The KC Royals have had some pretty impressive rookies in their time with four players taking home Rookie of the Year honors. Which ten had the best debuts?
Before jumping into which players made this list of rookie phenoms, there are a few great players who deserve a shout out for their rookie campaigns. Unfortunately, not everyone can make a list of ten, so there had to be some narrowing down.
There’s no George Brett on this list. There also won’t be great pitchers Dennis Leonard or Paul Splittorf. One player, Lou Piniella, won Rookie of the Year honors in 1969 but isn’t going to show up on the list. All of these players were great, but they simply got outperformed by ten of their fellow Royals‘ rookies.
A lot of determining factors went into building this list. WAR was certainly a big factor, but things like ERA, batting average, wins, saves, and home runs played a big role also. The player also had to surpass the 130 at-bats mark or 50 innings pitched mark during the season in question.
Keep in mind that while some of these players had awesome debuts, they flamed out later in their careers. Not all of these players are great players and a couple of them aren’t even good players, but they put up impressive numbers during their rookie seasons.
That’s enough of the explanations. Let’s get to the good stuff and see which players cracked the list.