Usually, the Royals don't really have a deserving or truly obvious All-Star choice and usually no one really cares. This year is different, because the game is in Kansas City. Worse, the Royals haven't sniffed having a position player choice since the end of the Sweeney/Beltran/Damon era, and really, I don't tune into an ASG to see Joakim Soria randomly pitch in the 2nd-8th inning. And Aaron Crow? No offense to the handsome young man, but no, in italics.
So who is going to be the All-Star this year? Can we expect two because of the home-cooking angle? Possible candidates:
- Mike Moustakas: Famous, at least among the Baseball America set, but really hurt by the Trevor Plouffe explosion. Isn't as good or as famous as Miguel Cabrera or Adrian Beltre. Then there's Arod. Kyle Seager also has nice numbers. Moose, with his 10 HRs and ok batting average wouldn't be an awful choice for mainstream fans, but it would look pretty bad. Plouffe's numbers are better and Seager's are basically the same.
- Billy Butler: This is the Butler conversation we've been having for years. He's a good hitter, but he's also a DH. He's got the fourth highest OPS amongst AL DHs (behind Ortiz, Dunn, and Encarnacion) but if you add in 1Bs, he's also behind, in pecking order, guys like Konerko, Fielder, Tex, and this Pujols guy. Of course, how many scribes have that "All Star Showcase is Opportunity for Under-rated Billy Butler to Shine" column ready?
- Alcides Escobar: You have to think the offensive numbers just aren't good enough, right?
- A bullpen guy: It's all the same really. It'll probably be one of these guys, and because it's in KC, they'll probably pitch. Broxton has a name, saves, and a nice ERA. Collins has an ERA and crazy strikeout numbers. Mijares has an ERA. The random bullpen guy is pretty much the fallback option in the "everyone has a player" + "this time it counts" era, and I just find these appearances completely empty of meaning. Which they aren't, but nevertheless...