Mr. Popular: Bautista leads all voters on ballot
OAKLAND -- For the second time in four years, Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista is headed to the All-Star Game with the most fan votes of any player in the Major Leagues.
Bautista finished the fan balloting process with 5,859,019 votes. That was almost 300,000 more than Los Angeles outfielder Mike Trout received to finish second in the American League. The only other player to surpass the 5-million total was Colorado's Troy Tulowitzki.
This marks the fifth consecutive appearance at an All-Star Game for Bautista and the fourth time he has been voted in by the fans. Bautista also led the league in votes during the 2011 season.
"It's great to have the support," Bautista said. "I feel thankful and appreciative of all the votes. It's nice to know that people are paying attention and they're watching you succeed.
"To just know that people know that people are paying attention and watching is always a pleasure to me. It takes a lot to sit in front of your computer and vote or go to the stadium and fill out ballots. It takes some of your time, so I'm always thankful for that."
Bautista becomes the 10th American League outfielder to earn four consecutive fan elections. He also joins Roberto Alomar as the second player in franchise history to start four consecutive All-Star Games.
The 31-year-old also is the captain of the AL squad at the 2014 Gillette Home Run Derby. He has reached base safely in 77 of his 83 starts this season and entered play on Sunday with an AL-leading .423 on-base percentage and 60 walks.