A few years ago, I attempted to make this site something of a clearinghouse for Royals information. Not stats and such – you can find that anywhere. Maybe something more arcane. I don’t remember where, but at one point I found a site that did a family tree for the team they followed. The idea is simple – trace the roots of the current roster. How was it built? Who were players “related” to?
Finally finding some inspiration to get off my winter ass and do something semi-productive, I rebuilt the Royals family tree.
The table is fairly straightforward. It lists the players – pitchers first, then hitters – and how they were acquired. (Draft with round, trade, free agent, amateur free agent, etc.) It also includes the year they landed with the team. The next column is the “Root” which is the initial player they were exchanged for. Click to enlarge:
Some fun facts (your mileage may vary):
— The Royal with the deepest roots is Wade Davis. He can be traced all the way back to Billy Brewer, making him a sixth generation Royal. That’s something else. Brewer was drafted by the Montreal Expos in 1990 and the Royals nabbed him in the Rule 5 draft ahead of the 1993 season. He pitched for three seasons in Kansas City out of the bullpen, made 144 appearances and posted a 3.95 ERA with a 6.1 SO/9 and 4.1 BB/9. He was flipped to the Dodgers for Jose Offerman, who has the distinction of having the highest batting average (.306) and on-base percentage (.385) in Royals history.
After Offerman departed after the 1998 season, the Royals gained the Red Sox first round pick which they used to select Mike MacDougal. MacDougal was then shipped to the White Sox in one of Dayton Moore’s earliest trades in exchange for Dan Cortes. We know about MacDougal, but we never got to know the guys he was traded for when the Royals shipped him to the White Sox in one of Dayton Moore’s earliest trades.
Cortes was on the move a couple of years later as the “key” to the Yuniesky Betancourt deal. Ahead of the 2009 season, Baseball Prospectus had Cortes as the Royals third best prospect, behind two guys you may know: Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas. Cortes had a few off-field issues and never fulfilled his prospect potential.
You probably know the rest of the story: Betancourt was packaged with Zack Greinke to the Brewers, bringing back Lorenzo Cain, Alcides Escobar and Jake Odorizzi. Odorizzi was later shipped to the Rays as part of the deal for James Shields and Wade Davis.
And there you go. The seeds of Heroic Bullpen Arm, Wade Davis, were sewn in the Rule 5 draft in 1993 when the Royals plucked Billy Brewer from the Montreal Expos.
— The current 40-man roster is built like this:
Trade – 10
Draft – 15
Free Agent – 8
Amateur Free Agent – 6
Rule 5 – 1
That’s 21 players who would qualify as home-grown.
— The Billy Brewer to Wade Davis thread isn’t typical. I’ve been searching for some other long branches of the Royals family tree. While I haven’t found any as long, I did find a couple of interesting roots.
The Royals selected Danny Jackson in the 1st round of the 1982 draft. He was traded to Cincinnati for Kurt Stillwell in 1987. When Stillwell departed as a free agent, the Royals gained a supplemental pick in the 1992 draft which they used to pick Johnny Damon. The Royals sent Damon to Oakland in a three-team trade where they acquired Angel Berroa. The thread dies when the Royals dumped Berroa on the Dodgers for Juan Rivera.
And of course, there’s the famous Carlos Beltran root that fizzled out when the Royals parted with Chris Getz last spring.
— Turns out my old BP editor Woj, who runs the A’s Sweetspot blog at Beaneball, has been doing the same thing. But since his team has the original Mad GM, Billy Beane at the controls, there are a few more branches on the A’s family tree. Four players can trace their roots six generations. Three of them (R.J. Alvarez, Sam Fuld and Jesse Hahn) can claim Johnny Damon as some sort of demented great-great-grandfather.
Just something to compare.
— I have no idea when I last updated the Royals Family Tree. That version just has a 25-man roster. There were just three players on that list who are still around, so it’s be a little while. I’ll leave it for a few more days if you want to jump into the time machine. And ridicule me for calling Greg Holland “Derek.”