Stanton 13th OF on ASG ballot; Ozuna makes push

Stanton 13th OF on ASG ballot; Ozuna makes push

MINNEAPOLIS -- Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton is the only Marlin among the leading vote-getters for the 2016 MLB All-Star Game in the latest National League ballot update released on Wednesday.

Stanton's 248,662 votes ranked 13th among Senior Circuit outfielders. A three-time All-Star, Stanton is hitting just .197 entering play Wednesday, but his 12 homers is 15th in the NL despite playing in just 48 games, nine fewer than NL leader Nelson Arenado, who has 18.

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While Stanton's month-long struggles at the plate have likely left him on the outside looking in for the Midsummer Classic next month in San Diego, at least for now, there are plenty of worthy candidates in the mix to represent the Marlins.

Stanton's three-run shot

Among them are fellow outfielders Marcell Ozuna and Christian Yelich. Ozuna is on pace for a career season at the plate, entering Wednesday hitting .312 with a .361 on-base percentage to go with 11 homers and 29 RBIs in 57 games.

His home run total is already one more than he hit in 123 games last season, and he's on track to shatter his total of 44 RBIs from 2015 as well.

If Mets manager Terry Collins, who will manage the NL team, were to call Marlins skipper Don Mattingly, Ozuna would be among the first Mattingly said he'd recommend.

"He's underrated because nobody knows about him," Mattingly said. "But they will if he continues on."

Ozuna broke out two years ago as a 23-year old in his first full season in the Majors, hitting .269 with 23 homers and 85 RBIs.

A rough June last season earned him a demotion to Triple-A, where he was able to get back on track, and upon returning to the Marlins in August, he was able to re-establish himself in the lineup, hitting .278 with six homers and 18 RBIs over the final 44 games of the regular season.

Ozuna has carried that over to this season and is off to the best start of his brief career. That hasn't translated much on the national scene, where Ozuna is still a largely unknown quantity.

"There's a lot of guys out there who have had a good month, month and a half, two months," Mattingly said. "When you start having a good year, then another good year and another good year, that's when everybody knows who you are."

Finding that consistency is what Mattingly said will make Ozuna a potential perennial All-Star in the future.

"You have to go out and perform over time. That's the true test," Mattingly said. "He's a little underrated. We have a few of those. But that's a part of being in Miami and not really being a club that is in the national scene in any way as far as being in the playoffs or being in a pennant race where people start paying attention to you."

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, in San Diego, 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.

Dan Myers is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Marlins on Wednesday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.