KANSAS CITY -- The Royals of the 2010s had a magical run that culminated in back-to-back World Series appearances and an eventual championship in 2015. There were plenty of gifted players who came through Kansas City during that time.
Here’s a look at one estimation of the Top 10 Royals players during this decade: Keep in mind that one criteria is that a player had to make an impact in more than just one year.
1. Alex Gordon
Gordon has been the face of the franchise for years. He made three consecutive All-Star Games (2013-15) and has won seven Gold Gloves (along with a Platinum Glove for best overall fielder). Aside from his many breathtaking defensive plays, Gordon also hit the heart-stopping ninth-inning home run off Mets closer Jeurys Familia in Game 1 of the 2015 World Series that sent the game to extra innings and catapulted the Royals to a World Series title.
2. Salvador Perez
Right behind Gordon is Perez, who famously won the 2014 Wild Card Game with an RBI single down the left-field line. Perez has been in six All-Star Games (2013-18), won five Gold Gloves and was the 2015 World Series Most Valuable Player.
3. Eric Hosmer
He hit .284 in seven years with the Royals, won four Gold Gloves and was the All-Star Game MVP in 2016. He was also clutch in the playoffs, driving in 29 postseason runs between 2014-2015. He hit a triple in the bottom of the 12th inning of the 2014 Wild Card Game to spark the game-winning rally; he hit the game-sealing homer in Game 4 of the 2015 AL Division Series win over Houston; and he scored the game-tying run in the ninth inning of Game 5 of the 2015 World Series on the mad dash to home.
4. Lorenzo Cain
In seven seasons with the Royals, Cain hit .289 with a .763 OPS and 120 stolen bases. Though he never won a Gold Glove Award in Kansas City, he captivated the fans with his numerous diving catches to save runs.
5. Greg Holland
Somewhat forgotten in the Wade Davis hysteria of 2014-15 was just how good Holland was to get the Royals to the mountaintop. Holland had 16 saves in 2012, and then 47 saves in 2013 to help the Royals to their first winning season in 10 years. The new generation of Royals fans won’t remember that, but it was huge at the time. Holland had 46 saves in 2014 when the Royals went all the way to Game 7 of the World Series. And then, largely forgotten, he had 32 saves in 2015 while playing with a torn right flexor tendon before he finally shut down his season and Royals career in early September.
6. Wade Davis
The “terminator” became the Royals’ cyborg after a failed career as a starter. After converting to the bullpen as a setup man for Holland in 2014, Davis posted a ridiculous 1.00 ERA in 71 games in 2014 with a 9-2 record. In the Royals’ championship year of 2015, he posted a 0.94 ERA with 17 saves and an 8-1 record.
7. Billy Butler
A born slugger, Butler was one of the best overall hitters in Royals history. From 2010-14, Butler hit 87 home runs with 428 RBIs and an .812 OPS. A new generation of Royals fans didn’t appreciate Butler, but his 2012 season of 29 home runs, 107 RBIs and an .882 OPS was one of the best ever by a Kansas City player.
8. Whit Merrifield
A late bloomer, Merrifield, 30, didn’t truly emerge on the Royals scene until 2017, when he hit .288 with 19 homers and 78 RBIs. But he blasted onto the national scene in 2018 when he led the Majors with 45 stolen bases and 192 hits. He again led the Majors in hits with 206 in 2019.
9. Mike Moustakas
In eight years with the Royals, Moose hit 139 home runs with a .736 OPS. And he made some incredible defensive plays, especially in the postseason. He also hit six postseason home runs with the Royals, many of them in crucial spots.
10. Alcides Escobar
OK, this one might be controversial. But he solidified a shortstop position that was brutal for decades before he arrived. And he was an All-Star and a Gold Glover who was the 2015 American League Championship Most Valuable Player.