Donaldson surging but still 2nd in ASG voting

Donaldson surging but still 2nd in ASG voting

NEW YORK -- The push is on to make Josh Donaldson the starting third baseman at the upcoming All-Star Game in Cincinnati, but he's going to need some additional help to take over the top spot.

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Donaldson received the second most fan votes of any American League player during the last week, but he still trails Kansas City's Mike Moustakas by almost two million votes.

In the past week, Donaldson has received endorsements from teammates, players around the league and even Hockey Night in Canada legend Don Cherry. That contributed to a second overall finish of any position player over the last seven days. Kansas City catcher Salvador Perez was the only person who received a higher tally.

Donaldson currently has 4,880,315 votes, which trails Moustakas at 6,505,248 for the top spot at third base. Moustakas is having a strong season, but his numbers aren't comparable to Donaldson, who has become an early MVP candidate for his role in Toronto's high-powered offense.

The 29-year-old Donaldson entered play on Monday night leading the AL in total bases at 146. He also ranked second in extra-base hits (32), tied for second in RBIs (45), third in hits (80), fourth in OPS (.944) and tied for fourth in home runs (17). Washington's Bryce Harper (4.9) is the only player in the Major Leagues with a higher WAR (wins above replacement) than Donaldson (3.7).

Russell Martin, Jose Reyes, Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista are the other Blue Jays players who are currently ranked in the top five of fan balloting at their positions. Martin is third at catcher with 2,225,889 and trails the top overall vote leader Perez (7,202,292).

Encaracion and Reyes also are in third place at their respective spots. Reyes has 1,649,076 votes to trail Kansas City's Alcides Escobar at 6,332,981. Encarnacion has 1,430,262 votes to trail Kansas City's Kendrys Morales (5,422,250). Bautista is ranked seventh in the outfield at 2,794,526 votes and trails leaders Lorenzo Cain (6,611,781), Mike Trout (5,944,068) and Alex Gordon (5,581,096).

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.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.