ATLANTA -- Braves outfielder Matt Kemp is hitting like he did during his 2011 Most Valuable Player Award-caliber season. That year, Kemp was voted to start in the All-Star Game, and now, six years later, he's deservedly drawing some comparable attention in the Midsummer Classic voting.When the Esurance MLB All-Star
ATLANTA -- Braves outfielder Matt Kemp is hitting like he did during his 2011 Most Valuable Player Award-caliber season. That year, Kemp was voted to start in the All-Star Game, and now, six years later, he's deservedly drawing some comparable attention in the Midsummer Classic voting.
When the Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot update was released on Monday, Kemp ranked fifth among National League outfielders. The only other Braves player listed was Brandon Phillips, who ranks third among second basemen.
Bryce Harper leads NL outfielders with 1,459,235 votes and the Rockies' Charlie Blackmon ranks second with 979,961 . Former Braves outfielder Jason Heyward (498,079) is third, but Cubs teammate Benjamin Zobrist (472,114) and Kemp (457,586) are both within close striking distance of claiming the final starting spot.
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Kemp enters Monday night leads all NL outfielders with a .335 batting average and ranks fifth with both a .948 OPS and 148 weighted runs created plus. His .580 slugging percentage ranks fourth. Despite missing nearly two weeks in April with a left hamstring strain, Kemp is on pace to record a second straight 30-homer season.
In the first ballot update, Kemp was sixth and trailed Heyward in third by almost 60,000 votes. He has moved past Kyle Schwarber into fifth and is now nearly 40,000 behind third place.
Daniel Murphy leads NL second basemen with 1,149,130 votes and Javier Baez ranks second with 715,928 votes. Phillips (185,862), DJ LeMahieu (175,435) and Kolten Wong (171,848) round out the top five vote-getters within this group.
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.