Harper, Zim among Nats' All-Star hopefuls

Harper, Zim among Nats' All-Star hopefuls

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals own the top-ranked offense in the Major Leagues through the end of April, and their batters have been terrorizing opposing pitchers.

All eight of Washington's starting position players appear on the Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot that was released Monday. Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman are off to especially scorching starts, and they are joined on the ballot by Daniel Murphy, Anthony Rendon -- fresh off his 6-for-6 day with three homers and 10 RBIs -- Trea Turner, Jayson Werth, Matt Wieters and Adam Eaton, who was diagnosed with a torn left ACL on Sunday.

VOTE: Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot

Harper is bidding for this third consecutive All-Star Game start, and he is once again performing well through April. He is batting .391/.509/.772 with nine homers, and he scored 32 runs, a Major League record for the season's first month.

Harper's resurgence through the first month has been huge for the Nats after his disappointing season in 2016. But Zimmerman batted .420/.458/.886 in April, with 11 home runs and a Major League-leading 29 RBIs and 1.345 OPS. Zimmerman is traditionally not a fast starter, so he has only made one All-Star Game appearance in his career (2009).

If the Nationals' offense keeps going at close to its current pace, the club should be represented by quite a few players in Miami at the Midsummer Classic.

Fans may cast votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- on computers, tablets and smartphones -- exclusively online using the 2017 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot until Thursday, June 29, at 11:59 p.m. ET. On smartphones and tablets, fans can also access the ballot via the MLB.com At Bat and MLB.com Ballpark mobile apps. Vote up to five times in any 24-hour period for a maximum of 35 ballots cast.

Following the announcement of the 2017 All-Star starters, reserves and pitchers, fans should return to MLB.com and cast their 2017 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote for the final player on each league's All-Star roster. Then on Tuesday, July 11, while watching the 2017 All-Star Game presented by MasterCard live on FOX, fans may visit MLB.com to submit their choices for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet with the 2017 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote.

The 88th Midsummer Classic, at Marlins Park in Miami, will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 160 countries. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage, while MLB Network, MLB.com and SiriusXM will have comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information about MLB All-Star Week and to purchase tickets, please visit AllStarGame.com and follow @AllStarGame on social media.

Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.