Rising stars Franco, Herrera vying for ASG spots

Voting has begun for 2016 All-Star Game presented by MasterCard

Rising stars Franco, Herrera vying for ASG spots

MILWAUKEE -- The Phillies have not had two position players named to the National League All-Star team since 2011, when Placido Polanco and Shane Victorino made the squad.

But the Phillies could have two at the 2016 All-Star Game presented by MasterCard, if Maikel Franco and Odubel Herrera keep hitting like they have through the first three weeks of the season. Major League Baseball announced its All-Star Game ballots Sunday, and that pair is the Phillies' best bet to play in the Midsummer Classic in July in San Diego at Petco Park.

Franco is emerging as one of the best third basemen in the NL. He has homered three times in the past two games and is batting .299 with two doubles, five home runs, 12 RBIs and an .890 OPS, which ranks 18th among all NL players. Franco's OPS also ranks third among NL third basemen. Only Colorado's Nolan Arenado (.984 OPS) and Cincinnati's Eugenio Suarez (.963 OPS) have been better.

Herrera is looking more and more like an incredible find in the 2014 Rule 5 Draft. He is hitting .283 with one double, one triple, two home runs, eight RBIs, 17 walks, four stolen bases and an .875 OPS, which ranks 20th among all NL players. Herrera's OPS puts him 10th among NL outfielders and third among NL center fielders. From June 7, 2015, through Saturday, Herrera is hitting .322 with an .850 OPS in 417 plate appearances.

Also on the ballot for the Phillies are catcher Carlos Ruiz, first baseman Ryan Howard, second baseman Cesar Hernandez, shortstop Freddy Galvis, left fielder Cody Asche and right fielder Peter Bourjos.

Browsing the ballot

The other side: Why is David Ortiz retiring again? The Red Sox designated hitter is batting .286 with eight doubles, three home runs, 14 RBIs and a .992 OPS in 16 games.

Tip of the cap: Marlins left fielder Christian Yelich is having a crazy good start. He is hitting .396 with seven doubles, one home run, five RBIs, 15 walks and a 1.113 OPS in 16 games. His OPS ranks fourth in the NL.

A rising star: Have you seen Tyler White's numbers? The Astros' first baseman is hitting .298 with four doubles, five home runs, 12 RBIs and a 1.001 OPS in 17 games. His OPS ranks sixth in the American League and 14th in the Majors.

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.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.