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Ring the Vote NOW! Bell an All-Star finalist

Bell ahead of Rizzo, but trails Freeman in latest ballot update
@adamdberry
June 27, 2019

With time running out in the All-Star Starters Election, many races are still too close to call, and your votes will have a huge impact as most position battles have yet to be decided.

With time running out in the All-Star Starters Election, many races are still too close to call, and your votes will have a huge impact as most position battles have yet to be decided.

Here's a look at who's leading the NL first baseman race as of 2:30 p.m. ET on Thursday:

FIRST BASE
NL
1) Freddie Freeman (Braves): 38.7%
2) Josh Bell (Pirates): 36.5%
3) Anthony Rizzo (Cubs): 24.8%

VOTE NOW: Google MLB All-Star Starters Election

PITTSBURGH -- He's broken out big time, putting up superstar numbers while emerging as the Pirates' biggest threat at the plate. Josh Bell is more than deserving of his first All-Star nod and being the National League starter at first base for the 2019 MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard. There's just one problem: He's up against two of the biggest names in the game.

The Bucs’ switch-hitting slugger is one of three NL finalists at first base in the Starters Election for the Midsummer Classic. The other two? The Braves’ Freddie Freeman and the Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo, who have a combined six All-Star appearances between them.

Bell had a big showing in the Primary to reach the Starters Election, finishing second at first base in the NL with 1,831,933 votes, behind Freeman's 2,214,793 and ahead of Rizzo's 1,545,682. And the 26-year-old Bell has earned that kind of support, entering Monday with a slash line of .315/.386/1.026 while leading the Majors in doubles (28) and RBIs (66). Freeman's right there with Bell, slashing .316/.404/1.009, while Rizzo's put up .276/.387/.928. Bell and Freeman are tied in wRC+ at 158, ahead of Rizzo's 141.

Complete standings coverage

With the stats being that close and given the star power of Freeman and Rizzo, Bell supporters have their work cut out for them if they want to see him become the first Pirates infielder to start an All-Star Game since Bobby Bonilla at third in 1988 and the first Bucs player to start at first base since Dale Long in 1956.

The 2019 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard will be played on Tuesday, July 9, at Progressive Field in Cleveland. It 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.

MLB Network, MLB.com and SiriusXM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. During the game, fans may visit MLB.com and the 30 club sites to submit their choices for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. For more information about MLB All-Star Week and to purchase tickets, please visit AllStarGame.com and follow @MLB and @AllStarGame on social media.

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and read his blog.