It has been a long time – 15 years, to be exact – since a Kansas City Royals player was voted by fans as part of the American League All-Star starting lineup. In 2000, outfielder Jermaine Dye received the honor. On Sunday, it was announced that four Royals – outfielders Lorenzo Cain and Alex Gordon, catcher Salvador Perez and shortstop Alcides Escobar – were named by fans as part of the AL starting lineup for the Mid-Summer Classic slated for July 14 at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati.
The Royals, which won its first American League pennant since 1985 before losing to the San Francisco Giants in Game Seven of the World Series last October, are 46-33 and atop the American League Central standings, 4.5 games ahead of second place Minnesota. Four All-Star Game starters is a team record for the Royals, eclipsing the previous mark set in 1979 when George Brett, Frank White and Darrell Porter were elected by fans.
Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera, Astros second baseman Jose Altuve, Angels outfielder Mike Trout, Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson and Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz will join the four Royals in the AL starting lineup.
Donaldson received 14,090,188 votes, which is a Major League Baseball record previously held by Josh Hamilton‘s 11,073,744 votes in 2012. Donaldson, who was acquired from Oakland last offseason, is batting .296 with 19 home runs and 56 RBI this year.
Reds third baseman Todd Frazier will represent the hometown team in the National League starting lineup. He is joined by Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon, Cardinals shortstop Jhonny Peralta, Giants catcher Buster Posey and outfielder Bryce Harper (Nationals), Giancarlo Stanton (Marlins) and Matt Holliday (Cardinals).
Harper received 13,864,950 votes, which set a NL single-season voting mark.
Since Cabrera (left calf strain) and Stanton (broken left hamate bone) are on the disabled list and unable to play in the All-Star Game, the reserve who received the most voted on the players’ ballots will join the starting lineups of their respective teams. Holliday is currently on the DL with a right quadriceps strain but could be back in action this week.
The AL and NL reserves and pitchers as well as the Final Vote candidates for each league will be announced Monday at 7 p.m.