Royals' fans will have one hometown player to cheer for when Kansas City hosts the 2012 MLB All-Star Game later this month.
Royals DH Billy Butler was selected as a reserve player for this year's American League squad. Butler joins an impressive group of first time American League All-Stars including Mike Napoli (C - Texas), Ryan Cook (P - Oakland), Matt Harrison (P - Texas), Jim Johnson (P - Baltimore), Chris Sale (P - Chicago), Fernando Rodney (P - Tampa Bay), Mike Trout (OF - Los Angeles) and Mark Trumbo (OF - Los Angeles).
After being selected to the team, an emotional Butler said, "I'm very humbled and very honored, especially at our own ballpark and being able to play in front of the home crowd. My family is going to come out to see me…"
Butler has been providing much of the offensive firepower for the 35-42 Royals team. For the season the hard hitting Butler is hitting .297 with a .365 OBP and .512 SLG to go along with 84 hits, 30 runs, 13 2B, 16 HR and 48 RBIs. At his current pace, Butler is projected to finish the season with 34 HR and 101 RBIs; borderline MVP numbers in a lot of seasons.
While I wouldn't say any Royals players were snubbed from making the team; it is easy to make arguments for why Alcides Escobar, Tim Collins, Kelvin Herrera and Mike Moustakas are all All-Star worthy. Escobar has an especially strong case as the Royals Shortstop is hitting a solid .310 from the plate to go along with one of the best gloves in all of baseball.
The 83rd MLB All-Star Game will be contested in Kansas City at world famous Kauffman Stadium on Tuesday, July 10th. Pregame festivities will begin at 8 p.m. (EDT) with the game being televised by FOX Sports in the U.S. and in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS.
Alex Wibholm is an Iowa native and fan of the Kansas City Royals and AL Central Division. Alex attends several KC games every year.