San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey has reclaimed his lead over St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina behind the plate in a back-and-forth race to start for the National League in the 86th All-Star Game, to be played on Tuesday, July 14 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, it was announced Tuesday. With more than two weeks remaining in the voting period, four of the current NL leaders hold advantages of fewer than one million votes.
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Overall, the 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot, which is available exclusively online for the first time via MLB.com, club sites and mobile devices, has eclipsed 300 million votes, and is approaching the all-time record total of 391 million votes (2012). Voting for the Midsummer Classic will conclude on Thursday, July 2, at 11:59 p.m. ET.
Posey, who was elected the NL starting catcher in 2012, has received 4,345,579 total votes, while Molina, a six-time All-Star, has garnered 3,930,399 votes. With a fan election, Posey would become the seventh Giants player since 1970 to collect multiple fan elections, joining Barry Bonds (12), Will Clark (4), Matt Williams (3), Jeff Kent (2), Hall of Famer Willie Mays (2) and Kevin Mitchell (2). Posey, who was the fifth overall selection in the 2008 MLB Draft, was behind the plate last week for Chris Heston's no-hitter, marking the third no-hitter of his career to catch. He joined Bill Carigan and Hall of Famer Yogi Berra as one of three catchers in Major League history to catch three no-hitters and win three World Series titles. Over his last 10 games, he is batting .333 (13-for-39) with a home run and seven RBI. Overall, the 28-year-old Posey is batting .293 on the season with nine home runs, 10 doubles, 36 RBIs and 27 runs scored. Molina, who has earned four fan elections during his career, including each of the last two seasons, is aiming to become the first NL catcher to earn three consecutive starting assignments since Mike Piazza received nine straight from 1994-2002. In addition, Molina would join Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith (12) and former teammate Albert Pujols (5) as the only players in Cardinals history to receive at least five fan-elected starts. The Bayamon, Puerto Rico, native ranks third among NL catchers with 60 hits, tied for second with 10 doubles and is tied for seventh with 21 RBIs. In addition, he is batting .287 on the season with 13 runs scored.
Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper, bidding for his third Midsummer Classic assignment (2012-13) and second fan-elected start (2013), picked up nearly 2.4 million votes over the last week to remain the NL leading vote-getter with 6,059,827 votes. The 22-year-old Harper would become the first player in Nationals-era history to claim multiple fan-elected starting assignments, and he would become the fourth player in franchise history to accomplish the feat, joining Hall of Famers Gary Carter (1981-84) and Andre Dawson (1981-83) as well as Tim Raines (1982-83). Harper (22 years, 243 days old) collected the 200th RBI of his young career on Saturday, becoming the youngest player to do so since Miguel Cabrera in 2005 (22 years, 25 days old). Harper, the 2012 NL Rookie of the Year, leads the Majors in walks (53 and slugging percentage (.712), and he ranks second with 21 home runs and a .473 on-base percentage. In addition, he ranks second in the NL and fourth in the Majors with 48 runs scored, and ranks third in the NL and the Majors with 51 RBIs. Overall, Harper is batting .337 on the season, which ranks fifth in the Majors.
Following Harper as an NL outfield leader is Matt Holliday of the Cardinals (3,739,181), while a three-way race for the final outfield spot has developed between current leader Nori Aoki of the Giants (2,995,899), Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins (2,922,350) and Andrew McCutchen of the Pittsburgh Pirates (2,148,625). Holliday, a six-time All-Star (2006-08, 2010-12), is aiming for his first career fan-elected starting assignment. The 35-year-old, who reached base safely in an NL-record 45 consecutive games to start the season, was placed on the disabled list last week after suffering a strained right quad. The Cardinals have had at least one player elected to start in each of the last six seasons (2009-14), marking the longest active streak in the NL. In addition, a starting assignment for Holliday would give St. Louis a starting outfielder elected in four of the last five years, following Lance Berkman (2011) and Carlos Beltran (2012-13). Holliday is batting .303 on the season with three home runs, 10 doubles, a triple, 26 RBI, 20 runs scored and a .417 on-base percentage.
Aoki, in his first season with the Giants, is attempting to earn his first Midsummer Classic selection. The 33- year-old native of Japan is batting .380 (19-for-50) over his last 12 games, while recording multiple hits in six of those 12 contests. He ranks third in the NL with 24 multi-hit games and 79 hits, fifth with a .324 batting average and eighth with a .391 on-base percentage and 12 stolen bases. His .391 on-base percentage out of the leadoff spot is the second-highest in the NL (Matt Carpenter, .427), and at 16.0 plate appearances per strikeout, he is the hardest batter to fan in the Majors. Stanton, aiming for his third career All-Star selection (2012, 2014) and first starting assignment, would become just the third Marlins player, and first outfielder, to earn a fan election, joining Gary Sheffield (3B, 1993) and Hanley Ramirez (SS, 2008-10). The 25-year-old Stanton, who finished second in NL Most Valuable Player voting in 2014, leads the Majors with 23 home runs and 59 RBI. Overall, the California native is hitting .261 with 12 doubles, a triple, 41 runs scored and a .606 slugging percentage on the season. McCutchen, a four-time All-Star (2011-14) and the 2013 NL Most Valuable Player, is bidding for his second consecutive fan election. He would join Willie Stargell (1971-72), Dave Parker (1977-78 and 1980-81), Barry Bonds (1992-94) and Andy Van Slyke (1992-93) as the only Pirates to earn multiple fan elections. The 28-year-old native of Fort Meade, Fla., is batting .288 on the season with eight home runs, 16 doubles, two triples, 40 RBI and 35 runs scored. Two-time All-Star (2009, 2011) Justin Upton of the San Diego Padres ranks sixth among NL outfielders with 1,772,347 total votes.
Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon, who was an All-Star for the first time in 2014, has garnered 3,481,830 votes to remain slightly ahead of Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong (3,124,973). The 27-year-old Gordon, bidding for his first fan election, leads the Majors with 93 hits to go along with his .352 batting average. In addition, the speedster ranks second in the Majors with 22 stolen bases. Gordon has also added 13 doubles, two triples, 16 RBIs, a .375 on-base percentage and 33 runs scored on the season. Gordon is aiming to become the first Marlins second baseman to win a fan election, and along with his teammate Stanton, is trying to become the third Marlins player overall to receive a starting bid from the fans, joining Sheffield and Ramirez. Wong, seeking his first Midsummer Classic appearances, is hitting .295 on the season with 13 doubles, two triples, seven home runs, 27 RBIs and 36 runs scored. With a fan election, he would join Tommy Herr (1985) as the only Cardinals second basemen to earn a fan-elected start.
Joining Gordon on the right side of the infield is Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, who has received 3,562,399 votes. Goldschmidt, who was elected a starter by the fans in 2014, is trying to keep Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez (2,699,729) from reclaiming the lead. The 27-year-old Goldschmidt, who finished second in NL Most Valuable Player voting in 2013, would become the first D-backs player to win multiple fan elections. In addition to his fan election last year, the only other D-backs to earn a fan-elected start in the Midsummer Classic are second baseman Jay Bell (1999), third baseman Matt Williams (1999) and outfielder Luis Gonzalez (2001). Since May 27, Goldschmidt is hitting .453 (29-for-64) with six home runs, 15 RBIs and 20 walks. In addition, he has reached base safely in 25 consecutive games, batting .442 (38-for-86) during the stretch. Since 2013, he ranks among NL leaders in slugging percentage (1st, .572), extra-base hits (1st, 168), RBIs (2nd, 247), on-base percentage (2nd, .415), walks (2nd, 215), home runs (2nd, 73) and doubles (4th, 90). Overall, Goldschmidt leads the Majors with a .366 batting average and leads the NL with 49 runs scored. He has also added 18 home runs, 15 doubles, a triple, 53 RBIs, 10 stolen bases, a .484 on-base percentage and a .678 slugging percentage. Gonzalez, who is seeking his fifth career All-Star selection and his first fan-elected start, leads the Majors with 22 doubles on the season. The 33-year-old would join Steve Garvey (1974-80) as the only Dodgers first basemen to win a fan election, and he would become the first Dodgers infielder to accomplish the feat since second baseman Jeff Kent in 2005. Overall, the number one selection in the 2000 MLB Draft, is batting .307 on the season with 11 home runs, 43 RBIs, 37 runs scored and a .545 slugging percentage.
On the left side of the infield, Cardinals shortstop Jhonny Peralta and third baseman Matt Carpenter continue to lead at their respective positions. Peralta has totaled 4,020,531 total votes to remain ahead of San Francisco's Brandon Crawford (2,785,818). Peralta, striving for his third career All-Star selection (2011, 2013), is attempting to earn his first career starting assignment and his first Midsummer Classic selection in the Senior Circuit. The Santiago, Dominican Republic, native would join Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith (1983-92, 1994-95), Edgar Renteria (2003-04), David Eckstein (2005) and Rafael Furcal (2012) as Cardinals shortstops to earn a fan election. The 32-year-old Peralta is first on his team, seventh in the NL overall and ranks first among Major League shortstops with 74 hits on the season. In addition, he is tied with Wilmer Flores of the New York Mets for first among shortstops with 10 home runs. Crawford, who has hit safely in 24 of his last 29 contests, could become the third Giants shortstop to earn a fan election, joining Chris Speier (1973) and Rich Aurilia (2001). The 28-year-old Crawford, seeking his first All-Star selection, leads all Major League shortstops with 40 RBIs, while his nine home runs are tied for third.
Carpenter has received 4,455,782 votes, which ranks second in the NL behind Harper. He continues to lead Chicago Cubs rookie Kris Bryant, who has garnered 2,198,522 votes. Carpenter and Peralta could become the first teammates to start on the left side for the NL since David Wright and Jose Reyes of the New York Mets accomplished the feat in 2007. Carpenter, who is vying for his third consecutive All-Star selection and his first fan-elected start, would become just the third different Cardinals third baseman to earn a starting assignment, joining Joe Torre (1971-72) and Scott Rolen (2003-05). The 29-year-old Carpenter is tied for third in the NL with 24 multihit games, tied for sixth with 18 doubles and tied for ninth with 39 runs scored.
The Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot, the largest program of its kind in professional sports, for the first time is being conducted exclusively online. Fans around the world can cast their votes for starters 35 times exclusively at MLB.com and all 30 club web sites -- online or via their mobile devices -- with the 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot. During the voting period, which ends on July 2 at 11:59 p.m. ET, the Esurance MLB All- Star Game Ballot will be available in English and Spanish, and will offer audio CAPTCHA functionality for visually impaired fans. Traditional Chinese, Korean and Japanese versions of the online ballot are also available. Banco BHD sponsors online All-Star balloting in the Dominican Republic, making Spanish-language ballots available to fans in the Dominican Republic via LasMayores.com, the official Spanish-language Web site of Major League Baseball.
Details regarding the unveiling of the 2015 American League and National League All-Star teams will be available later this week. The AL All-Star Team will have nine elected starters via the fan balloting program, while the NL All-Star team will have eight fan-elected starters. The pitchers and reserves for both squads -- totaling 25 for the NL and 24 for the AL -- will be determined through a combination of "Player Ballot" choices and selections made by the two All-Star managers -- NL skipper Bruce Bochy of the defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants and AL manager Ned Yost of the Kansas City Royals.
Following the announcement of the American League and National League All-Star rosters, fans will begin voting to select the final player for each League's 34-man roster via the 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote. Fans will cast their votes from a list of five players from each League over the balloting period. Now in its 14th season with more than 480 million votes cast, fans again will be able to make their Final Vote selections on MLB.com, Club sites and their mobile phones.
This year's final phase of All-Star Game voting again will have fans participating in the official voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans can vote exclusively at MLB.com and the 30 club sites -- online or via their mobile devices -- with the 2015 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote, and their collective voice will represent 20 percent of the official vote determining this year's recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
The 2015 All-Star Game will be played at Great American Ball Park on Tuesday, July 14. The 86th All-Star Game 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 of the All-Star Game. MLB Network, MLB.com and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.
NATIONAL LEAGUE ALL-STAR BALLOTING
1. Buster Posey, Giants: 4,345,579
2. Yadier Molina, Cardinals: 3,930,399
3. Francisco Cervelli, Pirates: 1,101,593
4. Derek Norris, Padres: 1,014,286
5. Yasmani Grandal, Dodgers: 1,014,032
1. Paul Goldschmidt, D-backs: 3,562,399
2. Adrian Gonzalez, Dodgers: 2,699,729
3. Matt Adams, Cardinals: 1,725,108
4. Anthony Rizzo, Cubs: 1,646,781
5. Brandon Belt, Giants: 1,557,407
1. Dee Gordon, Marlins: 3,481,830
2. Kolten Wong, Cardinals: 3,124,973
3. Joe Panik, Giants: 1,860,589
4. Howie Kendrick, Dodgers: 1,269,476
5. Yunel Escobar, Nationals: 1,129,737
1. Matt Carpenter, Cardinals: 4,455,782
2. Kris Bryant, Cubs: 2,198,522
3. Todd Frazier, Reds: 1,939,573
4. Nolan Arenado, Rockies: 1,699,515
5. David Wright, Mets: 890,605
1. Jhonny Peralta, Cardinals: 4,020,531
2. Brandon Crawford, Giants: 2,785,818
3. Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies: 1,958,502
4. Starlin Castro, Cubs: 1,454,618
5. Zack Cozart, Reds: 975,989
1. Bryce Harper, Nationals: 6,059,827
2. Matt Holliday, Cardinals: 3,739,181
3. Nori Aoki, Giants: 2,995,899
4. Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins: 2,922,350
5. Andrew McCutchen, Pirates: 2,148,625
6. Justin Upton, Padres: 1,772,347
7. Jason Heyward, Cardinals: 1,695,246
8. Joc Pederson, Dodgers: 1,679,470
9. Angel Pagan, Giants: 1,628,035
10. Hunter Pence, Giants: 1,594,977
11. Jon Jay, Cardinals: 1,492,454
12. Ryan Braun, Brewers: 1,145,248
13. Yasiel Puig, Dodgers: 1,084,249
14. Corey Dickerson, Rockies: 952,107
15. Starling Marte, Pirates: 925,384