What's the shelf life of a career game? How much does one player stand to gain in July from an impressive stretch in early May? A few of baseball's hottest sluggers may soon find out.
With All-Star Game voting in full swing, some of the game's most iconic stars are hoping some big spring swings can propel them all the way to the Midsummer Classic in the Twin Cities.
Among them are Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, Dodgers sparkplugs Yasiel Puig and Dee Gordon, D-backs star Paul Goldschmidt and Rays youngsters Desmond Jennings and Wil Myers.
Voting is underway for this year's All-Star Game -- to be held July 15 at Target Field -- so only time will tell what kind of impact these hot streaks will have in the long run. Fans can cast their votes for starting position players at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- online or on a mobile device -- using the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian until Thursday, July 3, at 11:59 p.m. ET.
Of all Major League players who had at least 25 plate appearances in the week that ended Sunday, no one had a higher batting average than Tulowitzki (13-for-21, .619), who was also one shy of the top RBI total (that belongs to Colby Rasmus, who drove in nine). Reds third baseman Todd Frazier, who hit .364 on the week, also drove in eight runs.
"I come to the park every day knowing how hard this game is, and I try to humble myself as much as I possibly can," Tulowitzki said. "I never talk myself into either a slump or talk myself into, 'Man, I'm really going to get hot here.' The moment you do that, you're asking for trouble."
Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado extended his hitting streak on Monday to 25 games -- the second-longest streak in club history.
Four players -- Rasmus, Jennings, Giancarlo Stanton and Carlos Santana -- each belted three homers during the same time period. Jennings, Stanton and Rasmus each hit better than .300, and each drove in or scored at least seven runs.
"It's a real treat watching [Jennings]," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "This is kind of what we thought he could look like."
To find two of the hottest players coming out of the weekend, it's best to start with those wearing Dodger blue. Gordon, who leads the Majors with 19 stolen bases, turned in a career game Saturday with five hits in a 9-7 win against the Marlins. This came after a three-hit performance the game before, and it was followed with another knock on Sunday.
Puig, Gordon's teammate, felt right at home on the road over Los Angeles' six games in Minneapolis and Miami, going 12-for-27 (.444) on the road trip, with a homer and seven RBIs.
Fans may submit up to 25 online ballots, but they can also earn a one-time bonus of 10 additional online ballots. To access these additional online ballots, you must be logged into your MLB.com account when you submit any online ballot. If you do not have an MLB.com account, register on the site in accordance with the enrollment instructions for a free MLB.com account.
Fans this year once again can participate in the Home Run Derby Fan Poll. Fans will have the opportunity to select three players in each league who they would most like to see participate in the Home Run Derby. The 2014 Home Run Derby 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 14.
The 2014 American League and National League All-Star teams will be unveiled on the 2014 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show during the weekend of July 5-6, with further details to follow on MLB.com. Immediately following the announcement of the AL and NL All-Star rosters, fans can begin voting to select the final player for each league's 34-man roster via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Experian. Fans will cast their votes from a list of five players from each league over the balloting period.
And the voting doesn't end there. The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again have fans participating in the 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 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote Sponsored by Pepsi, and their voice will represent 20 percent of the overall vote that determines the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.
The 85th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX, 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 will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.
Joey Nowak is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak