Royal Infields Ranked Historically Best to Worst

Jim McIsaac

A Paul Schaal sighting.

Yesterday for FanGraphs, I was tasked to find the worst infields in baseball's history. Since I had the data, I just decided see which Royals infields were the best and worst over the years. The following is look look at the complete list and then some thoughts.

To get the list, I selected the player at first base, second base, shortstop and third base who played the most games at the position in each season. Then, I totaled their fWAR and ranked them by the value. Here are the results.

Rank Season 1B 2B SS 3B Total fWAR
1 1980 Willie Aikens Frank White U L Washington George Brett 15.5
2 1982 Willie Aikens Frank White U L Washington George Brett 14.2
3 1975 John Mayberry Cookie Rojas Freddie Patek George Brett 13.4
4 1976 John Mayberry Frank White Freddie Patek George Brett 12.9
5 1988 George Brett Frank White Kurt Stillwell Kevin Seitzer 12.9
6 1977 John Mayberry Frank White Freddie Patek George Brett 12.3
7 1971 Gail Hopkins Cookie Rojas Freddie Patek Paul Schaal 12.2
8 1973 John Mayberry Cookie Rojas Freddie Patek Paul Schaal 11.5
9 1985 Steve Balboni Frank White Onix Concepcion George Brett 10.7
10 1972 John Mayberry Cookie Rojas Freddie Patek Paul Schaal 10.4
11 1987 George Brett Frank White Angel Salazar Kevin Seitzer 10.3
12 1978 Pete LaCock Frank White Freddie Patek George Brett 10.1
13 1984 Steve Balboni Frank White Onix Concepcion Greg Pryor 9.8
14 1997 Jeff King Jose Offerman Jay Bell Craig Paquette 9.7
15 1983 Willie Aikens Frank White U L Washington George Brett 9.5
16 1999 Mike Sweeney Carlos Febles Rey Sanchez Joe Randa 9.4
17 1979 Pete LaCock Frank White Freddie Patek George Brett 9.0
18 1986 Steve Balboni Frank White Angel Salazar George Brett 8.9
19 1998 Jeff King Jose Offerman Mendy Lopez Dean Palmer 8.4
20 1995 Wally Joyner Keith Lockhart Greg Gagne Gary Gaetti 8.4
21 2000 Mike Sweeney Carlos Febles Rey Sanchez Joe Randa 7.6
22 1989 George Brett Frank White Kurt Stillwell Kevin Seitzer 7.4
23 1981 Willie Aikens Frank White U L Washington George Brett 7.3
24 1990 George Brett Frank White Kurt Stillwell Kevin Seitzer 7.2
25 2010 Billy Butler Mike Aviles Yuniesky Betancourt Wilson Betemit 5.7
26 1992 Wally Joyner Keith Miller David Howard Gregg Jefferies 5.6
27 2007 Ross Gload Mark Grudzielanek Tony Pena Alex Gordon 5.5
28 2006 Doug Mientkiewicz Mark Grudzielanek Angel Berroa Mark Teahen 5.3
29 1974 John Mayberry Cookie Rojas Freddie Patek George Brett 5.2
30 2013 Eric Hosmer Chris Getz Alcides Escobar Mike Moustakas 5.1
31 1994 Wally Joyner Jose Lind Greg Gagne Gary Gaetti 5.0
32 2001 Mike Sweeney Carlos Febles Angel Berroa Joe Randa 4.9
33 1996 Jose Offerman Keith Lockhart David Howard Joe Randa 4.4
34 2003 Ken Harvey Desi Relaford Angel Berroa Joe Randa 4.4
35 1993 Wally Joyner Jose Lind Greg Gagne Phil Hiatt 4.0
36 2012 Eric Hosmer Chris Getz Alcides Escobar Mike Moustakas 3.8
37 2002 Mike Sweeney Carlos Febles Neifi Perez Joe Randa 3.4
38 1991 Warren Cromartie Terry Shumpert Kurt Stillwell Bill Pecota 3.3
39 2011 Eric Hosmer Chris Getz Alcides Escobar Mike Moustakas 3.3
40 1969 Mike Fiore Jerry Adair Jackie Hernandez Joe Foy 2.7
41 2004 Ken Harvey Tony Graffanino Angel Berroa Joe Randa 2.6
42 2009 Billy Butler Alberto Callaspo Tony Pena Mark Teahen 2.3
43 1970 Bob Oliver Luis Alcaraz Jackie Hernandez Paul Schaal 1.2
44 2008 Ross Gload Mark Grudzielanek Tony Pena Alex Gordon 0.2
45 2005 Matt Stairs Ruben Gotay Angel Berroa Mark Teahen -0.4
  • The first non-George Brett led team (1971) came in at #7 with Paul Schaal (gotta love people with first and last names who rhyme) playing third base. Nine of the top twelve teams had Brett on them.
  • The infield of Aikens, White, Mr. Toothpick and Brett showed up the most (four times).
  • In the seven full season's since Dayton Moore has taken over as general manager, his infields have all ranked in the lower half.

2007: #27
2008: #44
2009: #42
2010: #25 (best infield of the group)
2011: #39
2012: #36
2013: #30

  • The same infield of Homser, Getz, Escobar, and Moustakas have improved from 3.3 to 3.8 to 5.1 WAR over the past three season. See, players can always improve.
  • One of my favorite "recent" infields, Sweeney, Febles, Sanchez and Randa, did make the top half twice. They were at #16 in 1999 and #21 in 2000.
  • Some bad infields took the field in the mid-90's, but the 2005 version was the worst. Stairs, Gotay, Berroa and Teahen are barely backups, not alone starters. Maybe their suckitude was the reason for the negative total WAR.
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