OAKLAND -- Seeking his first career All-Star nod after falling short in votes last year, A's third baseman Josh Donaldson leads the pack at his position in balloting this time around.
It's still early, but the first balloting figures in the American League were released Tuesday, and Donaldson has already racked up 464,367 votes. He is followed closely at the hot corner by three-time All-Star and two-time fan-elected starter Evan Longoria (407,724) of the Rays.
"That's terrific," said manager Bob Melvin. "Rightly so. He should be first in the voting. It's taken a little while for him to get some recognition. For him to be in that position means that, nationally, we're getting a little noticed as a team and that we do have some really good players here. We're not just that little engine that could. We have some really good players here.
"You saw what [Donaldson] did for us. You end up fourth in American League MVP voting and you don't make the All-Star team? That was disappointing, but he just continued after that to grind and do what he does every day, so I'm glad he's getting the recognition."
Donaldson could become the A's first third baseman to earn a fan-elected start, and the first Oakland player at any position to receive a fan election since first baseman Jason Giambi in 2000.
The A's haven't had a position player on the All-Star roster since catcher Ramon Hernandez in 2003.
"I think what's going to end up happening is a position player on this team is going to make the All-Star team, and it's going to open doors for other people on our team to get recognized," said Donaldson, who is hitting .276 with 12 homers and 38 RBIs. "It's not because we don't have good players. We have good players, it just has to get out there."
Teammate Brandon Moss also has 12 homers and currently ranks fifth in All-Star voting at designated hitter. Jed Lowrie, too, is fifth in voting for AL shortstops. Catcher Derek Norris is third at his position behind Baltimore's Matt Wieters and Brian McCann of the Yankees. Yoenis Cespedes is ninth among all outfielders.
"Shocks you, doesn't it?" Norris said, smiling, when asked about his place in voting. "That's your ultimate goal as a ballplayer, to be mentioned within the top of the league. I don't know if strictly an All-Star ballot states that, but it's definitely nice to be mentioned with guys at the top of the league and ultimately have a chance to compete in the All-Star Game.
"That's a pretty rewarding thing, especially in a place like Oakland, where you don't get too many guys to go each year. Any time you're in the running, it's an honor, and hopefully we get some guys to keep voting, and hopefully they can make it happen for us."
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- online or on a mobile device -- using the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian until Thursday, July 3, at 11:59 p.m. ET. The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15.
Fans may submit up to 25 online ballots, but they can also earn a one-time bonus of 10 additional online ballots. To access these additional online ballots, you must be logged into your MLB.com account when you submit any online ballot. If you do not have an MLB.com account, register on the site in accordance with the enrollment instructions for a free MLB.com account.
The 2014 All-Star teams will be unveiled on the 2014 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show during the weekend of July 5-6, with further details to follow on MLB.com. The AL will have nine elected starters via the fan balloting program, while the National League will have eight fan-elected starters. Pitchers and reserves for both squads -- totaling 25 for the NL and 24 for the AL -- will be determined through a combination of "Player Ballot" choices and selections made by All-Star managers Mike Matheny (NL) and John Farrell (AL).
Immediately following the announcement of the rosters, you can select the final player for each league's 34-man roster via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Experian. Choose again at that point from among five players in each league. The Final Vote returns for its 13th season with more than 430 million votes cast to date, and you'll be able to make selections on MLB.com, club sites and your mobile device.
You'll be on a voting tear at that point, having already selected starters and the last men, and the ritual will not end there. The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again have fans participating in the voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the big game, vote exclusively online at MLB.com via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote Sponsored by Pepsi. The fan voice will represent 20 percent of the overall vote that determines the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.
The 85th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX, 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 national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.
Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB.