There will be a lot written about the repercussions of the crazy, unfathomable, fantastic (for the Royals' players) All-Star voting and the campaigning going on in Kansas City. Those articles will focus on the voting itself and the rule changes that will likely come from possibly 8 or even 9 starters in the American League being ball players on Kansas City.
That is not what you're going to read about today. I'm more worried about something else. All-Star voting plays a part in many things. First off, as of now the winner gains home field advantage for their respective league in the World Series. Secondly, players can earn a lot of money in bonuses based on if they make the All-Star Game. Furthermore, players get looked at for the Hall of Fame 5 years after they retire and one thing people lay their hats on, metaphorically, are All-Star Game appearances and other awards that may or may not be rightly voted upon.
Fan voting for the All-Star Game has been in place for quite a while. One of my favorite past times growing up was going to spring and early summer ball games and getting ballots passed down the aisle by friendly ushers at Busch Stadium (II) and punching out ballots for all of the Cardinals (and sometimes the Royals) on one and then begging for a second ballot to vote for who really deserved it. Sometimes I'd get even more than two ballots and I'd vote the third one the same as the second one, except changing a few that I was not sure about (i.e. - if two players were each having a great year at the same position).
Even though you can do write in votes, let's briefly talk about the 9 Royals on the ballot currently.
Catcher Salvador Perez is one of the best catchers in all of MLB, not just the AL. He is deserving of votes for the All-Star game. While he's probably only about the 3rd or fourth best catcher in the AL this year, his value to the Royals is more than that.
First baseman Eric Hosmer is having a fantastic year and is probably a top 3 first baseman in the AL. He doesn't have the HR numbers you'd like to see...but the dude is a pretty decent defender and is hitting .300 and slugging. He is worthy of a pick as well.
Third baseman Mike Moustakas was basically a joke of a hitter entering last year's post-season, then had his breakout party. After Josh Donaldson, he's arguably the best third baseman in the AL this year - I'd put him Manny Machado as well. Third best in the AL could be quite worthy.
Short stop Alcides Escobar is typically one of the best defensive short stops in MLB. He has been good defensively this year, but might not (to put it politely) be deserving offensively.
Left fielder Alex Gordon has been one of the best outfielders in baseball for nearly half a decade now. He is quite possibly the most deserving LF in the AL.
Center fielder Lorenzo Cain might be slightly mis-cast as the "best defensive CF in baseball" as some anoint him. Then again, I'm wary of defensive stats and the eye test says he might be. He's darn good defensively. He's also been a force to be reckoned with hitting as well. He's not Mike Trout, but he's been as good as Adam Jones and Kevin Kiermaier and anyone else in the AL in CF.
Here is where it starts to get dicey and what I want to talk about. If we're voting on this year's accomplishments, I've listed anyone even partially worthy above. If we're talking career accomplishments...hardly any of the current crop of Royals are deserving, so let's stick with this year because it helps their arguments.
Right Fielder Alex Rios has now played in 23 games this year and has come to the plate less than 100 times this year. Enough said about why he's not even close to worthy of playing, but let's continue. So far this year, if he were a qualified batter, he'd be the worst hitter by nearly 35% as when compared to league average.
Designated Hitter Kendrys Morales is one of 10 qualfied designated hitters in the American League. He is hitting 23% better than league average, (which is 9% better than ALL DHs as a whole). However, there are four designated hitters above him, all hitting at least 48% better than league average (up to Nelson Cruz, who is hitting 66% better!) He is nowhere close to deserving.
Also, you may have noticed I skipped second base. Second baseman Omar Infante (let's be nice first) is one of the best defensive second basemen in the AL this year. He might even be the best at that aspect of the game. That being said, Omar Infante is hitting 54% worse than the league average player in the majors this year. He is currently listed as the 6th worst hitter in the major leagues that has at least 150 plate appearances. Out of the 55 starting PITCHERS that have at least 20 plate appearances, even two of them are hitting better than Infante.
Here's the problem I'd like to discuss today. The Royals are going to get likely 7, but possibly 8 players starting in the AL All-Star game if voting continues as it has been. While that seems funny and cute to sportswriters and radio talk show hosts and fans in Kansas City who constantly complain about their team never getting any love nationally, here's what's going to happen:
Everyone will talk about how Infante, Morales, Rios, and possibly Escobar should be nowhere near this game. It will spread 1) a negative light on the Kansas City Royals, 2) a negative light on the voting process (which fine by me, it could be overhauled), but mostly it will spread like wildfire that the Royals players were undeserving - AS A WHOLE. This will be the general public consensus even though five of them might be deserving, along with a couple of the relievers (Wade Davis for sure). Aside: Speaking of Davis, he likely will not make the All-Star Game because they will have to give the spot he deserved to someone else, as every single team must be represented.
THIS is what is going to happen and this is why I am against the #voteRoyals and specifically #voteOmar campaigns and why they are not good for the Royals in general, even if everyone gets a good laugh.