#ASGWorthy: Donaldson, Machado prosper

#ASGWorthy: Donaldson, Machado prosper

The 2016 Esurance MLB All-Star Ballot has been released, and while the season is still young, it's never too early to start evaluating candidates. Many have already begun to stand out, while others are sure to hit their stride in the coming months leading up to the 2016 All-Star Game presented by MasterCard on July 12 at San Diego's Petco Park.

As fans cast their votes for who they deem worthy of 2016 All-Star status, MLB.com is going to look position by position through each league, continuing today with the American League third basemen.

Cast your Esurance All-Star ballot for #ASGWorthy players

The stalwarts

Toronto's Josh Donaldson has continued to rake following his 2015 AL Most Valuable Player Award-winning campaign, leading the league with nine home runs, 26 runs scored and a .667 slugging percentage. Donaldson set a record for most total All-Star votes last year, and he's sure to be popular again.

AL MVP Donaldson's April encore

The conversation continues with veteran Adrian Beltre, a four-time All-Star who isn't slowing down in his 19th Major League season. He's hitting .301 with three home runs and 15 RBIs.

Evan Longoria is hitting just .242, but the three-time All-Star has displayed plenty of pop in the Rays' lineup, and he already has five homers.

Todd Frazier is in a new league, but he's still hitting home runs. The two-time All-Star (and 2015 Home Run Derby champion) already had seven roundtrippers and has driven in 17 for the White Sox.

The fast starters
Travis Shaw hasn't slowed down since Spring Training. After winning the Red Sox's third-base job, the 26-year-old is hitting .322 with three home runs.

Shaw's two-run home run

Yunel Escobar continues to hit for the Angels after his solid single season in D.C., hitting .286/.360/.449, with three home runs.

The rising stars
Manny Machado -- only 23, but already with two All-Star nods and two Gold Glove Awards -- continues to remain in the conversation for one of the game's top young talents. He leads the league in hits and has a .350/.404/.660 slash line in the season's early going.

Mike Moustakas continues to mash following last year's breakout season, in which he earned his first All-Star nod. The Royals' third baseman already has seven home runs and six doubles.

Moustakas' solo smash

Nick Castellanos -- not Miguel Cabrera or Victor Martinez -- is carrying Detroit's lineup so far this season, leading the league with a .361 batting average, along with four homers and 18 RBIs.

Seattle's Kyle Seager, an All-Star in 2014, already has five homers despite his .163 batting average.

Lying in the weeds
Minnesota's Trevor Plouffe was off to a quick start, hitting .302, before going on the disabled list with an intercostal strain. He's scheduled to return soon, however.

Plouffe's solo homer

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.

Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.