The Kansas City Royals have had some great pitchers in their organization over the years. Who are the best ever when it comes to Wins Above Replacement (or WAR)?
For those baseball nerds who really get into the geekier aspect of baseball, Wins Above Replacement (or WAR) is one of the bigger stats in which diehard fans keep track of. WAR basically is how valuable a player is to his team with what he contributes and how many wins he provides.
It’s an interesting stat and I thought it’d be fun to go through the Kansas City Royals pitchers and see which players have the best WAR for the franchise all-time. These might not necessarily be the best pitchers in team history, but they provided the most value for the team during their time in Kansas City.
For these rankings, I used Baseball Reference’s top 10 WAR leaders in pitching for the Kansas City Royals.
ALL-TIME LEADERS IN WAR FOR PITCHERS – NUMBER 10: LARRY GURA
Royals Pitcher from 1976-1985 (WAR -18.7)
Larry Gura comes in at tenth all-time in wins above replacement with 18.7. He spent ten years with the organization and pitched to the tune of a 3.72 ERA with a 1.253 WHIP in 1701.1 innings. Gura had a record of 111-78 during his time as a Royal.
Gura had spent the first six years of his career with the Cubs and Yankees before becoming a Royal in 1976. That year, he threw 62.2 innings with a 2.30 ERA and 4-0 record.
The long-time Royal was initially used out of the bullpen, but Gura became more of a starter in 1978 where he started 26 games and threw in over 221 innings. He would start a total of 219 games for the Royals and appear in 310 total.
When it comes to the highest WAR players for the Kansas City Royals, Larry Gura being this high isn’t shocking. He was with the team for ten years and provided them with five seasons with an ERA under four. He truly was one of a kind and it’s a bummer he didn’t get to be a part of that 1985 World Series team.