No. 3: Angel Berroa won the 2003 ROY award in an anomalous KC Royals’ season.
Angel Berroa was the 2003 Rookie of the Year winner for the KC Royals. He beat out Hideki Matsui (Yankees), Rocco Baldelli (Devil Rays), Jody Gerut (Indians), and Mark Teixeria (Rangers) in nabbing the award.
The 2003 season was already an odd year for the club, being the only season between the strike-shortened 1994 year and 2013 in which the Royals had a winning record (83-79). Of course, Berroa broke out during this anomalous campaign.
Veteran fans may remember the Royals acquiring Berroa from the Oakland A’s in a three-team trade that sent Johnny Damon and Mark Ellis to the Athletics; KC also received Roberto Hernandez and AJ Hinch.
Berroa won the ROY with a slash line of .287/.338/.451 and a .789 OPS. He hit 17 home runs, had 73 RBIs, and stole 21 bases in 158 games.
Though they were in first place in the American League Central for a brief period of time, the Royals soon fell off, missing the playoffs as the Twins and White Sox overtook them.
From 2004-2005, Berroa had a modest combined slash of .266/.306/.379. He had 21 stolen bases, 98 RBIs, and hit 19 homers during that 293-game span.
Afterwards, Berroa soon fell off quickly and was sent down to Triple-A Omaha in 2007, losing his starting shortstop role to Tony Pena Jr. His last year in the majors was 2009, when he split time between the Yankees and Mets and hit for a combined .143.