Kansas City Royals: The Top 5 Pitchers in Royals History

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KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 15: A general view of Kauffman Stadium before the game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Kansas City Royals on August 15, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Brian Davidson/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 15: A general view of Kauffman Stadium before the game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Kansas City Royals on August 15, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Brian Davidson/Getty Images) /
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6 Mar 1999: Pitcher Kevin Appier #17 of the Kansas City Royals pitching the ball during the Spring Training game against the New York Yankees at the Baseball City Stadium in Davenport, Florida. The Royals defeated the Yankees 9-1. Mandatory Credit: Andy Lyons /Allsport
6 Mar 1999: Pitcher Kevin Appier #17 of the Kansas City Royals pitching the ball during the Spring Training game against the New York Yankees at the Baseball City Stadium in Davenport, Florida. The Royals defeated the Yankees 9-1. Mandatory Credit: Andy Lyons /Allsport /

3. Kevin Appier

Up next is right handed pitcher, Kevin Appier.

Kevin Appier was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 1st round of the 1987 MLB Draft and played with the Royals until halfway through 1999 when he got traded to Oakland, then came back to the Royals for the 2003 and 2004 seasons. In his rookie season, he was 12-8 with a 2.76 ERA and was named the Rookie Pitcher of the Year for the 1990 season and had the 4th best ERA in the League that same year.

Appier had the second-best ERA in the league in 1992 (2.46) and also had a 9 game winning streak in the same year. The next season his greatness continued, when he finished the season 18-8 with an AL-best 2.56 ERA, setting a record in Royals pitching history with the most consecutive scoreless innings in a season (33). That season, he finished 3rd in Cy Young voting with 21% of the votes, behind the Cy Young winner Jack McDowell and the Big Unit: Randy Johnson.

In 1995 he finally gained enough recognition to represent the Royals and the American League in the 1995 All-Star Game, and in the following 1996 season he earned a career-high best 207 strikeouts.

Unfortunately for Appier, his dominance came in an era of Royals baseball that had already regressed quickly. Out of the 9 1/2 seasons he appeared in a Royals uniform, the Royals only had 3 winning seasons. These poor seasons overshadowed Appier’s success and did him no favors as far as recognition went.  Appier was inducted into the Royals Hall of Fame in 2011.

Rankings in Royals Top 10 Career Pitching Leaders:

1st: WAR for Pitchers, Strikeouts

3rd: H/9

4th: Wins, Innings Pitched

6th: WHIP

7th: ERA, Shutouts, K/9

9th: HR/9

10: Complete Games, W/L %

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