SAN FRANCISCO -- Buster Posey owns a solid but not necessarily safe lead among his fellow catchers in the latest National League All-Star Game balloting update announced Monday.• VOTE: 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot Posey has garnered 686,253 votes in the NL balloting's closest positional race. His top competitors
SAN FRANCISCO -- Buster Posey owns a solid but not necessarily safe lead among his fellow catchers in the latest National League All-Star Game balloting update announced Monday.
• VOTE: 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot
Posey has garnered 686,253 votes in the NL balloting's closest positional race. His top competitors are Willson Contreras of the Cubs (596,111) and Kurt Suzuki of the Braves (557,692).
Posey, 31, is bidding for his fourth consecutive fan-elected start, and would become the first NL catcher to earn four consecutive fan votes since Hall of Famer Mike Piazza (nine straight, 1994-2002). In addition, Posey would become just the third Giants player to garner four consecutive starting assignments since balloting was returned to the fans in 1970, joining first baseman Will Clark (four straight, 1988-91) and outfielder Barry Bonds (five straight, 2000-04).
Brandon Crawford, is progessing toward a landslide victory in the shortstop category. Crawford, winner of the NL's past three Gold Glove Awards at his position, has 1,120,031 votes, almost double the total of his closest competitor, Atlanta's Dansby Swanson (568,400).
Other Giants rank among top vote-getters at their respective positions, but trail the leaders by substantial margins.
For example, first baseman Brandon Belt has 363,361 votes and is in third, but he is more than a million behind the pacesetter, Atlanta's Freddie Freeman (1,433,140). The situation is similar at second base, where Joe Panik ranks fourth (194,634), yet each of the three candidates ahead of him has collected more than 700,000 votes, with Atlanta's Ozzie Albies (915,736) leading the pack.
Third baseman Evan Longoria moved into the fifth spot at his position with 221,100 votes. But any momentum he might have had is bound to fade due to the fractured left hand he sustained last week and the subsequent surgery. Longoria trails leading vote-getter Nolan Arenado by approximately 900,000 votes (1,124,563).
Andrew McCutchen occupies 14th place among outfielders with 241,652 votes, well behind the top three of Atlanta's Nick Markakis (1,173,653), Washington's Bryce Harper (1,002,696) and Los Angeles' Matt Kemp (925,697).
Fans may cast votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- on computers, tablets and smartphones -- exclusively online using the 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot until Thursday, July 5, at 8:59 p.m. PT. On smartphones and tablets, fans can also access the ballot via the MLB At Bat and MLB Ballpark mobile apps. Each fan can vote up to five times in any 24-hour period for a maximum of 35 ballots cast.
Following the announcement of this year's All-Star starters, reserves and pitchers, fans should return to MLB.com and cast their 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Final Vote for the final player on each league's roster. Then on Tuesday, July 17, while watching the 2018 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 2018 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote.
The 89th Midsummer Classic, at Nationals Park in Washington, DC, will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 180 countries. FOX Deportes will provide Spanish-language coverage in the United States, while ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network, MLB.com and SiriusXM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information about MLB All-Star Week and to purchase tickets, please visit AllStarGame.com and follow @MLB and @AllStarGame on social media.
Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.