MLB All-Star Game: 9 KC Royals are on 2022 ballot
The MLB All-Star Game is still a month away, but the process to determine who’ll represent the American and National Leagues when the Dodgers host the annual midsummer contest in Los Angeles July 19 has started. Nine KC Royals appear on this season’s ballot.
And if fans don’t like any of the choices for infield, outfield, catcher and designated hitter, write-ins are an option.
Fan voting, via which the nine starters (excluding pitchers) for each league are selected, began several days ago and continues in two phases (more on that in a moment) until July 8.
Which Royals can fans choose from?
A mix of veteran and rookie KC Royals are on the MLB All-Star Game ballot.
These Kansas City players, including rookies Bobby Witt Jr. and MJ Melendez, are on this season’s ASG ballot:
- Hunter Dozier, 1B
- Whit Merrifield, 2B
- Nicky Lopez, SS
- Witt, 3B
- Andrew Benintendi, OF
- Kyle Isbel, OF
- Michael A. Taylor, OF
- Melendez, DH
- Salvador Perez, C
Teams designate candidates and decide, where they most often play notwithstanding, the starting positions for which each is eligible. Ballot positions don’t always match perfectly.
Take Kansas City’s Dozier, for example. Entering tonight’s game at Oakland, he’s played first base more than any other position this season, but teammate Carlos Santana’s 37 appearances there are 16 more than his.
Then there’s Nicky Lopez, who’s played second base 11 more times than Merrifield and shortstop 14 times fewer than Witt, yet appears on the ballet at shortstop while Merrifield is at second base and Witt at third. And Emmanuel Rivera’s games at third exceed Witt’s by four.
The nine games Melendez has DH’d constitute less than a fourth of the 38 games he’s played.
Notably, outfielders aren’t chosen by virtue of which position they regularly play; instead, the top three vote-getters among several candidates nab starting outfield spots, leaving each manager—Houston’s Dusty Baker and Atlanta’s Brian Snitker—to determine who plays where in their outfields.
Fans can, of course, opt for write-ins.
This year’s MLB All-Star Game fan voting occurs in two distinct phases.
Fans planning to vote have two important dates to remember: June 30 and July 8.
The first date is the deadline for Phase 1 voting, which determines the “finalists” for all but one starting position in each league—the AL and NL players who each garner the most fan votes land starting spots, while the top two for all other positions other than the outfield advance to Phase 2. The top six outfielders proceed to Phase 2 unless an outfielder is the top vote-getter, in which case four outfielders advance.
Now and until 1 p.m. CDT June 30, fans can cast Phase 1 votes by accessing ballots at mlb.com, the Royals’ (or any other club’s) official site (mlb.com/royals) or the MLB app. Voters can cast up to five ballots in any 24-hour period, a generous allowance that could lead to bizarre campaigns capable of electing players not necessarily deserving of the honor. (Remember the attempts to make Kansas City’s Omar Infante an All-Star in 2015 and 2016)?
Phase 2 begins July 5 at 11 a.m. CDT and ends July 8 at 1 p.m. CDT. MLB will announce the starters that evening.
Selection of each team’s pitchers and reserves turns on a combination of player voting and input from the Commissioner’s Office.
Because the overall process also requires selection of at least one player from each big league club, the Royals will be represented. Who might make the club from Kansas City?
That’s a story for another day. Stay tuned.
All-Star voting is underway with nine Royals on the ballot.