Who’s the Royals’ All-Star?

We’re weeks away from the All-Star Game in Anaheim, and let’s face it, the Royals are pretty unlikely to get more than one player onto the American League roster. There’s the slimmest outside chance two players may represent Kansas City. And while the wins haven’t been coming in with a lot of regularity, on paper, there are a few candidates who have above statlines. So which one (or two) should head west to join the Tim Lincecums and Joe Mauers of the world? Let’s take a look:

First, here’s the method I’m using to determine our All-Star. OPS+ compares a player’s OPS with the rest of the league, and anything greater than 100 is considered above league average. The Royals have four players that fit that criteria.

Billy Butler 290 88 22 0 7 37 .338 .393 .504 .897 143
David DeJesus 288 82 19 3 5 31 .324 .399 .482 .881 139
Jose Guillen 285 68 11 2 13 42 .266 .333 .477 .810 118
Mike Aviles 151 46 5 1 2 11 .315 .338 .404 .742 102
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/19/2010.

Looking over those numbers, while Aviles has an OPS+ of 102, his limited plate appearances so far wouldn’t warrant much as far as accolades. So let’s knock him out.

Jose Guillen has the raw power numbers that would lend themselves to an All-Star selection but it really comes down to David DeJesus and Billy Butler.  Both, I think, are deserving to this point.  Their slash lines are separated by just a few points.  Going solely by name, the selection would likely be Butler of those two, and anyone who didn’t follow the Royals or play rotisserie baseball might not notice the season DeJesus is having so far.

Over on Call to the Pen, Wally posed the question to us to select the player most deserving of an All-Star selection.  To me, DeJesus fits that bill.  The offensive contribution between Butler and DeJesus is nearly identical – DeJesus is walking more, Butler’s hitting for more power – but defensively, DeJesus has Butler not only beat but lapped.  Now Butler’s played a more adequate than expected first base since taking over last year, but he’s still below league average.  DeJesus has maintained an errorless streak while shifting all over the outfield.  Also, he’s adjusted from his typical leadoff spot to batting third in the lineup and he’s improved his production since that change.

But maybe the Royals don’t get a hitter into the All-Star game.  Which pitchers should be considered?

Kyle Farnsworth 1 0 2.36 0 26.2 180 1.163 8.1 0.7 2.4 7.4 3.14
Joakim Soria 0 1 2.81 16 25.2 152 1.169 8.4 1.4 2.1 11.6 5.50
Dusty Hughes 1 1 3.33 0 24.1 128 1.438 9.2 1.1 3.7 6.3 1.70
Rob Tejeda 2 2 3.90 0 32.1 109 1.423 7.5 0.0 5.3 8.1 1.53
Zack Greinke 2 8 3.94 0 89.0 107 1.225 9.2 1.2 1.8 7.9 4.33
Bruce Chen 3 1 4.15 1 30.1 102 1.484 8.3 0.3 5.0 9.2 1.82
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/19/2010.

Unfortunately for Kyle Farnsworth, the All-Star rosters aren’t so vast as to accomodate middle relievers.  The same sentiment applies to Dusty Hughes and Robinson Tejeda.  And really, Bruce Chen has been effective, but he’s no All-Star.  Again, the anchors of the staff, Zack Greinke and Joakim Soria, battle for All-Star recognition.

Both have had down years (compared to past performances), but Soria’s been closer to his usual production.  I still consider Greinke among the top starters in the game, and his 2009 Cy Young season may be enough to put him back on the All-Star team.  But to this point, Soria’s been more deserving.

The mostly likely player to be honored next month is Soria.  It’s always difficult or the Royals to get an offensive player in there with so much talent in the American League.  That Butler and DeJesus play positions that are packed with All-Star talent doesn’t help their cause either.  Do you really see Butler getting the nod over Justin Morneau, Kevin Youkilis, Miguel Cabrera or even Paul Konerko or Mark Teixeira?  Or could DeJesus bump a Carl Crawford or Josh Hamilton off the team?  Probably not.

I suppose it’s a good sign that there are four players that could draw serious consideration to be put into the All-Star class.  We’ve come a long way from Mark Redman being the lone Royals representative.

Oh man…that really happened didn’t it?  I think I might cry.

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Tags: AL Central Baseball Billy Butler David DeJesus Joakim Soria Kansas City Royals KC MLB Royals Zack Greinke

  • http://oneroyalway.com One Royal Way | Travis

    Figured I would reply to your Twitter message here.

    Quite honestly, I don’t understand Royals fans’ extreme infatuation with David Dejesus. Fans were right to have the infatuation with Damon, Beltran and even Dye… But Dejesus is nothing more than a 4th OF on a good team.

    2 weeks ago I broke down DeJesus and his trade value (http://oneroyalway.com/royals-blog/hitting/the-trade-value-of-david-dejesus)

    Dejesus’s rankings amongst AL outfielders:

    HRs – 29th tied with 4 others
    RBIs – 21st tied with 3 others
    Runs – 19th
    SBs – 32nd tied with 7 others

    Those don’t look like to All-Star rankings to me…

  • http://kingsofkauffman.com Michael Engel

    I don’t expect DeJesus to make it to Cooperstown – the jury’s still out as to if he’ll be in the Royals Hall of Fame (kind of likely). But this year, among outfielders, DeJesus ranks 16th in OPS in the Majors .002 behind Shin-Soo Choo who many are clamoring deserved a spot.

    Or how about comparing him to this player (entering tonight)

    DeJesus: .328/.395/.468/.863, 5 HR, 35 RBI, 44 RS
    Mystery OF: .304/.350/.474/.825, 9 HR, 36 RBI, 42 RS

    That’s Marlon Byrd of the Cubs, and he’s an All-Star.

    Granted, DeJesus is having a career year, so overall, he may not be much more than an everyday OF on a struggling team and a solid roleplayer on a contender, but for 2010, he’s more than comfortably in the class of potential All-Stars.

  • http://oneroyalway.com One Royal Way | Travis

    I’ll give you that comparison…

    And, I could make a very strong argument that Alfonso Soriano, Carlos Silva, Ryan Dempster, Ted Lily and Sean Marshall all deserve it more.

    In fact the Marlon Byrd selection may be the most surprising of any player except Omar Infante (by far most surprising, especially since he is not the ony Braves player) and maybe Michael Bourn.

  • http://kingsofkauffman.com Michael Engel

    Byrd as an all-star in mid-May I can definitely see as he was still raking, but he’s cooled off considerably.

    DeJesus is something like 8th in the AL among outfielders starting today (I think, I don’t have those rankings in front of me) so he’d be a tough fit and I’m not shocked that Soria got the honor as he’s certainly deserving as well. But if there were some OF injuries in this next week, DDJ could sneak in. Probably won’t but I think he deserves the opportunity.

    His numbers are similar to Martin Prado’s too, and while someone with a solid OPS is more scarce and there’s less of a pool of available players among second basemen, nobody would sneeze on Prado’s inclusion.

    Based on 2010′s numbers, if I were ranking Royals, I’d go DDJ/Soria/Butler/Greinke (just too many bad outings and lower K/9 this year).

  • http://oneroyalway.com oneroyalway

    I think we will just have to agree to diagree. I would love DeJesus as a #4 OF.

    He simply isn’t anything spectactular as an everyday player and #1 or #3 hitter.

    He doesn’t score runs (career high 101, next highest 83). He doesn’t drive in runs (73 CH). He doesn’t hit home runs (13 CH). He doesn’t get into scoring position when on base (47 of 90 in career steals attempts, 52%, 11 CH).

    I am SO glad teams and “experts” pay WAY too much attention to OPS… The Royals are going to get WAY more value than DeJesus is worth in draft pick compensation when he leaves in free agancy… And someone will way overpay for a 4th outfielder.