Trout voted to start 4th straight All-Star Game

Trout voted to start 4th straight All-Star Game

ST. PETERSBURG -- Mike Trout is starting the All-Star Game again. It has been clear for the last few weeks -- and is basically assumed at the start of each season -- but it became official on Tuesday, when rosters were announced and Trout had compiled more fan votes than every other American League outfielder.

Trout will be making his fifth appearance at the All-Star Game presented by MasterCard, in his fifth full season. It will mark his fourth consecutive start, making Trout only the sixth AL player -- besides Ken Griffey Jr., Mickey Mantle, Ivan Rodriguez, Al Kaline and Joe DiMaggio -- to make four All-Star Game starts before his 25th birthday.

"I look forward to it," Trout said. "If you play your best, and you put up good numbers, you get selected. I look forward to it each year, competing against the best pitchers, best hitters. It just means a lot."

Trout entered Tuesday leading Major League position players with 5.2 FanGraphs Wins Above Replacement, compiling a .324/.426/.569 slash line, 17 home runs, 54 RBIs and 13 stolen bases.

The Angels' center fielder will be joined in the AL starting lineup by Royals catcher Salvador Perez, Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer, Astros second baseman Jose Altuve, Orioles third baseman Manny Machado and four members of the Red Sox, shortstop Xander Bogaerts, designated hitter David Ortiz, center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. and right fielder Mookie Betts.

Interactive All-Star Game rosters

The question is whether Trout will get to start in center field.

"I don't know," Trout said. "I want to."

Trout compiled 3,828,794 votes, a total exceeded only by Ortiz and Perez.

Trout is coming off becoming the first player in history to be named Most Valuable Player of the Midsummer Classic in back-to-back seasons. He's hit for the All-Star Game cycle, getting a single in his first at-bat in 2012, a double in his first at-bat in 2013, a triple in his first at-bat in 2014 and a homer in his first at-bat in 2015.

He's 5-for-10 overall at the event, drawing two walks and striking out only once against the National League's best pitchers.

"Same approach I take during the season," Trout said of how he's been so successful at the All-Star Game. "It's the same approach. I don't change anything."

The NL starting lineup will feature five Cubs players, including first baseman Anthony Rizzo, second baseman Ben Zobrist, third baseman Kris Bryant, shortstop Addison Russell and center fielder Dexter Fowler. Joining them are Giants catcher Buster Posey, Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes and Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper, who will join Trout at the All-Star Game for the third time.

The Final Vote candidates for the AL are Ian Kinsler of the Tigers, Evan Longoria of the Rays, Dustin Pedroia of the Red Sox, Michael Saunders of the Blue Jays and George Springer of the Astros. Brandon Belt of the Giants, Ryan Braun of the Brewers, Jake Lamb of the D-backs, Starling Marte of the Pirates and Trevor Story of the Rockies are competing in the NL Final Vote.

Fans can vote for the 2016 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote until 4 p.m. ET on Friday. The winners, as chosen exclusively by online fan voting totals, will be announced during a Final Vote-themed telecast of "MLB Now" featuring commentary from political analyst Jeff Greenfield, live on MLB Network and MLB.com from 4-5 p.m. ET. MLB Network will provide extensive coverage across all of its studio programming during the Final Vote, including interviews with the candidates, frequent updates, heat maps indicating the cities where votes are being cast for each candidate, news on player and club campaigns and a running countdown clock leading up to the announcement.

Baseball fans have cast nearly 600 million online votes for Final Vote candidates since the program's inception in 2002. In addition to MLB.com and the official club websites, fans can use their mobile devices to cast votes at MLB.com/vote or via text message. To receive the ballot, text the word "VOTE" to 89269. To vote for a specific player, fans can text their choice to 89269. EXAMPLE: Text "A3" to vote for AL Player 3 or "N3" to vote for NL Player 3. Message and data rates may apply. Text "STOP" to end and "HELP" for information. Mobile voting in Canada also is available and fans should text their choices to 101010.

For the fifth consecutive year, the Final Vote will include social balloting, as Twitter support for the 10 candidates over the last six hours of balloting will count toward their vote totals. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET on Friday, any tweet that includes a designated player hashtag will be tabulated as part of the official vote total used to determine the winners.

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.

Trout is one of just six players to collect 15 home runs before the All-Star break four times before his age-25 season, joining Miguel Cabrera, Alex Rodriguez, Orlando Cepeda, Jimmie Foxx and teammate Albert Pujols.

He is the third Angels player to make four straight All-Star Game starts, joining Vladimir Guerrero and Rod Carew. Only Carew and Jim Fregosi have made more All-Star Game appearances in an Angels uniform, with each tallying six.

"I love playing in it," Trout said. "I have fun with it."

Alden Gonzalez has covered the Angels for MLB.com since 2012. Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and Facebook , and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.