Padres await announcement of All-Star reserves

Upton appears to be leading candidate with big season on offense

Padres await announcement of All-Star reserves

ST. LOUIS -- There isn't a lot of suspense or uncertainty surrounding who the Padres All-Star Game representative should be.

Outfielder Justin Upton figures to have the best chance to make the National League team when reserves are announced on Monday for the 86th All-Star Game on July 14 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.

Upton leads the team in about every pertinent offensive category and leads the team with his 694 innings played thus far.

Upton is hitting .262 with 14 home runs and 46 RBIs and has stolen 16 bases -- and he hasn't been caught yet.

Today at 4 p.m. PT, the All-Star reserves, pitchers and Final Vote candidates will be announced on the Esurance All-Star Selection Show on ESPN. Immediately following the show, fans can return to MLB.com to begin voting to select the final player for each League's 34-man roster via the 2015 Esurance All-Star Game Final Vote. Fans can cast their votes from a list of five players from each league until 4 p.m. ET on Friday, July 10.

And the voting doesn't end there. During the Midsummer Classic in Cincinnati on Tuesday, July 14, fans can once again visit MLB.com to submit their choice for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award. Voting exclusively at MLB.com, online and via their mobile devices in the 2015 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote, the fans' collective voice will represent 20 percent of the overall vote that determines the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.

Upton has also done something hitters at pitcher-friendly Petco Park have struggled to do -- tame the spacious ballpark. Consider that 11 of his 14 home runs have come at home.

"You have certain guys on teams you try to make sure don't beat you, and he's the guy on this club," said D-backs manager Chip Hale after Upton hit a two-run home run in a Padres victory on June 27.

If Upton does get picked, it would be his third All-Star Game nod. He was previously selected in 2009 and 2011 when he played for the D-backs.

This is not to say the Padres don't have other candidates to make the team.

Catcher Derek Norris has caught more runners attempting to steal bases -- 23 catcher caught stealing (CCS) -- than any other backstop in baseball. He's already surpassed his home run (11) total from a year ago (10) while with the A's.

"He's a warrior," Padres interim manager Pat Murphy said recently of Norris. [He has] All-Star stuff. Let's get him in there [All-Star Game]."

Looking for a sleeper candidate? How about reliever Brandon Maurer?

Maurer, like Upton and Norris in his first season with the Padres, has emerged as a powerful -- and successful -- arm in the back end of the bullpen.

Maurer is 5-1 with a 1.73 ERA in 39 games and 41 1/3 innings. Since May 2, he has a 0.85 ERA.

MLB.TV Premium subscribers will be able to live stream the All-Star Game via MLB.TV through FOX's participating video providers. Access will be available across more than 400 supported MLB.TV platforms, including the award-winning MLB.com At Bat app. MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities, including the 2015 Gillette Home Run Derby presented by Head & Shoulders, part of Gatorade All-Star Workout Day on Monday, July 13. The Derby will feature a new format with brackets and timed rounds and will be broadcast live by ESPN and MLB.com beginning at 5 p.m. PT.

The 86th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports (4 p.m. PT air time, 5:15 first pitch), 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 and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.