Generally, I care almost not at all about who gets picked to play in the All-Star Game and that includes whomever gets the required nod from the Royals. Over the past couple of years, it was fun to have Joakim Soria on the team as he both deserved it and had the possibility of playing a prominent part in the game’s outcome.
In the end, however, who goes and who doesn’t really is not of great interest to me. To be honest, I have not watched an All-Star Game start to finish in at least five years if not longer. Perhaps, if all goes well in a couple of years and the roster contains three or four Royals instead of the mandatory one, my interest in the mid-summer classic will come back.
The Royals’ All-Star selection this year (and there will only be one) is kind of interesting in that the team has a player who probably could make a case to be selected even if the league didn’t require every team to have a representative and that player is one who many were ready to give up on before the season began. Of course, I am talking about Alex Gordon.
Let’s check out Gordon’s resume to date:
- 11th in the American League with a WAR of 2.8 (Fangraphs)
- 19th in batting average, 16th in on-base percentage and 20th in slugging
- 6th in total hits
- 18th in runs scored
- 3rd in doubles
- 6th in triples
- 1st in outfield assists and zero errors
- 9 home runs and 5 steals, just as a bonus
Certainly, those are not MVP numbers, but they reflect an all-around good season. Are there three outfielders in the American League having clearly better seasons than Alex Gordon? Yes. Are there six? Maybe not.
As Royals’ fans, we may have expected too much out of Gordon when he came up; so much so, that now that he is posting a .293/.362/.482 line with 36 extra base hits that we still have a tendency to say ‘well, that’s okay, I guess’. I have done it myself, but it might be wise to remember that Carlos Beltran’s career line as a Kansas City Royal was .287/.352/.483.
Now, Alex Gordon is no Carlos Beltran, but he is a heck of a lot closer to being that kind of player now than he was just three months ago. By the end of his run in KC, Beltran had added power and was routinely slugging over .500, but that would seem to be something Gordon might be capable of as well.
Nope, Gordon is not Beltran, but he should be an All-Star.
You can also check out my ramblings on going to a six man rotation over at Sports Radio WHB where we provide exclusive Royals Authority content each week.