The Kansas Royals’ all-time best players at second base in franchise history.
The Kansas City Royals first took the field in 1969, and in that time, they have had many terrific players, but really, only one star at second base. Early on in franchise history, it was a position of consistent play and steady production.
Since the retirement of Frank White in 1990, second base has been a transient position with little production. Recently, Whit Merrifield has been a stalwart at second but good players at this position have been rare over the years. Sure, there has been a decent player come in to man the position for a few years, but not many.
In fact, only nine players have more than 1,000 plate appearances for the Royals, with a bulk of their time with the team at second base. Nine, and only seven of those since 1995!
A player will have needed at least 1,000 plate appearances with the Royals to qualify to make this list, and they will have needed more appearances at second than any other position to qualify. Those are the parameters for this exercise.
Players will be ranked by how they performed statistically, and in some cases when it is not clear, subjectively. Human nature will bleed though in some cases because we all had players we liked more than others.
It also doesn’t matter what kind of career any of these players may have had elsewhere. For the purposes of this article, only their time with the Royals is taken into consideration.
Some of the names on this list may be a little surprising. Some weren’t really very good but still received enough plate appearances even when maybe they shouldn’t have. Some, you may have just forgotten even played here. Others, you may have wished they did not play for the Royals! Regardless, the list is small.
Have some fun. Mentally compile your list before starting through our rundown of names. Who do you think will be on the list?
Without further ado, let’s get to our list of the nine best second basemen in Kansas City Royals’ history.
Best second baseman in Kansas City Royals history: 9. Omar Infante
After the 2013 season, General Manager Dayton Moore outbid the New York Yankees by offering second baseman Omar Infante a fourth year to his contract. At the time, it seemed like a good idea.
Unfortunately for the KC Royals, it didn’t work out that well.
In 2013, Infante hit .313 for the Detroit Tigers with a respectable .795 OPS. There were warning signs, though, as he had played just 118 games that season.
Infante seemed like a terrific veteran piece to add to a team that was on the verge of finally being a contender. Moore was correct in that his Royals were on the brink, bu their subsequent success was almost in spite of Infante.
His slash numbers for his two-plus seasons in Kansas City is about as bad as any you could imagine – .238/.269/.328/.597.
Infante’s best season, bar far, for the Royals was his first. The argument could be made his veteran presence helped solidify the infield in 2014 and helped the team reach the postseason for the first time in three decades.
Infante did bat .318 in the 2014 World Series loss to the Giants but did not play in the 2015 postseason or the World Series victory.
Still, he will be forever linked to the team as a member of a roster that went to back-to-back Fall Classics.
Infante was released in June 2016, with a year and a half left on his contract.