Lorenzo Cain. His 1985 counterpart was the speedy Willie Wilson, another great player. While this race is closer than Brett and Moustakas, the winner comes out as Cain due to his MVP finalist nod in during the championship season. Point 2015.
Now that the leaders are gone, it is time to cover the rest of the field. The battle at catcher is between Jim Sundberg and Salvador Perez. Looking at the numbers, Perez hit .260 with 21 homers and 70 RBIs, his counterpart Sundberg hit .245 with 10 homers and 35 RBIs.
Clear advantage to Perez here, right? No Advantage Sundberg, he drew 20 more walks, and struck out 15 less times. Also, Sandberg’s pitching staff was handled better. A catcher is supposed to work with the pitchers and young Yorando Ventura had one too many suspensions. Point 1985.
The first baseman duel is between Steve Balboni and Eric Hosmer. While Balboni doubled the homerun numbers of Hosmer(36 to 18) the advantage is still clearly in Hosmers favor. Hosmer’s .297 average is well ahead of Baboni’s .243, and Hosmer has the strikeout advantage 108 to 166. But the key here is Hosmer’s presence in the dugout. He was a vocal leader during the year. Point 2015.
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With the score tied, it is time to look at the second baseman. This is a tricky comparison. Frank White vs. Ben Zobrist. Now White has his number retired and seems to have a clear advantage there, but it is not that simple. White hit cleanup for his team, and was a power hitter, where Zobrist hit from the two-hole in the lineup. Both are different players.
It is important to look at the teams, Zobrist hit .290 which fit the small ball persona better than White could with 22 homers. But 1985 had more power in the lineup. Both were key players in their teams system. Based on defensive play White comes out on top. Plus, it is hard to ignore a retired number, point 1985 KC Royals.
Since third was already covered, shortstop is next. This one may not be as close as it seems. Buddy Biancalana and Alcides Escobar are two players that seem pretty even. Both field well, Escobar is a slightly better fielder, and both have hitting weaknesses.
Escobar is a free swinger, but he posted an average of .257. That is much higher than the .188 of Biancalana. Also, when Escobar gets on base, he is lethal. The small ball persona is back in play, and that means Escobar has the advantage. Point 2015 KC Royals.
Next: Outfield And DH