No. 3) John Mayberry 1975
Like most players on this list, John Mayberry had a peak of success among the best in Kansas City Royals history. However, Mayberry also managed to have the longevity that few can hang their hat on. For nine consecutive seasons, the first baseman put up at least 20 home runs or 82 RBI, including five seasons reaching both marks.
His best season came in 1975 when he put up the second-highest offensive WAR (6.4) and OPS+ (168) in franchise history for a player not named George Brett. The OPS+ actually matched Mayberry’s career-high from 1972, but this season saw the left-handed hitter put up much better numbers across the board.
Now, Mayberry’s counting stats don’t measure up with some others from this list. But his combination of hitting for average, hitting for power and drawing walks is hard to match.
Mayberry set career-highs in doubles (36), home runs (34) and RBI (106). He also led the league with 119 walks — the second time he accomplished that in his career. He even put together his best hitting line of his life, putting up a .291 batting average, a .416 on-base percentage and a .547 slugging percentage. His .963 OPS ranks sixth on the franchise’s single-season list.
Now, Mayberry’s counting stats don’t measure up with some others from this list. But his combination of hitting for average, hitting for power and drawing walks is hard to match. Plus, he put up these numbers in an era before offensive numbers across the league shot up. That’s made clear by the fact Mayberry finished second in MVP voting that year. Granted it was a distant second to Fred Lynn, but Lynn’s 21 home runs, 105 RBI and .967 OPS show it should have been much closer.