1. Andrés Blanco
Debut: April 17, 2004 (Age 20-006d)
Andrés Blanco was supposed to be the future for the Royals I mean, he was in the 2004 Futures Game after all. The expectations that come from playing alongside players like Justin Morneau and Robinson Cano were high, But Blanco never quite lived up to them. Still, the Venezuelan is the Royals' youngest player this century.
Blanco debuted against the Minnesota Twins on April 17, 2004, going hitless in three at-bats. He did not stick with the MLB club for long, playing eight more games after his debut before the Royals demoted him. The same situation happened in August, with Blanco playing in go-go games between Aug. 10 and Aug. 22. He had great numbers in those 19 games, though, with a .379 on-base percentage and four extra-base hits.
Despite promising numbers, Blanco did not see much more action in the next two seasons. That decision seems like the correct one. Blanco played in 59 games across the 2005 and 2006 seasons. He only had a .534 OPS, and the on-base percentage dropped to .257. A labrum tear in September ended his season early and contributed to his not playing MLB ball in 2007.
Blanco went on to have a long playing career with the Chicago Cubs, Texas Rangers, and Philadelphia Phillies. He last appeared on Sept. 17, 2017 for the Phillies, marking the end of his career. His career .688 OPS and 1.6 bWAR are solid for a transient utilityman, but the Royals were wise to not retain Blanco long-term. He still took his first MLB steps with the boys in blue at a very young age.