KC Royals fans likely all have a favorite player from history, but according to a recent article, one Royals pitcher stands out.
It’s often difficult for fans of the KC Royals, or any team for that matter, to come to a fully agreed-upon conclusion as to who is the best player, or best to play a certain position, bat, etc. It’s difficult partially because of personal bias, but also because there are typically multiple players that fit the description and deserve to be recognized for their amazing achievements.
When it comes to deciding the best right-handed starting pitcher though, MLB.com believes that the honor belongs to Bret Saberhagen. While some may have other starters in mind or a different favorite, the choice of Saberhagen is one that’s hard to argue with.
As they do with most of their picks, MLB.com provided their key facts for their choice as well including that Saberhagen won a Gold Glove in his time, attended 2 All-Star games (with the Royals), and won the Cy Young Award twice. Those accomplishments alone are enough to prove that he is at the top of the list for Royals starters.
Saberhagen was with the Royals from 1984 to 1991 and what an outstanding time it was. In his Rookie year, 1984, he took the mound by storm, seeing 38 games and starting 18. He pitched 157.2 innings and held an ERA of 3.48. From there, things only got better.
In 1985, Saberhagen won his first Cy Young. He pitched 235.1 innings, starting 32 games and recording 10 complete games. His ERA was held at 2.87 and led the league in FIP (2.89), WHIP (1.058), walks per 9 (1.5) and strikeouts to walks ratio (4.16). He also finished 10th in MVP voting in this year.
He continued to pitch well for Kansas City, seeing time in 30 or more games a season and once again found his way to the top of the pack in 1989.
In 1989, Saberhagen found his second Cy Young award, finished 8th in MVP voting, and won a Gold Glove. Along with these feats, he also led the majors in a few categories, wins (23), ERA (2.16), complete games (12), innings pitched (262.1), FIP (2.45), WHIP (0.961) and strikeouts to walks ratio (4.49).
It’s no doubt that Saberhagen had an incredibly successful run during his time with the Royals, and though he may not have finished his career in Kansas City, he will always remain a part of what made those Royals teams so great.
It may be difficult to pick a favorite or the “best” player, but when it comes to starters, Bret Saberhagen should be at the top of the list.
A successful career, consistency, and multiple awards allowed Saberhagen to be listed as the best RH starter for the Royals. Do you agree? Or do you think there might be a better choice? Let us know in the comments.