Braves fans can help send Freeman to ASG

Markakis, Garcia also on ballot for Midsummer Classic in San Diego

Braves fans can help send Freeman to ASG

ATLANTA -- First baseman Freddie Freeman and right fielder Nick Markakis headline the Braves' representatives on the 2016 Esurance MLB All-Star Game ballot, which was unveiled on Sunday for the All-Star Game presented by MasterCard.

While Freeman has endured a rough start to this season, Markakis entered Sunday with a Major League-high nine doubles. The other Braves veterans on this year's ballot include catcher A.J. Pierzynski, outfielder Kelly Johnson, shortstop Erick Aybar, center fielder Ender Inciarte and second baseman Jace Peterson.

Braves third baseman Adonis Garcia finds himself on an All-Star ballot for the first time in his career. Garcia has arguably been Atlanta's most consistent offensive performer this season and he entered Sunday with the third-best batting average (.305) among all qualified National League third basemen.

Freeman, Pierzynski and Aybar are the only current Braves who have previously been selected to participate in an All-Star Game.

Browsing the ballot
The other side: An intriguing early All-Star candidate from the American League is Astros outfielder Colby Rasmus, who entered Sunday ranked second in the AL with a 1.147 OPS. Rasmus attended high school in Seale, Ala., which is located approximately 90 miles southwest of Atlanta.

Tip of the cap: Atlanta native Dexter Fowler has been the Cubs' most productive offensive performer through this season's first month. Fowler entered Sunday ranked among the top three NL players in both batting average and OPS.

A rising star: Braves fans have become quite familiar with Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich over the past two seasons and the baseball world is starting to get a better sense of how talented he truly is. Yelich entered Sunday ranked sixth among all qualified Major Leaguers with a 1.113 OPS.

Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- on their computers, tablets and smartphones -- exclusively online using the 2016 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot until Thursday, June 30, at 11:59 p.m. ET. Vote up to five times in any 24-hour period for a maximum of 35 times.

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 2016 All-Stars, be sure to return to MLB.com and cast your 2016 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote for the final player on each league's All-Star roster. On Tuesday, July 12, watch the 2016 All-Star Game presented by MasterCard 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 2016 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote.

The 87th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 160 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB.com, MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.