4. Ambiorix Burgos
Debut: April 23, 2005 (Age 21-004d)
Let's go from a minor Royals legend in Butler to a forgettable one in pitcher Ambiorix Burgos. Kansas City signed the Dominican Republic native back in November 2000. Plenty of MLB organizations sign young international free agents, just hoping they develop someday. Burgos developed quicker than most and made his MLB debut on April 23, 2005, against the Chicago White Sox.
I am too young to remember the roster nuances of the 2000s Royals teams, but I do know this: they were cheap. The 2005 Royals had a paltry $36,881,000 Opening Day payroll, the second lowest in the MLB. Burgos making his debut so early and sticking with the big-league club was likely a financial move from the front office rather than them investing in his long-term outlook.
Burgos had a respectable rookie year, pitching in 59 games and finishing 17. His 1.437 WHIP is far from ideal, but he limited runs and recorded a 3.98 ERA in 2005. The Royals used him as the squad's closer for the 2006 season, but that changed quickly. He had a career-high 18 saves in 2006 but also had 12 blown saves. He finished that year with a 5.52 ERA and 1.636 WHIP.
The Royals moved on from Burgos following the season, trading him to the New York Mets for pitcher Brian Bannister. He was far from a perfect rotational piece, but flipping Burgos for Bannister is an underrated trade.
Burgos last pitched in the MLB for the Mets on May 26, 2007, against the then-Florida Marlins. He underwent Tommy John surgery and did not pitch again until late 2008. That spelled the end of his MLB career, sadly.