VOTE NOW: Royals feel Dozier is All-Star talent

June 27th, 2019

With time running out in the All-Star Starters Election, many races are still too close to call, and your votes will have a huge impact as most position battles have yet to be decided.

Here's a look at who's leading as of 1:30 p.m. CT Thursday:


  1. (Astros): 48.7%
  2. (Royals): 27.9%
  3. (Yankees): 23.5%

CLEVELAND -- There is no mistaking Royals third baseman Hunter Dozier’s breakthrough season offensively.

Dozier, who hit his first career grand slam in the ninth inning to lift the Royals to an 8-6 win over the Indians on Tuesday night at Progressive Field, has 13 home runs, 42 RBIs and a whopping .972 OPS.

But if you ask anyone in the Royals' organization about what has impressed them the most about Dozier, they almost immediately will say his defense. And that image of Dozier as a complete player no doubt has helped him become a finalist for the starting job at third base for the American League in the 2019 All-Star Game.

“There was a time last year when we really had no idea where we would play him,” manager Ned Yost said. “We thought about right field or maybe first base. His defense just wasn’t good enough to consider him an everyday third baseman.

“But all of that has changed. His defensive improvement has been phenomenal. He’s a guy now who has the third-base job. He can still play some other positions, but he has grown into third base. There isn’t a play he can’t make now, and he’s making them. And he has gotten better through hard work.”

Royals third-base coach and infielders instructor Mike Jirschele will testify to that.

“Nobody takes more ground balls at third than Hunter,” Jirschele said. “In fact, he works so hard and takes so many grounders, we have to back him off at times because he works too much. But if you want to know why he has improved so much defensively, it’s just hard work.”

Dozier’s teammates have noticed, too.

“Every time a ball is hit to him now,” left-hander Danny Duffy said, “you know it’s an out. It’s like when we had Moose [Mike Moustakas] there. It’s an out.”

That defensive and offensive transformation has Dozier in the running for his first All-Star appearance. Voting is currently open and runs through Thursday at 3 p.m CT. Pitchers and reserves are being named on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. CT on ESPN. 

The Royals’ social media department and his teammates again took to Twitter to campaign for him, including a proposed paired-up vote with Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado.

The 2019 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard will be played on Tuesday, July 9, at Progressive Field in Cleveland. It will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 180 countries. FOX Deportes will provide Spanish-language coverage in the United States, while ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage. MLB Network, and SiriusXM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. During the game, fans may visit and the 30 club sites to submit their choices for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. For more information about MLB All-Star Week and to purchase tickets, please visit and follow @MLB and @AllStarGame on social media.