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Surge puts Ozuna in line to start in NL OF

Left fielder in 3rd in voting amid breakout year; Stanton 6th
MLB.com @JoeFrisaro

MIAMI -- A consistent approach and big power numbers are paying off for Marcell Ozuna. The Marlins left fielder, who has been one of the most impactful players in the National League, has now jumped into the starting All-Star picture.

The latest results were released on Monday, and with 1,270,464 votes, Ozuna has replaced Jason Heyward of the Cubs for the third starting outfield spot for the MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard.

MIAMI -- A consistent approach and big power numbers are paying off for Marcell Ozuna. The Marlins left fielder, who has been one of the most impactful players in the National League, has now jumped into the starting All-Star picture.

The latest results were released on Monday, and with 1,270,464 votes, Ozuna has replaced Jason Heyward of the Cubs for the third starting outfield spot for the MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard.

Cast your Esurance All-Star Game Ballot for Ozuna and other #ASGWorthy players

Ozuna jumped from the fifth spot to third in a week. Miami outfielder Giancarlo Stanton (1,069,313) remains sixth.

Fans have until 11:59 p.m. ET on Thursday to cast their votes online through the Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot process.

An All-Star for the first time in 2016, Ozuna has been Miami's best player all year, batting .319 with 20 home runs and 54 RBIs and a .958 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage).

"I think he's playing All-Star-caliber baseball," manager Don Mattingly said. "I think he's been able to do that all year long. I've said it many times. He's probably been our most consistent guy through the course of the season."

Video: WSH@MIA: Ozuna discusses walk-off hit in 8-7 victory

Due to injury last year, Ozuna started for the NL squad. If he maintains his lead through Thursday, he would be voted in by the fans for the first time.

"Last year he did it for a half, this year he did it for a half," Mattingly said. "I think it's all about approach. If he stays within an approach and not afraid to use both sides of the field, he's going to hit. He's just that good."

Stanton, a three-time All-Star, is trending to appear in the Midsummer Classic for a fourth time. The 27-year-old has 20 home runs, 49 RBIs, and is batting .274 with a .908 OPS.

Stanton was the 2016 Home Run Derby champion, and on Sunday night, he announced on ESPN that he will defend his crown.

The T-Mobile Home Run Derby is set for July 10.

"Man, it's going to be so much fun. I'm really looking forward to it," Stanton said. "The home crowd. The home city. All week is going to be good. I'm just looking forward to it. It's going to be fun."

Video: Stanton looks to defend Home Run Derby crown

Yoenis Cespedes (2013-14) is the last repeat Derby winner.

Along with Stanton and Ozuna, the Marlins feel catcher J.T. Realmuto is having an All-Star-caliber season. The 26-year-old is batting .288 with seven homers and 30 RBIs, and is among the most athletic at his position in the game.

"I still think there is growth there," Mattingly said. "The power is there. The guy is doing well. He's a guy who should be in consideration for the All-Star Game."

Fans may cast votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- on computers, tablets and smartphones -- exclusively online using the 2017 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot until Thursday at 11:59 p.m. ET. On smartphones and tablets, fans can also access the ballot via the MLB.com At Bat and MLB.com Ballpark mobile apps. Vote up to five times in any 24-hour period.

The Esurance All-Star Selection Show will take place on Sunday at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN. Following the unveiling of the 2017 All-Star starters, reserves and pitchers, fans should return to MLB.com and cast their 2017 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote for the final player on each league's All-Star roster. Then on Tuesday, July 11, while watching the 2017 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 2017 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote.

The 88th Midsummer Classic, at Marlins Park in Miami, 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, while MLB Network, MLB.com and SiriusXM will have comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information about MLB All-Star Week and to purchase tickets, please visit AllStarGame.com and follow @AllStarGame on social media.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Miami Marlins, Marcell Ozuna