Kansas City Royals Have Made A Habit Of Winning Titles

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Oct 23, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals players celebrate on the field after defeating the Toronto Blue Jays in game six of the ALCS at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 23, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals players celebrate on the field after defeating the Toronto Blue Jays in game six of the ALCS at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Kansas City Royals have won two consecutive AL pennants and one World Series the last two seasons. The defending champs now have a chance to cement their legacy in baseball history as a dynasty if they can add another championship in the next two seasons.

For years, KC Royals fans have been hearing how many of the team’s prospects won together as young players in the minor leagues. Recently, Mike Moustakas talked about this issue, reported on Fansided site Call To The Pen:

"“We all came up through the minors together. We’ve gone through struggles and triumphs together,” he said.“It always hurts to lose guys like Billy [Butler] but you have to try to move quickly and recover. Kendrys Morales did an excellent job. He helped push us over the edge,” Moustakas noted. His sentiments were multiplied when pressed about the prospect of losing Alex Gordon. “You can’t replace someone like Alex Gordon. He is the Captain of this team.”"

In fact, back in 2011 when a horde of prospects made their debut with the Kansas City Royals, many called the Royals a “winning” organization because of the success they had experienced together in the minors.

Let me tell you, that certainly wasn’t how fans—both inside and outside of Kansas City—thought about the KC Royals.

A recent story by Baseball America analyst J.J. Cooper reported how the Houston Astros hoped the minor league titles of their prospects would translate to major-league success, citing the Kansas City Royals as the model. Cooper noted that pitcher Danny Duffy had won seven league championship rings in his career (including two with Kansas City).

Duffy’s story made me research just how many of the 2015 World Series Champions had won minor-league titles in the Kansas City system. I think you’ll be as surprised as I was at the results.

The Kansas City Royals system has won six minor league titles since 2008. I’ll throw out the 2013 Idaho Falls Chukars Pioneer league title since none of those players have appeared on the big club. The other five minor-league title winners featured rosters sprinkled with names that are now familiar to fans who watched the 2015 World Series:

2008 Burlington Bees (Midwest League, A)

2010 NW Naturals (Texas League, AA) 

2011 Omaha Stormchasers (Pacific Coast League, AAA)

2013 Omaha Stormchasers (Pacific Coast League, AAA)

2014 Omaha Stormchasers (Pacific Coast League, AAA)

Of course, Hosmer and Moustakas’ appearances at AAA Omaha in 2014 were little more than cameos. Still, the fact remains that many of the guys that won the 2015 World Series with Kansas City have known each other for years in the minor leagues.

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Duffy is indeed the Kansas City Royal that has collected the most rings with seven (including the two with KC). Mike Moustakas has won six (if you count his appearance with Omaha in 2014). Paulo Orlando, Jarrod Dyson, and Eric Hosmer have won five, followed by Christian Colon and Kelvin Herrera with four.

That’s a lot of hardware.

By my count, eleven members of the 2015 Kansas City Royals have won at least one title with at least two other 2015 teammates. No wonder these guys not only have each other’s backs, but also believe in each other. While Christian Colon might have elicited “who’s that?” reactions from casual fans when he made key plays in both the 2014 Wild Card game and the 2015 World Series, many of his teammates had been through the wars with him.

Next: KC Royals Window Still Not Defined

This core group of Lorenzo Cain, Cheslor Cuthbert, Tim Collins, Danny Duffy, Jarrod Dyson, Kelvin Herrera, Greg Holland, Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Paulo Orlando, and Salvador Perez—with Alex Gordon as big brother—have created a winning tradition that will loom over the Kansas City Royals system for years to come.

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