Hot start could send Brantley back to All-Star Game

Hot start could send Brantley back to All-Star Game

CLEVELAND -- Michael Brantley leads the cast of nine Indians hitters on the ballot for the 2015 All-Star Game, which will be played on July 14 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.

Brantley, 27, made his first All-Star Game appearance last season, and he is off to a hot start again this year.

"It was a great experience, especially for my first time," Brantley said. "I met a lot of great guys and a lot of great players and got to see the work they put in. Obviously, just kind of pick their brain and learn from them as well."

Brantley said the lasting impressions made on him were conversations he had with Adrian Beltre and Miguel Cabrera. He'd met the players before, but never had the chance to sit down and pick their brains on baseball and hitting.

Through 13 games this season, Brantley is batting .333 with a .382 on-base percentage, and his .813 OPS leads all Indians players on the ballot.

The other Cleveland players on the ballot are Carlos Santana, Brandon Moss, Jason Kipnis, Jose Ramirez, Lonnie Chisenhall, Michael Bourn, Yan Gomes and Nick Swisher.

Moss was an All-Star last season with Oakland, after a first half in which he hit 21 home runs with an .878 OPS. Other past All-Star appearances among the group include Kipnis (2013), Bourn ('12 and '10) and Swisher ('10).

Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- on their computers, tablets and smartphones -- using the 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot until Thursday, July 2, at 11:59 p.m. ET. For the first time, voting is exclusively online, where fans may submit up to 35 ballots.

Fans may also receive the ballot by texting VOTE to 89269 (USA) or 101010 (Canada). Or text VOTA for a ballot in Spanish. Message and data rates may apply. Up to five messages. No purchase required. Reply STOP to cancel. Reply HELP for info.

Following the announcement of the 2015 All-Stars, be sure to return to MLB.com and cast your 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote for the final player for each league's All-Star roster. On Tuesday, July 14, watch the 2015 All-Star Game live on FOX, and during the game visit MLB.com to submit your choice for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet via the 2015 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote.

MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of All-Star Week festivities.

The 86th 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.

August Fagerstrom is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.