Kansas City Royals players led eight of the nine positions in the American League All-Star Game voting update released Monday.
Only the Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout (5,944,068 votes) is on track to break up an all-Royals AL All-Star team, posting the second-most votes among outfielders behind Lorenzo Cain (6,611,781). The third AL outfielder spot currently belongs to the Royals’ Alex Gordon (5,581,096)
The Royals entered Monday with the AL’s best record at 34–25, but the apparent ballot-stuffing by their fans has generated a mini-controversy surrounding MLB’s All-Star Game voting procedures. Manager Ned Yost said he would not apologize for Royals fans’ voting tactics, adding, “There’s nothing wrong. Vote! The votes are the votes. If you don’t like it, go out there and vote. Our fans have gotten out and voted.”
Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer added, “Look, I could see if it was just Kansas City people filling out random ballots and voting for just us, but when you’re looking at (three) guys getting 4 million votes, that can’t be just coming from Kansas City.”
In last week’s voting update, Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve was the lone non-Royals player to lead his position. He was passed this week by the Royals’ Omar Infante (4,518,765 votes to Altuve’s 4,209,702), although Infante is batting .204 and his .496 OPS is the lowest among any qualified hitter in baseball.
Other close races can be found at first base, where the Detroit Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera trails Hosmer by 476,174 votes, and at designated hitter, where the Seattle Mariners’ Nelson Cruz trails the Royals’ Kendrys Morales by 548,977 votes
• Power Rankings: Long win streak vaults Blue Jays into top five
Catcher Salvador Perez once again leads the AL voting with 7,202,292 votes.
Fans do not vote on pitchers for the All-Star Game. The next AL voting update will be released June 22; this week’s National League voting update will be released on Tuesday.
Voting ends July 2 at 11:59 p.m. ET. The All-Star Game will be played July 14 at the Cincinnati Reds’ Great American Ball Park.
- Mike Fiammetta