Gregg Jefferies, a KC Royals lottery ticket

The Royals placed a bet on Jefferies. Was it worth it?
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I intended this to be another edition of KC Royals Immaculate Grid Cheat Codes, but other than playing for six different teams, Gregg Jefferies didn't tick a lot of the statistic milestones that make for a valuable Grid piece. Perhaps this goes a long way toward explaining Jefferies' much-maligned reputation. After all, here is a guy who was billed as the "next big thing," but few numbers on the back of his baseball card jump out. Reading too much into those numbers, however, would be a mistake.

So, who was Gregg Jefferies, really?

Gregg Jefferies: A "golden boy" long before he ever became a Royal

Jefferies was drafted by the New York Mets in the first round of the 1985 draft and immediately became baseball's next chosen one. The Mets won the 1986 World Series and Jefferies was advertised as the centerpiece for the next wave of prospects in what was supposed to be a dynasty in Queens. Card collectors expected his rookie card to finance their retirement.

It wasn't Jefferies fault the card market collapsed anymore than he was to blame for the Mets' implosion. Topps and their competitors printed way too many cards in the '80s and '90s, and the combustible Mets of that era were not built to be sustainable. But that doesn't mean Jefferies lived up to the hype in New York.

Jefferies struggled to carve out a role with the Mets until the team traded the less talented, but beloved second baseman Wally Backman, which didn't help his standing with the fans. He clashed with his teammates as well, many of whom were tired of hearing the unproven Jefferies' praises being sung in the press. He then made the questionable decision to call out his teammates' criticism in a letter sent to WFAN, a sports radio station in New York.

These antics, combined with his middling production at the plate, convinced the Mets to throw in the towel following the 1991 season.