Rockies Tulowitzki leads N.L. in first balloting update for 85th All-Star Game

            Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who paces the Majors in batting average (.373), on-base percentage (.476), slugging percentage (.720) and runs scored (45), leads all National League players in the first balloting figures for the 85th All-Star Game, to be played on Tuesday, July 15th at Target Field in Minnesota.

            Tulowitzki, a three-time All-Star and the 2013 fan-elected N.L. starting shortstop, has received 745,823 votes to top the N.L. ahead of St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina (640,464) and his Rockies teammate Charlie Blackmon (549,394). Tulowitzki, who is one of two Rockies infielders in history to receive a fan-elected start (also Todd Helton), is bidding to become the first N.L. shortstop to earn consecutive fan-elected starts since Hanley Ramirez did so from 2008-10. In addition, he would become the third player in Rockies history to draw multiple fan elections, joining Helton and Larry Walker, both of whom were voted a starter on three occasions.

            Tulowitzki is joined on the left side of the infield by 23-year-old teammate Nolan Arenado, who is aiming for his first All-Star selection. Arenado, who compiled a franchise-best 28-game hitting streak from April 9th-May 9th, has garnered 318,111 votes as he tries to become the first third baseman in Rockies history to be selected a starter by the fans. Arenado, who was placed on the disabled list this past weekend with a fracture in his left middle finger, leads N.L. third basemen in extra-base hits (22) and is second in RBI (28). He is followed at third base in balloting by two-time All-Star Aramis Ramirez (282,843) of the Milwaukee Brewers and seven-time All-Star and five-time fan-elected starter David Wright (278,840) of the New York Mets.  

            Rounding out the trio of Rockies leaders, Blackmon leads all N.L. outfielders as he vies for his first career All-Star nod. He would join Walker, Dante Bichette and Carlos Gonzalez as the only Rockies outfielders to earn a starting assignment, and would give the Rockies a starting outfielder in the Midsummer Classic for the second consecutive year following Gonzalez's start at Citi Field in 2013. Blackmon, who ranks sixth in the N.L. with a .321 batting average, is joined in the N.L. outfield by three-time All-Star Andrew McCutchen (467,378) of the Pittsburgh Pirates and five-time All-Star Ryan Braun (446,780) of the Brewers. McCutchen, aiming for his first career starting assignment, would become the first Pirate to be elected by the fans since Jason Bay in 2006. The reigning N.L. Most Valuable Player is hitting .310 with 12 doubles, two triples, four home runs, 23 RBI and seven stolen bases on the season. Overall, McCutchen would be just the seventh player in Pirates history (all outfielders) to earn a fan election, joining Hall of Famers Willie Stargell and Roberto Clemente, as well as Dave Parker, Barry Bonds, Andy Van Slyke and Bay. Braun, the N.L. balloting leader in 2011, is seeking his fifth career fan-elected start after receiving the honor in four consecutive years from 2008-11. He is one of three players in Brewers history to receive a fan election, joining first baseman and former teammate Prince Fielder (2007, 2011), as well as second baseman and current teammate Rickie Weeks (2011). The outfield leaders are followed by 2012 N.L. All-Star Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins, who has received a total of 426,228 votes. Stanton, who leads the Majors with 49 RBI and 122 total bases and leads the N.L. with 15 home runs, is trying to become the first Marlins outfielder and third player overall in franchise history to receive a fan election, joining Gary Sheffield (1993) and Hanley Ramirez (2008-10).

            Molina, a five-time N.L. All-Star, is attempting to make his second consecutive start and his fourth overall after earning fan elections in 2009, 2010 and 2013. The Puerto Rico native, who ranks seventh in the N.L. with a .321 batting average, would join Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith (12) and former teammate Albert Pujols (5) as the only players in Cardinals history to receive at least four fan-elected starts. The Cardinals have had at least one player elected to start in each of the last five seasons (2009-13), marking the longest active streak in the N.L. Molina is followed behind the plate by two-time All-Star (2012-13) and 2012 starting N.L. backstop Buster Posey (421,100) of the San Francisco Giants.

            Joining Tulowitzki and Arenado in the infield is Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Chase Utley, who has received 509,390 total votes, and Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, who has totaled 349,762 votes. Utley is seeking his sixth career All-Star nod after being elected a starter in each season from 2006-10. His five fan elections for the Midsummer Classic trail only Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt (9) for the most in Phillies history, and the only other N.L. second basemen to draw more All-Star starts are Utley's manager Ryne Sandberg (9) and fellow Hall of Famer Joe Morgan (7). Utley, who leads all N.L. second basemen in batting average (.333), on-base percentage (.389), slugging percentage (.546), doubles (21), extra-base hits (28) and total bases (100), is trailed by Dodgers second baseman Dee Gordon, who has accumulated 304,258 votes. Gonzalez, a four-time All-Star, is bidding for his second career start and his first in the N.L. after being elected the starting first baseman for the American League as a member of the Boston Red Sox at the 2011 All-Star Game in Arizona. Gonzalez would become just the second Dodgers first baseman to earn a fan-elected start, joining Steve Garvey, who was named a starter in seven consecutive seasons from 1974-80. Gonzalez, who would also become the first Dodgers infielder to earn a start since second baseman Jeff Kent in 2005, is fourth in the N.L. with 36 RBI, tied for fourth with 12 home runs and tied for eighth with 24 extra-base hits. He is followed closely at first base by 2013 N.L. All-Star Freddie Freeman (308,961) of the Atlanta Braves and four-time A.L. All-Star Justin Morneau (305,327), who is in his first full season with the Rockies.

            MLB's All-Star Balloting Program is the largest of its kind in professional sports. The last two years represent the two highest totals in balloting history, including a record 40.2 million ballots cast in 2012. More than 20 million Firestone All-Star ballots will be distributed at MLB's 30 ballparks, each of which will have 23 dates for balloting. 

            In addition, fans around the world can cast their votes for starters 25 times exclusively at MLB.com and all 30 Club web sites - online or via their mobile devices - with the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian. The All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian is available in English and Spanish, and offers audio CAPTCHA functionality for visually-impaired fans. Banco BHD sponsors online All-Star balloting in the Dominican Republic, making Spanish-language ballots available to fans in the Dominican Republic via LasMayores.com, the official Spanish-language Web site of Major League Baseball.

            Every Major League Club began its in-stadium balloting no later than May 12th. When the in-stadium phase of balloting concludes no later than June 26th, fans will have the opportunity to cast their ballots exclusively online at MLB.com, the 30 Club Web sites and their mobile devices until Thursday, July 3rd at 11:59 p.m. (EDT).

            Firestone, the official tire of MLB, is once again the exclusive sponsor of the 2014 In-Stadium All-Star Balloting Program. The ballot features an All-Star sweepstakes, in which a winner will be rewarded with a trip for two to MLB All-Star Week, including airfare, hotel accommodations, tickets to the All-Star Game and other MLB All-Star Week events, and VIP on-field access to watch batting practice before the All-Star Game with an MLB legend.

            For the sixth consecutive year, the ballot features the Home Run Derby Fan Poll. Fans have the opportunity to select three players in each League who they would most like to see participate in the Home Run Derby. The Fan Poll is also available online at MLB.com. The 2014 Home Run Derby, part of Gatorade All-Star Workout Day, will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio in the United States beginning at 8:00 p.m. (ET)/7:00 p.m. (CT) on Monday, July 14th. The 10 American League candidates are Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays; Carlos Beltran of the New York Yankees; Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers; Robinson Cano of the Seattle Mariners; 2013 Home Run Derby Champion Yoenis Cespedes of the Oakland Athletics; Chris Davis of the Baltimore Orioles; Prince Fielder of the Texas Rangers; All-Star Ambassador Joe Mauer of the Twins; David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox; and Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The 10 National League candidates are Pedro Alvarez of the Pittsburgh Pirates; Jay Bruce of the Cincinnati Reds; Paul Goldschmidt of the Arizona Diamondbacks; Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals; Jason Heyward of the Atlanta Braves; Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants; Yasiel Puig of the Los Angeles Dodgers; Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins; Troy Tulowitzki of the Colorado Rockies; and David Wright of the New York Mets.

            The 2014 American League and National League All-Star Teams will be unveiled on the 2014 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show during the weekend of July 5th-6th, with further details to follow.   The A.L. All-Star Team will have nine elected starters via the fan balloting program, while the N.L. All-Star Team will have eight fan-elected starters. The pitchers and reserves for both squads - totaling 25 for the N.L. and 24 for the A.L. - will be determined through a combination of "Player Ballot" choices and selections made by the two All-Star managers - N.L. skipper Mike Matheny of the St. Louis Cardinals and A.L. manager John Farrell of the defending World Series Champion Boston Red Sox.

            Immediately following the announcement of the American League and National League All-Star rosters, fans will begin voting to select the final player for each League's 34-man roster via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Experian. Fans will cast their votes from a list of five players from each League over the balloting period. Now in its 13th season with more than 430 million votes cast, fans again will be able to make their Final Vote selections on MLB.com, Club sites and their mobile phones.

            This year's final phase of All-Star Game voting again will have fans participating in the official voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com and the 30 Club sites via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote Sponsored by Pepsi, and their collective voice will represent 20 percent of the official vote determining this year's recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy. 

            The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15th. The 85th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network, MLB.com and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.