The Royals have had some awful All-Stars courtesy of some lean years coupled with the requirement that every team send at least one representative. Here are the worst All-Stars, according to their rWAR by the end of the season:
Would you believe Aaron Crow had 1.6 rWAR when he was named an All-Star in his rookie season of 2011? Jose Rosado had a pretty promising career, but he was only a 1.1 rWAR player when named to his first All-Star game in 1997. Frank White was a terrific defender, but not much of a hitter when he was named to the 1981 All-Star team.
5. Ellie Rodriguez, 1969
0.7 rWAR, .236/.333/.296 2 HR 20 RBI
The Royals were an expansion team with no real stars on the roster, so 23 year-old rookie Ellie Rodriguez was selected to rub shoulders with Reggie Jackson, Carl Yastrzemski, and Brooks Robinson at the Midsummer Classic. Rodriguez was hitting .260 at the break, but did not play. After just two seasons in Kansas City, Rodriguez was traded to Milwaukee where he inexplicably made another All-Star team in 1972.
4. Mike MacDougal, 2003
0.6 rWAR, 3-5 4.08 ERA, 27 SV, 64 IP 57 K
MacDougal was not a lone representative, as the Royals also sent Mike Sweeney, so conceivably he was chosen on merit. MacDougal was the rookie closer of the magical 2003 Royals club which went into the All-Star break with a seven game lead on the division. MacDougal was a deserving All-Star with a 2.59 ERA and 24 saves in the first half, but he would give up nine runs in his first three outings after the break, and convert just three saves the rest of the season.
3. Cookie Rojas, 1974
0.3 rWAR, .271/.309/.339 6 HR 60 RBI
Rojas was a fan favorite of Royals fans in the 1970s, going to the All-Star game every year form 1971-1974, once courtesy of a successful write-in campaign from fans in 1971. Rojas was hitting around .300 most of the summer, and had a solid defensive reputation, so it was no surprise he finished second in balloting at second to Rod Carew. Rojas was one of three Royals that went to the All-Star Game that summer, but a second-half swoon would make his final numbers look much less All-Star worthy.
2. Mark Redman, 2006
0.1 rWAR, 11-10, 5.71 ERA 167 IP 76 K
The 2006 Royals lost 100 games and were so bad they got David Glass up from his easy chair to fire General Manager Allard Baird. They were a crummy team with crummy players, so there weren't a ton of good options. David DeJesus was hitting .310/.404/.477, but had appeared in just 41 games due to injury. Reggie Sanders led the team in home runs and RBI, but was hitting just .250. Mark Grudzienalek was probably the right selection, as he was having a Gold Glove season and hitting near .300, certainly better than the Mariners' Jose Lopez. But American League All-Star manager Ozzie Guillen looked over Grudz and selected pitcher Mark Redman. Redman had never been anywhere near an All-Star in his career, but he was 6-4 for the Royals at the break, which must have seemed miraculous to Guillen, despite the sky-high 5.38 ERA. Redman became a punchline, especially when he posted a 6.08 ERA after the break.
1. Ken Harvey, 2004
-0.2 rWAR, .287/.338/.421 13 HR 55 RBI
We all knew it was going to be Ken at the top of this list, right? Harvey is considered a bit of a joke now, because of plays like this, but we forget he actually got off to a fantastic start in 2004. He was hitting .358 by the end of May. He would slump in June, but was still over .300 by the time he was selected for the All-Star team. The trouble was, it was about the emptiest .300 you'll find.
Ken Harvey has slumped lately, but he is still hitting .319, and that makes him a .319 hitter - never mind that he's tied for 58th in the American League in RBIs and 82nd in runs scored and 64th in walk-strikeout ratio. Add up his slugging percentage and on-base percentage (this makes up the trendy new OPS statistic) and Harvey ranks 14th among first basemen in baseball. This is not to pick on Harvey - he's by far the best hitter on the Royals at the moment. But it's fair to say that from almost every angle, he is having a very average season. There's that word - average. He's hitting .319. And he's an All-Star.
As bad as the 2006 Royals were, the 2004 club was worse. They lost a then-club record 104 games. The only other players even remotely close to All-Star consideration were designated hitter Mike Sweeney, who had an underwhelming first half, and rookie pitcher Zack Greinke, who had a decent 3.86 ERA, but was 1-6 and had just nine starts under his belt. So the job of representing the Royals fell to Ken Harvey. And Ken Harvey did fall.