WASHINGTON -- Will Ryan Braun be an All-Star for the seventh time in his career? It's up to fans to decide.Braun, the National League's fourth-leading hitter, is one of five NL candidates for the 2016 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote, which will set the final spot on each league's
WASHINGTON -- Will Ryan Braun be an All-Star for the seventh time in his career? It's up to fans to decide.
Braun, the National League's fourth-leading hitter, is one of five NL candidates for the 2016 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote, which will set the final spot on each league's squad. Braun is up against first baseman Brandon Belt of the Giants, third baseman Jake Lamb of the D-backs, outfielder Starling Marte of the Pirates and shortstop Trevor Story of the Rockies.
Two other Brewers outfielders made the Midsummer Classic via the Final Vote, Geoff Jenkins in 2003, and Corey Hart in '08. Chris Capuano was a candidate in '06, but fell short, only to make the NL team anyway, as an injury replacement.
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"The goal is always to play well enough to merit consideration of making the All-Star team," Braun said. "To make it to the Final Vote is an honor. It's pretty cool. We'll see what happens over the next couple of days."
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Braun's .322 batting average led the Final Vote candidates after Tuesday's 5-2 win over the Nationals, and his .911 OPS was second to Lamb's .974 (and 11th among all qualifying NL hitters). Braun's 138 weighted runs created plus was third among the candidates to Lamb and Belt.
If Braun is voted in, he would join teammate Jonathan Lucroy, selected to the NL team as a reserve catcher.
"You look at guys who got left off the team, and there's really good players," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "Nobody is going to argue he's not an All-Star. He's an All-Star. And fans in Milwaukee tend to do a pretty good job [in online balloting]. So we'll see."
Fans can vote for the 2016 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote until 3 p.m. CT on Friday. The winners, as chosen exclusively by online fan voting totals, will be announced during a Final Vote-themed telecast of "MLB Now" featuring commentary from political analyst Jeff Greenfield, live on MLB Network and MLB.com from 3-4 p.m. CT. MLB Network will provide extensive coverage across all of its studio programming during the Final Vote, including interviews with the candidates, frequent updates, heat maps indicating the cities where votes are being cast for each candidate, news on player and club campaigns and a running countdown clock leading up to the announcement.
Baseball fans have cast nearly 600 million online votes for Final Vote candidates since the program's inception in 2002. In addition to MLB.com and the official club websites, fans can use their mobile devices to cast votes at MLB.com/vote or via text message. To receive the ballot, text the word "VOTE" to 89269. To vote for a specific player, fans can text their choice to 89269. EXAMPLE: Text "A3" to vote for AL Player 3 or "N3" to vote for NL Player 3. Message and data rates may apply. Text "STOP" to end and "HELP" for information. Mobile voting in Canada also is available and fans should text their choices to 101010.
For the fifth consecutive year, the Final Vote will include social balloting, as Twitter support for the 10 candidates over the last six hours of balloting will count toward their vote totals. From 9 a.m.-3 p.m. CT on Friday, any tweet that includes a designated player hashtag will be tabulated as part of the official vote total used to determine the winners.
On Tuesday, July 12, watch the 2016 All-Star Game presented by MasterCard live on FOX, and during the game visit MLB.com to submit your choice for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet via the 2016 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote. The 87th All-Star Game, in San Diego, will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 160 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB.com, MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.
Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast.