Gregg Jefferies, a KC Royals lottery ticket

The Royals placed a bet on Jefferies. Was it worth it?
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This is where it gets frustrating for KC Royals fans

After one season, the Royals came to the same conclusion as the Mets and decided to move on from Jefferies. They traded him to St. Louis for Félix José and Craig Wilson. José moved into right field and provided less offense than Jefferies, but his actual replacement at third, Gary Gaetti, proved to be a good acquisition and the Royals improved to 84-78.

Jefferies, however, broke out in St. Louis. He posted a 142 OPS+ in 1993 and a 130 OPS+ in 1994, earning the only two All-Star appearances of his career. If it bugged Royals fans to see Jefferies excel for their cross-state rivals, they surely took some pleasure when Jefferies parlayed his success for the Cardinals into a lucrative deal with the Phillies and bolted following the 1994 season.

He was a productive player in his four seasons in Philadelphia, but he never matched his St. Louis numbers. He finished his career with a season in Anaheim and two in Detroit. His final career statistics: .289/.344/.421, 126 home runs, 663 RBI, 1,593 hits, 761 runs, 300 doubles, .765 OPS, 107 OPS+, and 19.5 bWAR.

Those are very good numbers, but not Hall-of-Fame caliber by any means. Once a player receives the kind of hype Jefferies did, however, many fans will never be able to let it go. Some can't view him any other way, and he'll always be a bust in their eyes. Royals fans, on the other hand, would have simply liked to have seen a little more of him.

Kansas City's gamble on Jefferies never fully paid off.

More KC Royals history from Kings of Kauffman

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