DETROIT -- The Royals haven't had a player elected to the American League's All-Star starting lineup in a dozen years. This might be the time.
Left fielder Alex Gordon and designated Billy Butler have built the kind of credentials that can appeal to voters nationally as, starting on Wednesday, they select the starters for the 2013 Midsummer Classic on July 16 at Citi Field.
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- online or via your mobile device -- using the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot until July 4 at 10:59 p.m. CT.
In addition, ballots will be available at Kauffman Stadium from April 26 through June 9.
Gordon has become a complete player, not only hitting a composite .301 over the last three years (through Tuesday) but winning Gold Glove Awards for fielding excellence in both 2011 and '12.
"He's a very, very solid Major League player, in all aspects of his game," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "He could play on anybody's team -- he's a championship-caliber player. I don't know what else to say."
Butler is more the one-dimensional type, but he's been acclaimed the American League's best in that dimension. Last year, he was voted winner of the Edgar Martinez Designated Hitter Award and also won the Silver Slugger Award as the AL's top DH.
In 2012, Butler had his best marks in the Triple Crown categories with a .313 batting average, 29 home runs and 107 RBIs. No wonder that, along the way, he was selected as the Royals' player on the AL team at the All-Star Game last July 10 at Kansas City.
"When you win the Silver Slugger as a DH, that [position] means pretty much the best hitters on the team, guys whose sole job is to hit baseballs, and he's the best of the best," Yost said.
The entire Royals' regular lineup is listed on the AL All-Star ballot. It includes two other players that Yost believed deserved serious consideration last year -- shortstop Alcides Escobar and third baseman Mike Moustakas -- and a catcher, Salvador Perez, who the manager says has All-Star potential.
Also on the ballot are center fielder Lorenzo Cain, who through the weekend ranked among the AL's top 10 hitters with a .368 average; right fielder Jeff Francoeur, second baseman Chris Getz and first baseman Eric Hosmer.
The voting is pretty easy.
Fans may submit 25 online ballots during the voting period, but also can earn a one-time bonus of 10 additional online ballots. To access these additional online ballots, you must be logged into your MLB.com account when you submit any online ballot. If you do not have an MLB.com account, visit mlb.com and register in accordance with the enrollment instructions for a free MLB.com account.
Fans can also once again participate in the Home Run Derby Fan Poll. Fans will have the opportunity to select three players in each league whom they would most like to see participate in the Home Run Derby. The 2013 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 7 p.m. CT on July 15.
The 2013 AL and National League All-Star teams will be unveiled on July 7 on the 2013 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 All-Star Game Final Vote sponsored by freecreditscore.com on MLB.com.
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 2013 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.
Come to MLB.com for extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.
The 84th 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 SiriusXM also will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.
Oh, and the last Royals player to be elected to the AL starting lineup in the fans' vote? Outfielder Jermaine Dye in 2000, when the game was at Atlanta.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less