Conforto needs write-in push for NL ballot

Cespedes, Bruce stand among top 15 senior circuit outfield vote-getters

Conforto needs write-in push for NL ballot

NEW YORK -- Michael Conforto may lead the Mets in nearly every major statistical category, but his quest to start for the National League in the All-Star Game in Miami remains an uphill climb. Because Conforto wasn't a regular starter to open the season, he is not on the Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot. Given that handicap, Conforto did not rank among the top 15 NL outfield vote-getters, according to the first ballot update, released Tuesday.

Rather than click a box, fans must write in Conforto's name for him to rise up the ballot rankings.

Regardless of voting totals, Conforto seems likely to make the NL All-Star team as an outfield reserve; he entered Tuesday's play ranked second among senior circuit outfielders in OPS (1.066), third in WAR (1.9, per FanGraphs), fourth in batting average (.320) and tied for fourth in home runs (13). But the only way for him to crack the starting lineup is through write-in votes.

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.

Conforto's great defensive plays

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.

Two Mets outfielders did crack the Top 15 in the first wave of balloting: Yoenis Cespedes, who ranked ninth with 229,401 votes, and Jay Bruce, who clocked in 10th with 180,970 votes. Washington's Bryce Harper, Colorado's Charlie Blackmon and Chicago's Jason Heyward are the NL's current top three outfield vote-getters.

Cespedes' two-homer game

Cespedes in particular could make a run if he comes off the disabled list in a timely manner. Sidelined since April 28 due to a left hamstring strain, Cespedes remains one of the NL's most popular players, and an annual force in All-Star Game voting. But he has not been healthy enough to construct a strong statistical case for his inclusion on the team.

The Mets did not have any other position players in the top five of balloting at their positions.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.