Harper sets record for most support in NL All-Star balloting
Two-time All-Star Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins has moved into second place among National League outfielders in the latest voting update for the 86th All-Star Game, to be played on Tuesday, July 14, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Major League Baseball announced Tuesday. Overall, the 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot has eclipsed 420 million votes, passing the previous record total of 391 million votes in 2012. Additionally, each of the 30 Major League clubs have surpassed their 2014 total votes received. The 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot, which is available exclusively online for the first time via MLB.com, club sites and mobile devices, will be accessible until the voting period ends on Thursday, July 2, at 11:59 p.m. ET.
Stanton, who has received 4,824,989 votes, is bidding for his first career starting assignment. He would become just the third Marlins player, and first outfielder, to earn a fan election, joining Gary Sheffield (3B, 1993) and Hanley Ramirez (SS, 2008-10). The 25-year-old Stanton, who finished second in NL Most Valuable Player voting in 2014, leads the Majors with 25 home runs and 64 RBIs. Overall, the California native is hitting .260 with 12 doubles, a triple, 45 runs scored and a .596 slugging percentage. With his 25th home run of the season last week, Stanton became the fastest to the milestone in a single season in Marlins history, and now owns four career seasons with at least 25 home runs, tied with Miguel Cabrera for second-most in Marlins history behind Dan Uggla (5, 2006-10). Joining Stanton among the NL outfield leaders is Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals, who has totaled 9,224,370 votes to lead all NL players. In addition, the 22-year-old's total has set a new all-time single-season NL voting record, surpassing the previous mark of 7,621,370 set by San Francisco's Buster Posey in 2012. Harper, bidding for his third Midsummer Classic assignment (2012-13) and second fan-elected start (2013), would become the first player in Nationals-era history to claim multiple fan-elected starting assignments, and he would become the fourth player in franchise history to accomplish the feat, joining Hall of Famers Gary Carter (1981-84) and Andre Dawson (1981-83) as well as Tim Raines (1982-83). Harper, the 2012 NL Rookie of the Year, leads the Majors with a .735 slugging percentage, and he ranks second with 24 home runs and a .473 on-base percentage. In addition, he is second with 54 walks, tied for second with 57 RBIs and tied for third with 52 runs scored. Overall, Harper is batting .345 on the season, which ranks fourth in the Majors. Harper has reached base safely in 17 of his 18 June games, hitting .397 with a .486 on-base percentage and a .762 slugging percentage.
Rounding out the NL outfield leaders is Matt Holliday of the Cardinals, who has received 4,716,941 votes as he is challenged by Nori Aoki (4,349,685) of the San Francisco Giants and Andrew McCutchen (3,542,262) of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Holliday, a six-time All-Star (2006-08, 2010-12), is aiming for his first career fan-elected starting assignment. The 35-year-old, who reached base safely in a NL-record 45 consecutive games to start the season, was placed on the disabled list on June 9 after suffering a strained right quad. The Cardinals have had at least one player elected to start in each of the last six seasons (2009-14), marking the longest active streak in the NL. In addition, a starting assignment for Holliday would give St. Louis a starting outfielder elected in four of the last five years, following Lance Berkman (2011) and Carlos Beltran (2012-13). Holliday is batting .303 on the season with three home runs, 10 doubles, a triple, 26 RBIs, 20 runs scored and a .417 on-base percentage. Aoki, in his first season with the Giants, is attempting to earn his first Midsummer Classic selection. The 33-year-old native of Japan is batting .317 on the season with two home runs, eight doubles, two triples, 19 RBIs, 12 stolen bases and 33 runs scored. McCutchen, a four-time All-Star (2011-14) and the 2013 NL Most Valuable Player, is bidding for his second consecutive fan election. He would join Willie Stargell (1971-72), Dave Parker (1977-78 and 1980-81), Barry Bonds (1992-94) and Andy Van Slyke (1992-93) as the only Pirates to earn multiple fan elections. The 28-year-old native of Fort Meade, Florida is batting .287 on the season with eight home runs, 17 doubles, two triples, 42 RBIs, three stolen bases and 36 runs scored.
At third base, Matt Carpenter of the Cardinals continues to lead with 5,504,534 votes; however, Todd Frazier of the host Cincinnati Reds has moved into second place with 4,308,446 votes after trailing Carpenter by more than 2.5 million votes last week. Carpenter, who is vying for his third consecutive All-Star selection and his first fan-elected start, would become just the third different Cardinals third baseman to earn a starting assignment, joining Joe Torre (1971-72) and Scott Rolen (2003-05). The 29-year-old Carpenter ranks second in the NL with 26 multi-hit games, is tied for third with 20 doubles, tied for sixth with 37 walks, is seventh with a .389 on-base percentage and is tied for seventh with 43 runs scored. Frazier, an All-Star in 2014, is bidding for his first career fan election. He would join Hall of Famer Tony Perez (1970), Pete Rose (1976, 1978) and Chris Sabo (1990-91) as the only Reds third basemen to earn a fan election. Frazier is batting .292 on the season with 23 home runs, 20 doubles, 48 RBIs and 50 runs scored to go along with a .636 slugging percentage. The 29-year-old New Jersey native is the only player in the Majors with at least 20 home runs and 20 doubles.
Joining Carpenter on the left side of the infield at shortstop is his Cardinals teammate Jhonny Peralta, who has received 5,864,485 votes to remain ahead of San Francisco's Brandon Crawford (3,688,042). Peralta, striving for his third career All-Star selection (2011, 2013), is attempting to earn his first career starting assignment and his first Midsummer Classic selection in the Senior Circuit. The Santiago, Dominican Republic, native would join Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith (1983-92, 1994-95), Edgar Renteria (2003-04), David Eckstein (2005) and Rafael Furcal (2012) as Cardinals shortstops to earn a fan election. The 32-year-old Peralta is first on his team, tied for fifth in the NL overall and ranks first among Major League shortstops with 80 hits on the season. In addition, he ranks first among Major League shortstops with 11 home runs. Peralta and Carpenter could become the first teammates to start on the left side for the NL since David Wright and Jose Reyes of the New York Mets accomplished the feat in 2007.
Behind the plate, Giants catcher Buster Posey, who was elected the NL starting catcher in 2012, has received 6,510,231 total votes while extending his lead at the position over six-time All-Star Yadier Molina of the Cardinals (5,251,040). With a fan election, Posey would become the seventh Giants player since 1970 to collect multiple fan elections, joining Bonds (12), Will Clark (4), Matt Williams (3), Jeff Kent (2), Hall of Famer Willie Mays (2) and Kevin Mitchell (2). Posey has hit safely in 12 of his last 16 games, batting .316 (18-for-57) with six extra-base hits and 12 RBI. On Friday, he became the first Giants catcher to hit a grand slam and steal a base in the same game since Roger Bresnahan on April 28, 1903. Overall, the 28-year-old Posey is batting .292 on the season with 10 home runs, 10 doubles, 41 RBIs and 33 runs scored. Molina, who has earned four fan elections during his career, including each of the last two seasons, is aiming to become the first NL catcher to earn three consecutive starting assignments since Mike Piazza received nine straight from 1994-2002. In addition, Molina would join Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith (12) and former teammate Albert Pujols (5) as the only players in Cardinals history to receive at least five fan-elected starts. The Bayamon, Puerto Rico native ranks second among NL catchers with 67 hits and 12 doubles, and is tied for sixth with 24 RBIs. In addition, he is batting .295 on the season with 17 runs scored.
On the right side of the infield, Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon continue to lead at their respective positions. Goldschmidt, who was elected a starter by the fans in 2014, has totaled 5,867,602 votes. The 27-year-old Goldschmidt, who finished second in NL Most Valuable Player voting in 2013, would become the first D-backs player to win multiple fan elections. In addition to his fan election last year, the only other D-backs to earn a fan-elected start in the Midsummer Classic are second baseman Jay Bell (1999), third baseman Matt Williams (1999) and outfielder Luis Gonzalez (2001). Since 2013, he ranks among NL leaders in slugging percentage (1st, .569), extra-base hits (1st, 169), RBI (2nd, 251), on-base percentage (2nd, .414), walks (2nd, 218), home runs (2nd, 74) and doubles (T-4th, 90). Overall, Goldschmidt leads the Majors with a .356 batting average and a .474 on-base percentage. He has also added 19 home runs, 15 doubles, a triple, 57 RBIs, 12 stolen bases and a .656 slugging percentage. Gonzalez, who is seeking his fifth career All-Star selection and his first fan-elected start, is tied for first in the Majors with 22 doubles on the season.
Gordon, who was an All-Star for the first time in 2014, has garnered 5,244,914 votes to remain ahead of Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong (4,025,055). The 27-year-old Gordon, bidding for his first fan election, leads the Majors with 104 hits to go along with his .356 batting average. In addition, the speedster ranks second in the Majors with 24 stolen bases. Gordon has also added 14 doubles, three triples, 17 RBIs, a .377 on-base percentage and 38 runs scored on the season. Gordon is aiming to become the first Marlins second baseman to win a fan election, and along with his teammate Stanton, is trying to become the third Marlins player overall to receive a starting bid from the fans, joining Sheffield and Ramirez. Wong, seeking his first Midsummer Classic appearances, is hitting .283 on the season with 14 doubles, two triples, eight home runs, 30 RBIs and 39 runs scored. With a fan election, he would join Tommy Herr (1985) as the only Cardinals second basemen to earn a fan-elected start.
The Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot, the largest program of its kind in professional sports, for the first time, is being conducted exclusively online. Fans around the world can cast their votes for starters 35 times exclusively at MLB.com and all 30 club web sites -- online or via their mobile devices -- with the 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot. During the voting period, which ends on July 2 at 11:59 p.m. ET, the Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot is available in English and Spanish, and offers audio CAPTCHA functionality for visually-impaired fans. Traditional Chinese, Korean and Japanese versions of the online ballot are also available. Banco BHD sponsors online All-Star balloting in the Dominican Republic, making Spanish-language ballots available to fans in the Dominican Republic via LasMayores.com, the official Spanish-language Web site of Major League Baseball.
Details regarding the unveiling of the 2015 American League and National League All-Star teams will be available later this week. The AL All-Star team will have nine elected starters via the fan balloting program, while the NL All-Star team will have eight fan-elected starters. The pitchers and reserves for both squads -- totaling 25 for the NL and 24 for the AL -- will be determined through a combination of "Player Ballot" choices and selections made by the two All-Star managers -- NL skipper Bruce Bochy of the defending World Series-champion San Francisco Giants and AL manager Ned Yost of the Kansas City Royals.
Following the announcement of the American League and National League All-Star rosters, fans will begin voting to select the final player for each League's 34-man roster via the 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote. Fans will cast their votes from a list of five players from each League over the balloting period. Now in its 14th season with more than 480 million votes cast, fans again will be able to make their Final Vote selections on MLB.com, Club sites and their mobile phones.
This year's final phase of All-Star Game voting again will 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 can vote exclusively at MLB.com and the 30 Club sites -- online or via their mobile devices -- with the 2015 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote, and their collective voice will represent 20 percent of the official vote determining this year's recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
The 2015 All-Star Game will be played at Great American Ball Park on Tuesday, July 14th. The 86th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 160 countries. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network, MLB.com and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. More information is available at allstargame.com.