Harper has solid footing to start for NL as teammates inch closer
By Alex Putterman
WASHINGTON -- Wilson Ramos and Daniel Murphy, owners of the two best batting averages in the National League entering Monday, both stand with striking distance of their first All-Star Game starts.
With Bryce Harper already entrenched as a starter in the outfield for next month's Midsummer Classic in San Diego, Ramos and Murphy will need last-minute surges to qualify for the game's starting lineup.
Ramos (1,282,267 votes) trails Yadier Molina (1,568,930) and Buster Posey (1,563,800) at catcher, but he outdrew Molina for the second week in a row this week. The Nationals' backstop entered Monday leading all qualified catchers in batting average (.342), on-base percentage (.385) and slugging percentage (.563), and he was tied for first in home runs (12).
Murphy, who entered the day topping the NL with a .349 batting average, narrowly trails the Cubs' Ben Zobrist at second base. Zobrist has 2,474,852 votes to Murphy's 2,167,918.
Harper, meanwhile, is second among outfielders with 2,253,083 votes, behind only Chicago's Dexter Fowler.
All-Star voting closes Thursday, meaning Ramos and Murphy have four days left to charge into the lead at their respective positions.
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.
Alex Putterman is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.