KANSAS CITY -- A year removed from his first All-Star Game selection, Royals catcher Salvador Perez has done nothing to show that he didn't belong.
Perez took part in one of the shining moments of last year's game at New York's Citi Field, catching Yankees closer Mariano Rivera's final All-Star appearance.
Last year, Perez was a choice in the players' vote and could be again. However, if Royals fans can rally their ballots, he has a chance to be the starting catcher for the American League. So far, however, Perez is not among the top five receivers in the voting.
Perez hit .385 (10-for-26) in the first week of June with seven RBIs. On Saturday against the Yankees, he turned the tide with a three-run homer and also had a double and single with four RBIs. The homer was his sixth, tying Alex Gordon for the team lead.
Perez's 55 hits and his 20 extra-base hits are the most by an AL catcher.
He's handled a pitching staff that has the third-lowest ERA in the league. A workhorse, Perez started 53 of the first 62 games and nabbed 10 of 29 would-be basestealers for 34.5 percent. He also picked a runner off base.
No Royals player has yet cracked the top five spots among catchers, infielders or designated hitters or the top 15 among outfielders.
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- online or on a mobile device -- using the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian until Thursday, July 3, at 10:59 p.m. CT. The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15.
Fans may submit up to 25 online ballots, but they can also 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, register on the site in accordance with the enrollment instructions for a free MLB.com account.
Fans this year once again can participate in the 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 Home Run Derby. The 2014 Home Run Derby will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio in the United States beginning at 7 p.m. on Monday, July 14.
The 2014 American League and National League All-Star teams will be unveiled on the 2014 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show during the weekend of July 5-6, with further details to follow on MLB.com. Immediately following the announcement of the AL and NL All-Star rosters, fans can begin voting to select the final player for each league's 34-man roster via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Experian. Fans will cast their votes from a list of five players from each league over the balloting period.
And the voting doesn't end there. The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again have fans participating in the 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 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote Sponsored by Pepsi, and their voice will represent 20 percent of the overall vote that determines the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.
The 85th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX, 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 will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.
AMERICAN LEAGUE ALL-STAR VOTE LEADERS
1. Jose Bautista, Blue Jays: 2,135,223
2. Mike Trout, Angels: 1,945,170
3. Melky Cabrera, Blue Jays: 1,096,784
4. Adam Jones, Orioles: 820,336
5. Jacoby Ellsbury, Yankees: 813,357
6. Yoenis Cespedes, A's: 799,123
7. Michael Brantley, Indians: 720,961
8. Carlos Beltran, Yankees: 712,154
9. Nick Markakis, Orioles: 691,023
10. Torii Hunter, Tigers: 666,116
11. Shin-Soo Choo, Rangers: 532,267
12. Alex Rios, Rangers: 483,151
13. Brett Gardner, Yankees: 453,169
14. Coco Crisp, A's: 444,433
15. David Lough, Orioles: 396,085
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.