Nothing in his professional baseball career has come easily for Marlins first baseman Justin Bour, so why should his bid to be an All-Star for the first time be any different?• Cast your Esurance Final Vote for BourIf Bour is to secure a spot on the National League roster for
Nothing in his professional baseball career has come easily for Marlins first baseman Justin Bour, so why should his bid to be an All-Star for the first time be any different?
• Cast your Esurance Final Vote for Bour
If Bour is to secure a spot on the National League roster for the MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard, he will need the support of the fans. The 29-year-old is one of five candidates on the ballot for the Esurance MLB All-Star Final Vote. Voting ends at 4 p.m. ET on Thursday. Fans can show their support for Bour by tweeting with #VoteBour, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET on Thursday, any tweet that includes #VoteBour will count toward his vote total.
For the Marlins' slugger, the "get out to vote" campaign starts now. Bour will be banking on his followers to help spread the word because he's up against a formidable field on the ballot.
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The other finalists are Cubs third baseman Kristopher Bryant, the reigning National League MVP, Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon, Rockies first baseman Mark Reynolds and Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner.
If Bour makes it, he will be the third player on the Marlins selected for the Midsummer Classic, set for July 11 at Marlins Park. Also on Sunday, it was announced that Marcell Ozuna was voted in as a starting outfielder by the fans. Outfielder Giancarlo Stanton was picked as a reserve.
Bour has been a real find for the Marlins, batting .285 with 18 home runs and 53 RBIs. A 25th-round pick of the Cubs in 2009, the Marlins obtained the left-handed hitter in the Minor League phase of the 2013 Rule 5 Draft.
In 2015, his emergence prompted the Marlins to trade Michael Morse to the Dodgers. He's handled a bulk of the playing time at first since, but it wasn't until this year that he was given more opportunities against lefties.
Even with the organization's commitment to give him full-time status, Bour got off to a cold start, batting .222 with four home runs and 15 RBIs in April.
For a while, manager Don Mattingly was wondering if having Bour face lefties was the right idea. In May, Bour erased any doubts, having one of the best months of any Miami player in a while -- sporting a slash line of .344/.427/.729 with 11 home runs and 21 RBIs.
The big month sparked talk that he was All-Star worthy, and he's now a serious power threat in the middle of the lineup.
Fans can cast ballots for the 2017 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote on MLB.com, Club sites and their mobile devices until 4 p.m. ET on Thursday. The winners, as chosen exclusively by online fan voting totals, will then be announced during "MLB Tonight" live on MLB Network and MLB.com at 6 p.m. Extensive coverage throughout the Final Vote will be provided by MLB Network and MLB.com, including interviews with the candidates, frequent updates, heat maps indicating where votes are being cast for each candidate, news on player and club campaigns, and a running countdown clock leading up to the announcement.
Now in its 16th season, with more than 680 million votes cast, the Final Vote again will include social votes on the last day of balloting, as Twitter support for the 10 candidates over the final six hours of balloting will count toward their vote totals. From 10 a.m.-4 p.m. ET on Thursday, any tweet that includes a designated player hashtag will be tabulated as part of the official vote total used to determine the winners.
On Tuesday, July 11 at 7:30 p.m. ET, tune in to the 2017 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard live on FOX, and during the game visit MLB.com to submit your choice for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet via the 2017 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote. The 88th All-Star Game, in Miami, will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 160 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB.com, MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.