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The most beloved Royals of all-time - Muser bracket

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The dark years.

We’re trying to satisfy our love of filling out brackets not with exciting college basketball games, but by voting on our favorite Royals players of all-time. We divided the players into four eras - the Herzog bracket (1969-1980), the Howser bracket (1981-1994), the Muser bracket (1995-2010), and the Yost bracket (2011-2019).

You can vote on the Howser bracket here and the Herzog bracket here. Now, we vote on the Muser bracket, the leanest years out of all the brackets. Remember, you are voting for who is your FAVORITE Royals player, not necessarily who was the best. Voting runs through this Sunday.

#1 Zack Greinke vs. #16 Rey Sanchez

Greinke was enigmatic but extremely talented, winning 60 games in seven seasons in Kansas City with a 3.82 ERA. He put it all together in 2009 with a league-best ERA of 2.16 with the best ERA+, FIP, and the lowest-home run rate, winning his first Cy Young Award and leading all AL players in WAR. He finished fifth in the league in strikeouts in 2008 and second in 2009. He even collected four hits as a pitcher in 24 at-bats, with two doubles and a home run.

Rey Sanchez was a talented defensive shortstop who hit for contact and made a lot of contact. In three seasons with the Royals he hit .289/.31/.351 with 27 steals and 9.3 WAR. He led the American League in defensive WAR in 2000 with the Royals, and did it again in 2001 despite being traded to the Braves in July. That year, he played in 143 games at shortstop and committed just four errors all season.

Poll

Who was your favorite Royals player?

This poll is closed

  • 93%
    Zack Greinke
    (1246 votes)
  • 6%
    Rey Sanchez
    (91 votes)
1337 votes total Vote Now

#8 Jermaine Dye vs. #9 Joakim Soria

Dye was acquired from the Braves before the 1997 season and spent five years with the Royals, hitting .283/.344/.477 with 85 home runs. In 2000, he became the first Royals position player to be elected to start the All-Star Game since Bo Jackson in 1989. Known for his strong arm, Dye also won his only Gold Glove that year. Dye hit 25+ home runs and 100+ RBI in three consecutive seasons from 1999 to 2001, although he spent the last half of the 2001 season with the A’s after one of the worst trade in franchise history.

Soria was stolen from the Padres in the Rule 5 draft and was sensational as a rookie with 17 saves and a 2.48 ERA in 69 innings, earning some Rookie of the Year votes. He saved 40+ games twice, in 2008 and 2010, and was an All-Star in both seasons. His 162 saves are the third-most in franchise history. Soria returned for a second stint with the Royals in 2016. In all, he spent seven years with the Royals, pitching in 427 games with a 2.82 ERA.

Poll

Who was your favorite Royals player?

This poll is closed

  • 49%
    Jermaine Dye
    (611 votes)
  • 50%
    Joakim Soria
    (612 votes)
1223 votes total Vote Now

#4 Mike Sweeney vs. #13 Jeff Suppan

Sweeney began as a catcher but flourished offensively once he moved to first base and designated hitter. Though he battled injuries, when he was healthy, he was one of the more feared hitters in the league, batting .299/.369/.492 with 197 home runs in his 13-year career with the Royals. His 144 RBI in 2000 are a single-season club record. He is second in club history in home runs, fifth in RBI, seventh in hits, and seventh in runs scored, and his slugging percentage is third among all Royals players with at least 1,000 plate appearances. He was a three-time All-Star and finished top ten in batting average twice (2000 and 2002), top ten in slugging twice (2001 and 2002), was fourth in on-base percentage in 2002, and fifth in OPS in 2002. He also finished second in doubles in 1999 and 2001.

Jeff Suppan was a former top prospect who the Royals purchased from the Diamondbacks in 1998. Once in Kansas City, he flourished, winning in double digits in three consecutive seasons from 1999-2001 with 8.3 WAR over that time. Suppan was a steady innings-eater, tossing 200+ innings in each of his four full seasons with Kansas City, and finishing seventh in the league in innings pitched in 2000. From 1999-2002, his 11 complete games were the seventh-most among all American League pitchers.

Poll

Who was your favorite Royals player?

This poll is closed

  • 95%
    Mike Sweeney
    (1172 votes)
  • 4%
    Jeff Suppan
    (53 votes)
1225 votes total Vote Now

#5 David DeJesus vs. #12 Jose Rosado

DeJesus was a solid player, spending eight seasons with Kansas City and hitting .289/.360/.427. He hit .290 or better in four different seasons, finishing eighth in batting average in 2008 at .307. He scored 501 runs as a Royal, 14th-most in club history. DeJesus was a solid defender and a patient hitter, accumulating 18.1 WAR in his time in Kansas City.

Jose Rosado was a two-time All-Star whose career was cut short due to injuries. The left-handed pitcher lasted just five seasons, winning 37 games and accumulating 10.3 WAR. He finished fourth in Rookie of the Year voting in 1996 with a 3.21 ERA in 16 starts, then was named to his first All-Star team the next year. He finished fifth in the league in ERA in 1999, completing five games that year.

Poll

Who was your favorite Royals player?

This poll is closed

  • 91%
    David DeJesus
    (1113 votes)
  • 8%
    Jose Rosado
    (108 votes)
1221 votes total Vote Now

#2 Carlos Beltran vs. #15 Raul Ibanez

Carlos Beltran was a switch-hitting center fielder who was a true five-tool player. In seven seasons with the Royals, he hit .287/.352/.483 with 123 home runs and 164 steals. He burst onto the scene in 1999, winning Rookie of the Year by hitting .293/.337/.454 with 22 HR and 27 steals, and was the first rookie in 20 years to score 100 runs and drive in 100 runs. He finished top ten in runs scored and hits twice each with the Royals. He also finished top ten in stolen bases in 2001, 2002, and 2003. His 44 doubles in 2002 were good for fifth-most in the league, and he was a top ten WAR position player in both 2001 and 2003.

Raul Ibanez was acquired from the Mariners in 2001 and spent three solid seasons in Kansas City before returning again at the end of his career to help the Royals make their post-season run in 2014. He played in 431 games with the Royals, hitting .286/.343/.483 with 57 home runs. He enjoyed the first 20+ HR 100+ RBI season of his career in 2002 with the Royals, hitting .294 with 24 home runs and 103 RBI. Ibanez is known for giving the pre-game speech that rallied the Royals in 2014 to go on their run to grab a Wild Card spot, and eventually, the pennant.

Poll

Who was your favorite Royals player?

This poll is closed

  • 70%
    Carlos Beltran
    (871 votes)
  • 29%
    Raul Ibanez
    (356 votes)
1227 votes total Vote Now

#7 Joe Randa vs. #10 Jose Offerman

“The Joker” came up with the Royals in 1995, but was traded away after just two seasons. The Royals realized their error and brought him back in 1999 and he became a fixture at third for the next six seasons. Randa was a sure-handed fielder, who set the franchise record for most consecutive errorless games at third with 75 in 2003. He was a solid hitter too, batting .288/.340/.428 overall with 86 home runs, hitting a career-high 106 RBI in 2000.

The Royals acquired Jose Offerman from the Dodgers as a malcontent who never lived up to his prospect potential in Los Angeles, but he flourished in Kansas City. A defensive liability at short early in his career, the Royals moved him to second base and first base with good results. In 1998, he posted one of just ten .400+ on-base percentage seasons in Royals history from a qualified hitter, finishing fifth in the league. He also finished fifth in the league in walks, seventh in hits, fifth in stolen bases, and eighth in offensive WAR. His .385 career on-base percentage and his .306 batting average are both the highest in club history for anyone with at least 1,000 plate appearances.

Poll

Who was your favorite Royals player?

This poll is closed

  • 87%
    Joe Randa
    (1053 votes)
  • 12%
    Jose Offerman
    (144 votes)
1197 votes total Vote Now

#3 Kevin Appier vs. #14 Mark Grudzielanek

Kevin Appier is the all-time franchise leader among pitchers in WAR with 47.1 in 13 seasons with the club. He finished third in Rookie of the Year voting in 1990 with an ERA of 2.76, but had his best year a few seasons later in 1993. That year he led the league in ERA at 2.56, finished eighth in innings pitched, sixth in strikeouts, won 18 games, and led all AL pitchers in WAR. He was an All-Star in 1995, finished top ten in ERA five times, and finished top ten in WAR among pitchers seven times. Appier was traded away in 1999, but returned in 2003 to help the Royals in their run for the post-season.

Mark Grudzielanek was a sure-handed second baseman who provided veteran leadership for some lousy Royals clubs. He won his only Gold Glove in 2006 with the Royals, finishing seventh in the American League in defensive WAR. He was a solid contact hitter as well for the Royals, hitting .297 or better in each of his three seasons with the Royals. Overall he hit .300/.339/.412, and his batting average is the third-best in club history.

Poll

Who was your favorite Royals player?

This poll is closed

  • 90%
    Kevin Appier
    (1081 votes)
  • 9%
    Mark Grudzielanek
    (120 votes)
1201 votes total Vote Now

#6 Johnny Damon vs. #11 Gil Meche

Johnny Damon was one of the most anticipated Royals prospects in club history. He brought great speed and defense with a solid bat and was a terrific table setter at the top of the lineup. His best season came in 2000, when he led the league in runs scored with 136, the single-season club record. He also led the league in stolen bases with 46 and was second in the league in hits, tenth in batting average, tenth in doubles, third in triples, and seventh among position players in WAR with 6.1. In six seasons with the Royals, he hit .292/.351/.438 with 156 steals.

Gil Meche signed, what was at the time, the largest free agent contract in club history when he committed to a five-year, $55 million deal in 2007. He was an All-Star in his first year, finishing eighth in the league in innings pitched. He was even better the next year, with a career-high 183 strikeouts, good for fifth in the league, and he was the ninth-most valuable pitcher in the league by WAR. Meche battled injuries and voluntarily retired in the last year of his contract, but finished with 29 wins and 10.2 WAR in his four seasons with the Royals.

Poll

Who was your favorite Royals player?

This poll is closed

  • 77%
    Johnny Damon
    (945 votes)
  • 22%
    Gil Meche
    (271 votes)
1216 votes total Vote Now

Tomorrow: The Ned Yost bracket