ATLANTA -- Matt Kemp and Brandon Phillips remained the only Braves listed among the leaders when National League balloting updates were released Monday, but Tyler Flowers has certainly done enough to warrant strong consideration from All-Star voters.The latest Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot update showed that Kemp fell from fifth
ATLANTA -- Matt Kemp and Brandon Phillips remained the only Braves listed among the leaders when National League balloting updates were released Monday, but Tyler Flowers has certainly done enough to warrant strong consideration from All-Star voters.
The latest Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot update showed that Kemp fell from fifth to sixth among outfielders, but still remains within striking distance of Jason Heyward, who ranks third and thus would garner that final outfield starting spot if the voting ended today.
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Injured first baseman Freddie Freeman was the only other Braves listed among the leaders. They both rank fourth at their respective positions. With Bryce Harper and Charlie Blackmon still leading the way among outfielders, Heyward sits third, but has five other players within 200,000 votes of his total. Kemp is 138,009 votes behind Heyward. Among NL outfielders heading into Monday's slate of games, Kemp ranked second with a .326 batting average, sixth with a .917 OPS and fifth with 138 Weighted Runs Created Plus. Heyward ranked 26th among 32 qualified NL outfielders with 88 wRC+.
Phillips added to this season's highlights when he recorded a walk-off hit during both weekend victories over the Marlins. But he has garnered nearly two million fewer votes than Daniel Murphy, who leads all NL second basemen.
Flowers has extended his reign of being the game's best pitch-framer, as evidenced by the Statcast™ data that shows he has gained a called strike with an MLB-best 8.7 percent of pitches caught outside the strike zone. Among all catchers who have garnered at least 150 plate appearances, he ranked second to Buster Posey in batting average heading into Monday (.333), and holds a 146 wRC+.
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.
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.
Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.