Nobody was more stunned that Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar had the highest batting average among all major-league shortstops than Escobar himself.
By TOD PALMER
The Kansas City Star
I was surprised, really surprised by that, Escobar said. I saw it on the scoreboard (Wednesday) and said, Oh my God, I didnt even know that.
Escobar, a career .263 hitter entering Fridays game at Target Field in Minneapolis, batted .235 in his first full season with the Brewers in 2010 and bumped his average to .254 last season with the Royals.
But roughly halfway through this season, Escobars average has climbed to .315 after a three-for-three performance Wednesday, including a double and his second home run of the season as the Royals swept the Rays.
Derek Jeter ranks second among shortstops with a .305 average. The only other players at that position above .300 entering Thursday were Elvis Andrus of the Rangers (.303) and Starlin Castro of the Cubs (.301).
Perhaps more impressively, Escobar known more for his slick fielding and cannon arm has a higher on-base percentage (.353) than the slugging percentage he posted during his first two big-league seasons .326 in 2010 and .343 in 2011.
He already has cracked 19 doubles, which is two shy of the career-high 21 doubles he hit last season.
Not that Escobar with his 11 career home runs is going to mistake himself for a power hitter anytime soon.
I was just trying to put the ball in play and swing the bat good, Escobar said of his 392-foot, third-inning bomb in the finale against the Rays. When I try to do that, sometimes the ball will just go, and I got a homer.
Omaha nets four All-Stars
Four Omaha Storm Chasers were selected to represent the Pacific Coast League in the Triple-A All-Star Game, which will take place July 11 at Coca-Cola Field in Buffalo, N.Y.
Outfielder Wil Myers was picked as a starter in the exhibition against the International Leagues top talent. He is batting .309 with 12 home runs and 35 RBIs in 40 games at Omaha.
Combined with his pre-promotion numbers at Class AA Northwest Arkansas, Myers who will also participate in Sundays Futures Game at Kauffman Stadium leads all minor-league players with 25 home runs and is batting .325 with 19 doubles and 65 RBIs.
Meanwhile, first baseman Clint Robinson, who is batting .313 with 10 home runs and 44 RBIs, was chosen as a reserve, along with starter Ryan Verdugo (5-2, 3.65 ERA) and reliever Tommy Hottovy (2-0, 1.69 ERA).
Aikens to sign book
Former Royals first baseman Willie Aikens will sign copies of his book, Willie Mays Aikens: Safe at Home, at several locations around Kansas City next week.
The first book signing will take place at 7 p.m., July 5, at the Royals Team Store at Kauffman Stadium.
On July 6, there will be another signing at 5:30 p.m. at Barnes & Noble, 19120 E. 39th St., in Independence.
Fans can also meet Aikens, who played for the Royals from 1980-83, and purchase his book at two signings Saturday the first at 11 a.m. at Costco, 241 E. Linwood Blvd. in Kansas City, Mo., or at 4 p.m. at Dicks Sporting Goods, 11801 Nall Ave. in Leawood.