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Aaron Crow Validates Dayton Moore Draft Strategy

KANSAS CITY, MO - JUNE 22:  Relief pitcher Aaron Crow #43 of the Kansas City Royals throws against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Kauffman Stadium on June 22, 2011 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - JUNE 22: Relief pitcher Aaron Crow #43 of the Kansas City Royals throws against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Kauffman Stadium on June 22, 2011 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
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Even though he was overlooked as a "middle reliever All-Star" and didn't even make a Rookie All-Star team as a reliever, Aaron Crow has made the one the All-Star team that matters, the American League Team that will play in the 82nd All-Star Game in Phoenix, Arizona. The selection highlights the meteoric rise of the twenty-four year old who just a year ago was struggling in AA after a recent promotion following a lackluster performance in A ball. Just thirteen months ago, this board was asking - what the heck was wrong with Aaron Crow?

That was then, this is now. Crow has gone from huge disappointment to the crown jewel in a bullpen full of outstanding rookie relievers. After beginning his Major League career with 15.1 innings of shutout ball, Crow was briefly named closer during the struggles of former All-Star closer Joakim Soria. In all, he has posted an outstanding ERA of 1.38, 3rd among American League relievers (with at least 20 IP) in 39.2 innings with a strikeout per inning. He is 16th among relievers in WHIP and 17th in strikeouts per 9 innings (although to be honest, fellow rookie teammates Louis Coleman exceeds him in both categories, although in fewer innings). Crow is the third rookie in Royals history to be named to the All-Star team joining catcher Ellie Rodriguez in 1969 and reliever Mike MacDougal in 2003 - hopefully he can live up to their storied careers.

Crow - the Royals' first round selection in 2009 - becomes the first Dayton Moore draftee to be named an All-Star, surprising the many who thought Hilton Richardson would achieve that feat. Here is the excitement we exhibited when Aaron Crow was drafted by the Royals. Clearly, this All-Star selection validates everything Dayton Moore has done in the draft. Congratulations Dayton, you've earned this.

We also shouldn't overlook the possible selection of a second Royals All-Star - Alex Gordon. Gordon is a nominee for the final roster spot voted on by YOU THE FAN (sponsored by Sprint-Nextel - now with 4G technology)! Now you messed up the 1972 Presidential Election and the 2008 American Idol, so don't screw this up. Take it seriously. Here are the five candidates, ranked by WAR:

Ben Zobrist TBR 3.1

Alex Gordon KCR 2.9

Paul Konerko CHW 2.6

Victor Martinez DET 2.1

Adam Jones BAL 0.5

But Konerko has 62 RBI and plays for a larger market club and you can vote online as many times as you want so he'll probably get in. That's how seriously MLB takes this.

Here are the complete All-Star rosters. Among the highlights:

Former Royal (for like five minutes) third baseman Jose Bautista was the leading vote-getter after hitting 583 home runs this year.

Derek Jeter was voted in as a starter despite posting an OPS three points higher than Matt Treanor. The Yankees have four starters (Jeter, Robinson Cano, Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson) in all showing that voting is tilted towards large market clubs. Except that the small-market Brewers have three starters (Prince Fielder, Rickie Weeks, Ryan Braun).

Placido Polanco was voted in as the NL starter at third base. Twelve NL third baseman with at least 100 PAs have a higher OPS than Polanco's .689.

If Gordon makes it, that makes seven players in the first round/supplemental round of the 2005 draft that are All-Stars, and four of the first five picks (sorry Seattle for drafting Jeff Clement!) and Andrew McCutcheon should be the eighth but was snubbed.

The National are at .500 and only sent a middle reliever to the All-Star team. And not to rain on Aaron Crow's parade, but what's with middle relievers getting selected recently? Who thinks middle relievers are stars? I understand this move to make the All-Star Game more like a real game, but I have a hard time treating it so when rosters have 34 players, and the starters are all pulled after three innings.

Ryan Vogelsong was once a prospect with the Giants. He hasn't pitched in the big leagues in four seasons, but is an All-Star for them this year. My conclusion? The Royals need to sign Jimmy Gobble.