Six Royals among leaders in All-Star update

Six Royals among leaders in All-Star update

Six Royals among leaders in All-Star update
KANSAS CITY -- For years, the Royals seemed to go through the entire All-Star Game balloting process without having any players in the top five or, in the case of outfielders, the top 15 of American League vote-getters.

That's changed dramatically this year when the Midsummer Classic will be played on July 10 at Kansas City. They had six players among the vote leaders when the first results of the balloting were announced on Tuesday by Major League Baseball.

Designated hitter Billy Butler had the most votes of Royals players, 477,257, which ranked him fourth behind David Ortiz of the Red Sox, Michael Young of the Rangers and Raul Ibanez of the Yankees.

"We've got some guys throughout the list that are in the top five and that's good," Butler said. "We're playing better and we're a better ball team. We've got players up and down the list that could represent the team. We've still got some time."

Indeed they do.

Fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- online or via your mobile device -- using the 2012 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot until Thursday, June 28, at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Fans can also once again participate in the State Farm Home Run Derby Fan Poll. Fans will have the opportunity to select three players in each league who they would most like to see participate in the State Farm Home Run Derby. The 2012 State Farm Home Run Derby -- part of Gatorade All-Star Workout Day -- will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio in the United States beginning at 8 p.m. ET on Monday, July 9.

So far Mike Moustakas has pulled the second-most votes of the Royals, 432,379 at third base to rank fifth.

Other Royals among the top vote-getters are outfielders Jeff Francoeur and Alex Gordon, who rank 10th and 13th; shortstop Alcides Escobar, who is fourth, and second baseman Chris Getz, who is fifth.

The 2012 American League and National League All-Star teams will be unveiled on Sunday, July 1, on the 2012 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show, televised nationally on TBS. Baseball fans around the world will then be able to select the final player on each team via the 2012 All-Star Game Final Vote on MLB.com.

And the voting doesn't end there. The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again have fans participating in the official voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com via the 2012 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote, and their voice will represent 20 percent of the official vote determining the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.

MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities in Kansas City.

Being the site for the game is probably a plus for the Royals players, too.

"There's recognition because during the season there's been a lot of attention on the youth on our team breaking into the big leagues and making a name for themselves and, on top of that, hosting the All-Star Game," Getz said. "Just promoting an All-Star Game gets people talking about it and more aware of it."

"I think people around baseball are recognizing that we have a lot of talent here, and the votes show that," Butler said. "In years past there hadn't even been anybody in the top five and to have quite a few guys in there, that's good."

The 83rd All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and Sirius XM also will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com or royals.com/asg.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.