SAN FRANCISCO -- Seeking their third trips to the Midsummer Classic, catcher Buster Posey, third baseman Pablo Sandoval and right fielder Hunter Pence lead a contingent of Giants named on Friday to the 2014 National League All-Star Game ballot.
Based on early-season performance, however, the most intriguing All-Star bid among the Giants could be launched by first baseman Brandon Belt.
Belt entered Friday with seven home runs, tying him for the NL lead. "He has some tough competition," Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford said. "But he deserves recognition."
Posey not only played in the previous two All-Star Games, but he also established a record among NL players by receiving 7,621,370 votes in 2012. Posey was the first Giants catcher chosen for the team since Benito Santiago in '02 and the first to start since Ed Bailey in 1963.
Sandoval has the distinction of owning a two-game All-Star hitting streak. He doubled in Arizona in 2011 and tripled with the bases loaded at Kansas City in '12.
Pence was selected to his first All-Star team in 2009, but he did not appear in the game in St. Louis. He stroked a single and scored a run in '11. Both times, Pence represented the Houston Astros.
Pence also was a Final Vote candidate last year, but he did not win the NL team's extra berth.
Other Giants position players appearing on the ballot are Crawford, second baseman Marco Scutaro, left fielder Michael Morse and center fielder Angel Pagan. Among them, the lone All-Star veteran is Scutaro, who was selected to last year's NL squad, though Belt, Crawford and Pagan have received strong support from fans in previous years.
Belt finished second with 3,912,945 votes in 2012, though he finished more than 3 million votes behind Reds first baseman Joey Votto. Crawford has placed second for two years in a row, finishing only about 300,000 votes behind St. Louis' Rafael Furcal in 2012 with 3,666,897 votes before receiving 3,036,479 votes last year, about 2.4 million fewer than Colorado's Troy Tulowitzki.
"I think it's more a case of our fans being more supportive or tech-savvy," Crawford said modestly.
Scutaro currently is sidelined by a bad back. The Giants have replaced him at second base with a trio consisting of Brandon Hicks, Joaquin Arias and Ehire Adrianza.
The Giants have had larger-than-average representations, including pitchers, at the past three All-Star Games. They had five players at the 2011 game and four apiece in '12 and '13.
In-stadium balloting at AT&T Park will begin May 12 and conclude June 15.
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 8:59 p.m. PT. 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.
Fans this year once again can participate in the Home Run Derby Fan Poll. Fans will have the opportunity to select three players in each league who they would most like to see participate in the Home Run Derby. The 2014 Home Run Derby will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio in the United States beginning at 5 p.m. PT on Monday, July 14.
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 5-6, with further details to follow on MLB.com. Immediately following the announcement of the AL and NL All-Star rosters, fans can 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.
And the voting doesn't 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 Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote Sponsored by Pepsi, and their 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.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat.