The Kansas City Royals’ sprint to the top of the American League standings has been good for their ascending stars, four of whom lead their respective positions on early All-Star ballot returns.

Catcher Salvador Perez leads all players with 1,447,753 votes, nearly double that of the Oakland Athletics’ Stephen Vogt, the second-place player at the position. Outfielder Lorenzo Cain is currently second among all players with 1,376,217 votes. Third baseman Mike Moustakas and shortstop Alcides Escobar also lead their positions on a Royals-dominated list.

Kansas City currently boasts a top-two player at every position. Alex Gordon, who would start as the third outfielder if balloting ended today, gives the AL-leading club five potential starters. Designated hitter Kendrys Morales, second baseman Omar Infante and first baseman Eric Hosmer are holding second place at their positions in voting.    

Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera, Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve, Seattle Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz and Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout are the only ones who spare the AL from being an all-Royals affair.

Infante, who is nearly 600,000 votes behind Altuve, is the Royal with the biggest deficit to overcome. Even third outfielder Alex Rios, who has played seven games all season, is only a little more than 300,000 votes out of a starting gig.

The Kansas City-heavy results coincide with the Royals busting out to a 28-16 record heading into Tuesday, the best in the American League. The once-lowly franchise was also baseball’s biggest feel-good story last year, carrying a low-cost roster and unorthodox style all the way to the World Series.

Granted, there is still plenty of time for this all to change. Ballots are open until 11:59 p.m. ET on July 2. Even with the Royals contingent coming out heavy, odds are more deserving players will wind up gaining votes over the next month.

That someone like Infante, who is hitting .250/.260/.357 without a home run or stolen base, has more votes than Cleveland Indians second baseman and MVP candidate Jason Kipnis feels like something that should course-correct sooner rather than later.

As it stands, though, Cain and Perez are likely going to see a few familiar faces in the starting lineup come July.


Follow Tyler Conway (@tylerconway22) on Twitter.

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