From the moment Citi Field was chosen as the site of the 2013 All-Star Game, one Mets player was envisioned by many to be in the starting lineup once the big day arrived: third baseman David Wright.
And with less than two weeks to go in voting, Wright is in position for the first time this year to take top honors at the hot corner in the National League, having passed the Giants' Pablo Sandoval in the latest update of voting for the Midsummer Classic.
There is change at the top of the overall National League voting tally, as well, with the battle for catcher swaying toward the Cardinals' Yadier Molina over the Giants' Buster Posey. The top two vote-getters in the league sure look like they'll be going down to the wire to determine which will have bestowed upon him the honor of starting the annual star-studded affair.
Everywhere else on the ballot, leaders are holding their own, with the Reds' Joey Votto at first and Brandon Phillips at second, injured Rockies star Troy Tulowitzki at shortstop and the outfield of the Cardinals' Carlos Beltran, the Braves' Justin Upton and the Nationals' Bryce Harper all maintaining their top spots.
Whether Wright will hold off Sandoval or it'll be Molina or Posey behind the plate remains to be seen. It's all up for grabs as the final days of voting brings it all home.
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- online or via a mobile device -- using the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot until Thursday, July 4, at 11:59 p.m. ET.
Fans may submit 25 online ballots during the voting period but can also earn a one-time bonus of 10 additional online ballots. To access these additional online ballots, fans must be logged into an MLB.com account when submitting any online ballot. To obtain an MLB.com account, visit www.mlb.com and register in accordance with the enrollment instructions for a free MLB.com account.
As millions more votes poured in over the past week, Wright made his move at third base, taking a slim lead with 2,917,819 votes to Sandoval's 2,788,988. Wright has six All-Star appearances behind him, having made the team behind top vote-getter Sandoval last year and voted in as a starter on four other occasions.
Wright made a big move, but he's not likely to catch up to the catchers in the NL balloting. Molina overtook Posey for the top spot in the league at 3,596,858 votes to Posey's 3,506,402, setting up what figures to be a battle for not only the catcher position but also the top vote-getter in the league.
That said, Carlos Beltran (3,473,030) is creeping up on Molina and Posey, pulling away as the top outfielder in voting. While Upton (2,453,531) and Harper (2,363,965) have maintained solid showing in the voting, a couple of outfielders are within striking distance. Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies made a big move this week to the No. 4 spot at 2,060,388, with Ryan Braun of the Brewers not far behind at 2,010,310.
Votto and Phillips have led since voting updates were first announced, and they continue to lead. But Votto (2,677,813) has the D-backs' Paul Goldschmidt (2,270,886) creeping up on him, and Phillips (2,597,742) is still unable to shake the Giants' Marco Scutaro (2,272,484).
The one player who has the most comfortable lead is Tulowitzki, who is currently on the disabled list with a rib injury that is expected to keep him out until at least the All-Star break. At 3,104,285 votes, Tulowitzki is more than 1 million ahead of Brandon Crawford of the Giants and Jean Segura of the Brewers.
Millions of votes have been counted already, but there's always room in the ballot box for more -- and there are more ways to vote than selecting the starting lineups.
Fans can also once again participate in the Home Run Derby Fan Poll. Fans will have the opportunity to select three players in each league whom they would most like to see participate in the Home Run Derby. The 2013 Home Run Derby -- part of Gatorade All-Star Workout Day -- will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio in the United States beginning at 8 p.m. ET on Monday, July 15.
Though originally scheduled for July 7, the 2013 rosters will now be unveiled Saturday, July 6, at 6:30 p.m. ET on the 2013 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Taco Bell. The show will be televised nationally on FOX.
From Saturday, July 6, to Thursday, July 11, be sure to return to MLB.com and cast your 2013 All-Star Game Final Vote Sponsored by freecreditscore.com for the final player for each league's All-Star roster.
And the voting doesn't end there. The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again 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 will vote exclusively online at MLB.com via the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote, and their voice will represent 20 percent of the official vote determining the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
The 2013 All-Star Game will be played at Citi Field on Tuesday, July 16. Come to MLB.com for extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.
The 84th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM also will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.
NATIONAL LEAGUE ALL-STAR VOTING
(as of June 23)
Joey Votto, Reds 2,677,813
Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks 2,270,886
Allen Craig, Cardinals 1,801,138
Brandon Belt, Giants 1,323,511
Freddie Freeman, Braves 1,181,657
Brandon Phillips, Reds 2,597,742
Marco Scutaro, Giants 2,272,484
Matt Carpenter, Cardinals 2,251,248
Chase Utley, Phillies 1,136,890
Daniel Murphy, Mets 1,088,224
Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies 3,104,285
Brandon Crawford, Giants 1,757,255
Jean Segura, Brewers 1,625,753
Pete Kozma, Cardinals 1,354,974
Andrelton Simmons, Braves 965,016
David Wright, Mets 2,917,819
Pablo Sandoval, Giants 2,788,988
David Freese, Cardinals 1,728,322
Chris Johnson, Braves 1,008,552
Aramis Ramirez, Brewers 881,559
Yadier Molina, Cardinals 3,596,858
Buster Posey, Giants 3,506,402
John Buck, Mets 1,087,519
Jonathan Lucroy, Brewers 845,519
Miguel Montero, Diamondbacks 799,837
Carlos Beltran, Cardinals 3,473,030
Justin Upton, Braves 2,453,531
Bryce Harper, Nationals 2,363,965
Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies 2,060,388
Ryan Braun, Brewers 2,010,310
Matt Holliday, Cardinals 1,947,864
Andrew McCutchen, Pirates 1,777,568
Hunter Pence, Giants 1,732,843
Shin-Soo Choo, Reds 1,566,597
Angel Pagan, Giants 1,541,055
Carlos Gomez, Brewers 1,393,464
Jon Jay, Cardinals 1,321,149
Gregor Blanco, Giants 1,210,892
Domonic Brown, Phillies 1,107,632
Jay Bruce, Reds 978,994
John Schlegel is a national reporter for MLB.com.