MLB All-Star Game Final Vote: Why We'll Be Seeing Yu Darvish in Kansas City

Kenny DeJohn@@kennydejohnAnalyst IIIJuly 3, 2012

ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 1: Yu Darvish #11 of the Texas Rangers pitches against the Oakland Athletics on July 1, 2012 at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Layne Murdoch/Getty Images)
Layne Murdoch/Getty Images

"I want you to vote Yu."

That's the slogan the Texas Rangers are using to promote Yu Darvish in the MLB All-Star game's final fan vote to determine the last player on both the AL and NL squads.

While it may be playing with a much-overused play on words, it's significantly better than the overly-creative "Vote Hammel" that the Baltimore Orioles are using to promote their own candidate, Jason Hammel.

Darvish and Hammel are just two of the five candidates for the final spot on the American League roster. They'll be competing against the likes of Jonathan Broxton ("Vote Broxton"), Ernesto Frieri ("Vote Frieri") and Jake Peavy ("Take Jake").

Campaign slogans aside, Darvish is clearly the most deserving of all the American League candidates. Not to take away from any of their great seasons, but Darvish has stepped up in a big way for the Rangers this season.

Darvish owns a 3.59 ERA through 16 starts this season. He is one of just eight pitchers in all of baseball to win at least 10 games (10-5). He has the third most strikeouts of all pitchers in baseball with 117. Oh yeah, and opponents are hitting just .227 against him.

He has baffled hitters with his wide array of breaking balls and off-speed pitches, keeping them on their toes and pressing to get hits early in the count. That clearly hasn't worked out too well (see the 117 strikeouts).

Darvish has also gotten hot at the perfect time. He has thrown at least seven innings in five consecutive starts, and has even thrown at least 105 pitches in each of his last seven starts.

On his recent hot streak, manager Ron Washington had this to say:

"He's a workaholic, man. He takes pride in his physical fitness. He takes pride in the game of baseball. He takes pride in his ability to perform. It's why he's a winner."

Darvish also has all of Japan on his side. He was the best prospect to come out of the country since Daisuke Matsuzaka in 2007, and many were convinced that Darvish was even better.

With all the success he's achieved thus far, there's good reason to believe that Japan and its population of 127 million will be getting on their computers and voting for him.

The Rangers have even teamed up with the Arizona Diamondbacks to get some more support for their rookie hurler.

The team is encouraging its fans to not only vote for Darvish, but to also vote for Aaron Hill ("FinHill Vote"). Likewise, the Diamondbacks are returning the favor by encouraging their fans to vote for Darvish.

Despite all the success and all the campaigning, Darvish may be one of the only people that doesn't believe that he is deserving of the recognition:

"They're all good pitchers. Just being among them is an honor. I'm aware that the fans get to vote for the last spot. There's nothing much I can say on that. I'll just stay quiet and see what happens."

The final vote will be decided on Thursday, July 5 at 4:00 p.m. While all of the AL candidates are deserving, there's a very strong chance that we'll be seeing Yu Darvish suiting up in Kansas City for the All-Star Game at Kauffman Stadium.