3 KC Royals players who could be first-time All-Stars in 2024

Christian Petersen/GettyImages
2 of 4

1B Vinnie Pasquantino

KC Royals fans could see the emotion on first baseman Vinnie Pasquantino's face when he spoke after his spring training return in Surprise, Arizona. The Virginia native is known for an infectious smile and positive energy but nervously swayed back and forth while being interviewed. After all, it was his first game since June 9, 2023, then he had to watch the remaining games from the dugout.

“A lot of emotions, really,” Pasquantino said. “One of those things where I wasn’t really worried about anything else, just having fun. I was on the phone with my dad this morning about [how] you don’t often feel the way that I did this morning.”

MLB.com's Anne Rogers wrote "Pasquantino’s return might be the most impactful" offseason acquisition and it is hard to disagree with that. Pasquantino hit the ground running after making his MLB debut in 2022. Royals fans had clamored for it all summer, then he posted a stellar .832 OPS and 10 home runs across 72 games.

Losing out on most of 2023 may lead to a slow 2024 start, but Pasquatch is still working the nerves out in Arizona. Once Opening Day rolls around, Pasquantino will receive a rousing ovation when he trots to his spot in the field. That is because this fanbase believes in Pasquantino, and believes that he could be the next great Royals slugger at first base.

Pasquantino's FanGraphs projections are somewhere between his hot 2022 season and lukewarm 2023. Still, the Depth Charts projection system has his 2.3 fWAR ranking fourth among AL first basemen and highest in the AL Central. Yandy Díaz , Vladimir Guerrero Jr. , and Triston Casas all rank higher than Pasquantino in the system. But, with those four men relying so much on their bats, it is not crazy to think Pasquantino could have a hot first half, and become the AL's top first baseman for the All-Star nod.