Ode to the Light-Hitting Shortstop

Through the years, the shortstop position has proved to be elusive for our Royals. We have watched hitter after hitter flail away from the ninth spot in our batting lineup as shortstop. I once penned a Peabody-winning tome celebrating the light-hitting first basemen this franchise has employed over time. Today, I follow up with a celebration of the Royals shortstop. From those that pop it up, to those weakly ground out, we at Royals Review salute you.



Jackie Hernandez (1969-1970)

812 PAs .225/.279/.282

57 OPS+


Jackie's an appropriate

Start to this theme

The Royals would start him

On an expansion team

Even for that era

His bat was so hollow

His hitting would foreshadow

The shortstops to follow

Fred Patek (1971-1979)

4868 PAs .241/.309/.321

78 OPS+


"Freddie the Flea"

Stood at just five-foot-five

With a team built on speed

His skillset would thrive

He hit for the cycle

Which threw fans for a loop

Despite his small stature, he

Towers over this group

UL Washington (1977-1984)

2746 PAs .254/.316/.347

82 OPS+


The Royals Academy

Where UL learned the game

He developed his skills and

A shortstop he became

UL was quite good, despite

Not having played before

So why has finding a shortstop

Been such a chore?

Onix Concepcion (1980-1985)

1130 PAs .238/.277/.293

58 OPS+


A once promising prospect

That never turned great

His woeful OPS+

At just fifty-eight

A starter all year

He missed out on fall drama

He got Wally Pipp'ed

By Buddy Biancalana

Buddy Biancalana (1982-1987)

582 PAs .213/.269/.304

56 OPS+


Light-hitting Buddy

Could never hit much

But during October

He was suddenly clutch

He played just six seasons

Before calling it quits

But he will long be immortal

For five little hits

Kurt Stillwell (1988-1991)

2022 PAs .256/.318/.373

93 OPS+


An All-Star by default

When others got hurt

No Ozzie, no Trammell

So they turned to ol' Kurt

You'd think we'd remember him

As a saint, not a sinner

But what we gave up for him

Was a twenty-game winner

David Howard (1991-1997)

1795 PAs .229/.291/.303

57 OPS+


Baby-faced Howard

Would sometimes pretend that

He wasn't mistaken

For a clubhouse attendant

He was so frail you wondered

If he could go nine

Then why did they keep him

Instead of Jeff Conine?

Felix Martinez (1997-1999)

123 PAs .214/.287/.290

51 OPS+


Felix Martinez

Won the job by default

His value so worthless

Less than a grain of salt

Of the shortstops here listed

He's the worst of the bunch

For all he's remembered for

Is one sucker punch

Mendy Lopez (1998-1999)

390 PAs .246/.291/.352

65 OPS+


Yes, Mendy Lopez

Was once our starter

If he's in your lineup

You must try harder

My only memory of him

Is a singular play

One remarkable homer

On Opening Day

Rey Sanchez (1999-2001)

1489 PAs .289/.321/.351

71 OPS+


A sure-handed fielder

With an error-less streak

He played with the Royals

At his career peak

A .300 hitter

But no walk machine

'Twas the emptiest .300

That you've ever seen

Neifi Perez (2001-2002)

805 PAs .238/.265/.303

45 OPS+


Neifi was doomed

From the day he was traded

When they dumped Dye for money

Royals fans became jaded

Neifi made things worse

When he just didn't hit

And worse yet he didn't

Seem to quite give a shit

Angel Berroa (2001-2007)

2496 PAs .268/.305/.384

78 OPS+


Angel was quite

A rookie sensation

His power and defense

Amazed Royals Nation

But it was all so fleeting

Like a winter's first snow

Angel flamed out faster

Than Joe Charboneau

Tony Pena Jr. (2007-2009)

824 PAs .228/.247/.298

44 OPS+


Junior was acquired

After Senior had quit

Praised for his glove

He could never quite hit

While stats showed he stunk

He developed believers

But his number one fan

Was Ryan Lefebvre

Yuniesky Betancourt (2009-2010)

851 PAs .268/.292/.391

82 OPS+


The team loves his defense

For reasons unclear

His lack of range

Makes fans want to jeer

A complete shortstop

Is a Royals fans' yearning

But like a case of herpes

Yuni just keeps returning

Alcides Escobar (2011-)

1288 PAs .252/.294/.339

72 OPS+


A key component

Of the Zack Greinke trade

The scouts would marvel

At the defense he played

All these long-term deals show

Dayton is a committer

But why lock up

A .250 hitter?

This FanPost was written by a member of the Royals Review community. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the editors and writers of this site.

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