1. Amos Otis (1970-83 44.6 WAR)
While a case can clearly be made for others to be the objective best outfielder in Kansas City Royals history, it’s hard to argue with Amos Otis earning the title. Among Royals outfielders, he ranks first all-time in games played, runs scored, hits, total bases and home runs.
Obviously, playing the most games in franchise history—save for Brett and Frank White—makes it easier to pile up numbers. However, it still takes substantial talent to remain as productive as Otis was during his career.
He earned trips to the All-Star Game in each of his first four seasons with the Royals. Otis earned the fourth most votes in the 1978 MVP race at the age of 31. Along with his five All-Star appearances, Otis earned three Gold Glove awards.
Otis posted 25-plus doubles in eight of his first 10 seasons in Kansas City. His 52 stolen bases led the league in 1971. He even exceeded 75 RBI seven times in his career. Arguably his two best seasons were 1972 and 1978. In both years, he hit right around .300 with 20-plus homers and 90-plus RBI.
Otis saw his defense fall off a bit towards the end of his career, but his offense didn’t fade much. His offensive WAR actually has him miles ahead of Wilson (48.8 to 31.9). However, Wilson’s defensive superiority significantly closed the gap.
One could argue his humanitarian effort during a torrential rainstorm in 1977, for which he was recently honored, is enough to justify Otis’ place atop this list.
Whether you think Otis or Wilson—or maybe even someone else—is the best outfielder in Kansas City Royals history, there’s no denying the position has produced some of the franchise’s all-time greats.