Kurt Stillwell, a Forgotten Royals All-Star in 1988

After the 1987 season the Royals acquired Kurt Stillwell as part of the Danny Jackson trade. As a 23 year old SS, Stillwell was an All-Star in 1988 and the future looked bright. It didn't quite turn out that way.

As with Ellie Rodriguez in 1969, looking back, it's hard to see how Stillwell made the team. At the break, Stillwell was hitting .261/.337/.428. Or, in the numbers that matter in 1988, he had a .261 average, with 7 homers and 36 RBIs.

Cal Ripken was the starter for the AL that year, and a little oddly, three SSes were named as reserves. 1980s stalwart Alan Trammell was a backup, amdist a very good .311/.373/.464 season. The other reserve was Ozzie Guillen, an appearance even more baffling than Stillwell's. In 1988 Guillen hit an anemic .261/.294/.314 that probably had Dayton Moore drooling. And it isn't like he had a great first half either, he was hitting .263/.288/.302.

Stillwell played one inning of defense, coming on for PH George Brett for the bottom of the 9th.

Stillwell hit poorly in the second half of 1988, posting just a .231/.293/.344 line. And yes, even in the 1980s that was bad, good for just a 86 OPS+. Nevertheless, in terms of his overall body of work, 1988 would be Stillwell's best season as a Royal.

 

Year Age Tm PA BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
1988 23 KCR 518 .251 .322 .399 .721 101
1989 24 KCR 516 .261 .325 .380 .705 99
1990 25 KCR 560 .249 .304 .352 .656 85
1991 26 KCR 428 .265 .322 .361 .683 89
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/11/2011.

 

Stillwell would leave the Royals as a free agent after the 1991 season. Stillwell was worth 2.6 WAR according to brWAR in '88, and would decline each of the next three years. By the time 1991 rolled around, he was just a 0.9 win player.

I remember Stillwell's place in Royals histroy because of the controversial Danny Jackson trade, but I had no idea he had been an All-Star. Now I do.

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