The Kansas City Royals are on pace to send a record seven starters to the 2015 MLB All-Star Game in Cincinnati, Oh. on July 14.
The Kansas City Royals are on pace to send seven starters to the 2015 MLB All-Star Game.
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This could potentially be a record for one team, per a June 8 ESPN update. The seven Royals players are catcher Salvador Perez, first baseman Eric Hosmer, shortstop Alcides Escobar, third baseman Mike Moustakas, designated hitter Kendrys Morales, center fielder Lorenzo Cain and left fielder Alex Gordon.
The first five Kansas City players led the voting for their respective positions as of Monday. Cain led all American League outfielders while Gordon placed third, per ESPN.
Should second baseman Omar Infante be able to overcome a deficit of 150,000 votes and overtake the Houston Astros' Jose Altuve, the Royals might just have eight starters in the American League squad. Infante had 2.65 million votes as of June 8, per ESPN.
According to Major League Baseball (via ESPN), the most number of All-Star game starters playing for the same team was six when the 1939 New York Yankees had catcher Bill Dickey, center fielder Joe DiMaggio, second baseman Joe Gordon, third baseman Red Rolfe, pitcher Red Ruffing and left fielder George Selkirk represent them.
The Cincinnati Reds initially broke this record when fans voted for seven of their starters 18 years later, but then-MLB commissioner Ford Frick added Willie Mays and Hank Aaron to the National League team after it was determined half of the fan ballots came from Cincinnati.
Because of that, Reds players Gus Bell and Wally Post did not make the MLB All-Star lineup in 1957, per ESPN.
Hosmer told ESPN on Monday he's excited about the prospect of joining six of his teammates as starters for this year's American League team:
"It's really exciting. Just to see your name on the ballot is exciting enough. Then to realize there' only three weeks left in the voting and a lot of us are at the top of it, it's really cool and really special for a lot of us.
"Obviously a lot of this is people in Kansas City and our fan base, but when you're talking about a guy like Salvi or Cain having four million votes, I think it goes a lot farther than Kansas City.
"They're a big help. Everyone around the country is really taking notice to how we play the game and respecting how we do it."
Hosmer also said the Royals reaching the 2014 World Series after a 28-year playoff drought and continuing their success this season has played a factor in the number of his teammates being front runners in the 2015 MLB All-Star voting:
"It definitely helped and the beginning of the year we got off to a good start and also had some excitement in some other ways. That definitely drew some more reviewers and that had a lot to do with what's going on with the All-Star votes."
Royals manager Ned Yost told MLB.com's Jeffrey Flanagan he likes the idea of seven of his players starting in this year's All-Star Game.
"It's pretty cool," Yost said. "Our fans have stepped up in a big way for our players. They've really supported them, not only in the stands, but in the balloting, too."
In another team development, the Royals made right-handed pitcher Ashe Russell from Cathedral (Ind.) High School in Indianapolis the 21st overall selection of the 2015 MLB draft on June 8, per Jordan Wilson of the league's official website.
Wilson says the 6'4", 195-pound Russell can throw a 92-95 mph fastball as well as a slider in the low 80s. Rusell said his latter pitch is what caught the eye of most major league scouts:
"I try to work at a fast tempo to keep the hitters off balance. I like to control the game at my own pace. I think the thing the scouts like the most is my slider. It's a good swing-and-miss pitch, I would say.
"It's going to come down to family decisions, money, and I'm just ready to continue playing baseball in my career. I'm happy it's gonna be with the Royals."
The 2015 MLB All-Star Game will be played at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, Oh. on July 14, per MLB.com.
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