Where Salvador Perez Ranks Among the Greatest Royals of All Time

Perez is already one of the best Royals of all-time and could one day be a Hall of Fame player
May 12, 2024; Anaheim, California, USA; Kansas City catcher Salvador Perez (13) is one of the best Royals in franchise history.
May 12, 2024; Anaheim, California, USA; Kansas City catcher Salvador Perez (13) is one of the best Royals in franchise history. / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
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Top 10 Royals of All-Time

To put this into proper context, we of course have to examine the other Royals on this list. 

1. George Brett – The undisputed best Royal of all-time. Brett recorded 3,154 hits (18th most all-time in MLB) with a career .305 batting average, 317 HRs and 1,596 RBIs. He was a 13-time All-Star, won the 1980 AL MVP award, a Gold Glove and three Silver Slugger Awards. He was the best player on the Royals’ 1985 World Series team.

2. Bret Saberhagen – Saberhagen’s career tailed off at the end, but when he was at his peak, he was one of the very best pitchers in the game. He threw 235+ innings FOUR times for Kansas City, including a 1989 season in which he posted this ridiculous stat line: a 23-6 record with 262 ⅓ innings pitched (12 CGs, 4 SHOs), a 2.16 ERA, a 0.961 WHIP and 193 Ks to 43 BBs. He won the AL Cy Young and a Gold Glove that season while finishing 8th in AL MVP voting. 
But that was just one of a few unbelievable seasons for Saberhagen, including a 1985 season where he won AL Cy Young and World Series MVP at just 21-years-old. 
Sure, his lack of longevity hurts him, but isn’t greatness more about the peak rather than how long it’s sustained? 

3. Salvador Perez – We’ve already laid out the case for Perez. He’s not only a stud defensively (5 Gold Gloves), but also an unbelievably good hitter for his position (3 Silver Sluggers). He was also the 2015 World Series MVP, going 8-for-22 with 2 RBIs along with an exceptional command of the Royals’ pitching staff. If he adds any more accolades in his career, it only further cements his status as one of the best Royals' players of all-time.

4. Dan Quisenberry – It’s difficult for relief pitchers to be as valuable as Quisenberry was. His career started late at age 26, but he gave the Royals his best years. He threw at least 128 innings in five different seasons, highlighted by a 1983 season in which he went 5-3 with 45 saves, a 1.94 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP – finishing second in AL Cy Young voting and sixth in AL MVP voting with an All-Star appearance. He was never much of a strikeout pitcher, recording 50+ Ks in a season just once, but it didn’t matter. He finished top-5 in AL Cy Young voting five times with five times in the top-11 for AL MVP voting.

5. Amos Otis – A five-time All-Star with the Royals, Otis also finished in top-10 MVP voting four times and won three Gold Gloves. He was a nightmare for opposing teams on the basepaths, recording a .340+ on-base percentage in 10 seasons, along with five seasons with 30+ stolen bases. He finished his career with 2,020 hits, 193 HRs and 1,007 RBIs.

6. Willie Wilson – Wilson was a dazzling player in his time. He doesn’t have as many career accolades as he should – a two-time All-Star, two-time Silver Slugger and one Gold Glove. But he led MLB in several categories throughout his career including runs (133 in 1980), hits (230 in 1980), triples (four separate times), stolen bases (83 in 1979) and batting average (.332 in 1982). He ended his career with 2,207 hits and 668 stolen bases.

7. Frank White – White was an all-around star, winning eight Gold Gloves at second base while also posting 2,006 career hits. His career .293 on-base percentage hurts his value, but his unique speed + power combo (four seasons with 17+ HRs and four seasons with 19+ SBs) made up for his lack of consistency at the plate. He finished as a five-time All-Star and even added a Silver Slugger award to his trophy case. White never struck out more than 88 times in a season during his 18-year run with the Royals.

8. Alex Gordon – Gordon’s offensive numbers were never really all that impressive, but when you consider the defense he brought to the game, it sheds a new light on his numbers. Gordon won eight Gold Gloves with the Royals and was a three-time All-Star. He had a career .338 on-base percentage despite a .257 career batting average and hit at least 13 home runs in 10 seasons. He led MLB with 51 doubles in 2012. And of course, he was a valuable member of the Royals’ 2015 World Series team.

9. Hal McRae – An underrated and underappreciated player, McRae put up some otherworldly stats in his career. He led MLB with a .407 on-base percentage and an .868 OPS in 1976 while also leading the league in doubles twice and RBIs once (133 in 1982). He loses some value for playing primarily as a designated hitter, but his career numbers of a .351 OBP, 2,091 hits and 1,097 RBIs (plus 109 stolen bases!) are hard to beat.

10. Zack Greinke – Greinke would certainly be higher on this list if he had spent more time with Kansas City. He spent just nine seasons with the Royals (seven in his prime), but was still so excellent he deserves this ranking. He had just one sub-3.00 ERA season with Kansas City (2009), but it was masterful. He went 16-8 on a 65-97 team with a 2.16 ERA, a 1.07 WHIP and 242 Ks to 51 BBs over 229 ⅓ innings.

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