DETROIT -- How does Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar feel about possibly being an American League All-Star?
"I don't think about that, I just think about playing hard every day," he said.
And that's what Escobar does, at bat, in the field and on the bases, literally every day. He's played all 69 games for the Royals this season.
For all his attributes, however, he's still not among the top five in the fans' voting for this year's All-Star Game at Minnesota. In fact, no players on a hot Royals' team that came to Detroit with a seven-game winning streak is among the leaders.
Escobar was hitting a strong .286 -- even after his 12-game streak ended on Sunday -- after sliding from .293 in 2012 to .234 last year.
"I feel really comfortable, I'm seeing the ball good and I'm feeling more patient at home plate right now," he said. "Last year was a hard year for me and now I'm back like 2012."
Escobar is more noted, though, for his often spectacular, always steady defensive work. In the hole or up the middle, his range is wide followed by strong, accurate throws. This year he might be more than just a candidate for at Gold Glove.
On the bases, he's stolen 17 bases in 18 attempts. Last week, Escobar gambled and scored from third base on a pop fly to the shortstop in short left field.
"It's a little voice inside his head that some players have and it's a real valuable thing -- to tell him to go. He just caught 'em by surprise," manager Ned Yost said.
"The best way I can say it is, he's taken his game to the next level. That's how good he's been in all phases of his game."
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. CT 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.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.