The latest Harris Poll has returned the New York Yankees to the honor of America’s favorite team. The powerhouse in pinstripes is led by baseball’s golden boy, Derek Jeter, fresh off hit number 3,000. If it’s not history you seek, perhaps it is the baseball equivalent of the four horsemen. Mark Teixeira, Curtis Granderson, Robinson Cano and Alex Rodriguez are proficiently blasting shots in the Bronx like Murderer’s Row 2K11. The real story, however, is only a microburst in the eyes of the pollsters, but certainly deserves notice. The Kansas City Royals are now ranked 17th out of the 30 teams in the majors.
Wave after wave of young talent has not only captured the fans’ interest in Kansas City, but apparently the rest of the country is starting to notice. Royal’s G.M. Dayton Moore has put together one of the most anticipated farm systems in baseball history. Fans will get a chance to see this elite group of Baseball America’s Who’s Who during this week’s All-Star festivities.
According to the results released from the PR/Newswire, 2,163 adults from around the country were surveyed between June 13-June 20 by Harris Interactive. The results turned in a geographic divide seeking the percentages that follow baseball. 45% of all Easterners surveyed said they follow baseball. Whereas only 35% of the Midwest said they follow baseball. This figure is what makes the Royals ranking even more impressive. Fellow Midwesterners, the Milwaukee Brewers dropped eight spots from last year’s survey, even though they are in the middle of a heated pennant race.
Three years ago, the Royals finished the poll ranked 29th. They climbed to 19th last year, and up to 17th this year. The Royals even received 1% of the vote on who will win the World Series this fall. The Boston Red Sox and the Yankees tied with 20% each for the team that will win the World Series. The Philadelphia Phillies finished third with 19%.
The Royals’ popularity seems to go hand-in-hand with the unlimited potential and prospects. All-Star games this year are filled with Royals’ prospects on all levels. The big stage is set with the MLB All-Star Game on Tuesday in Arizona. American League Manager Ron Washington was presented with a challenge this year for the Royals’ representative, having a crop of young talent to choose from, including Alex Gordon, Billy Butler and Eric Hosmer.
“By the time I got to the Royals, the outfield was already set, but we needed pitchers, so that’s why we went with Crow,” said Washington in a press conference held earlier today.
On July 10, pitcher Kelvin Herrera (3-0, 1.95 ERA) and outfielder Wil Myers travelled to the desert in Arizona to play in the All-Star Futures Game. Both players are currently with Northwest Arkansas in AA. On June 29, the AA All-Star Game featured future Royals’ stars, second baseman Anthony Seratelli, catcher Salvador Perez, outfielder Wil Myers, infielder Jeff Bianchi, and pitcher Kelvin Herrera.
On July 13, Salt Lake City will host the AAA All-Stars with three players from the Omaha Storm Chasers. Johnny Giavotella is the starting second baseman for the PCL and Clint Robinson is the starting designated hitter. Joining them is right handed pitcher Luis Mendoza.
Though the Royals probably won’t fulfill their World Series prognosticators notions, they will get an opportunity to showcase their stadium with round-the-clock coverage during the 2012 All-Star Game in Kansas City. At that point, the Royals popularity could jump even into the East Coast heavy top ten in the survey.