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Betts heads pack in All-Star voting; J.D. on pace

MLB.com @IanMBrowne

Backed by a monster start to this season, Mookie Betts has seen his popularity soar. The ultra-talented outfielder leads all Major League players in fan balloting for the 2018 All-Star Game.

VOTE: 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot

Backed by a monster start to this season, Mookie Betts has seen his popularity soar. The ultra-talented outfielder leads all Major League players in fan balloting for the 2018 All-Star Game.

VOTE: 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot

The first American League ballot update was released Tuesday, and Betts had 748,872 votes. The fact that Betts is the leader in the outfield -- not to mention all of MLB -- is particularly impressive when you consider Mike Trout and Aaron Judge are also on the ballot. Reigning AL MVP Award winner Jose Altuve and Trout rank second and third among vote-getters across MLB.

Betts is a game changer in every way for the Red Sox, and fans across baseball are paying attention to it. Not even a recent injury (left abdominal strain) that sidelined Betts from May 27 until Sunday could diminish his popularity in the voting.

"It's pretty cool, obviously," said Betts. "To make an All-Star team is good. ... If I'm fortunate to still be there at the end, then I'll be happy, go play in that and get back to business. Obviously, it's going to be really cool to go with some teammates; guys that you grind with every day. Just to see them in the spotlight with you, [that's] pretty cool."

Entering action on Tuesday, Betts led the Majors in average (.354) and OPS (1.167) while tied for second in runs (52). He also has 17 homers, tied for the seventh most.

"That is awesome," said Red Sox manager Alex Cora. "He's fun to watch. He can run. He can hit the ball out of the ballpark. He hits for average. He plays defense. He's a likable guy. He's a great bowler." 

Betts isn't the only Boston player you can say that about this season. J.D. Martinez is having a tremendous first year with the Sox, and he entered the day tied with Trout for the MLB lead in homers with 21.

On the strength of that fine start, Martinez, who is on the ballot at designated hitter, has 513,415 votes, giving him more than twice the total of his closest competitor at the position in Giancarlo Stanton (231,885).

Fans may cast votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- on computers, tablets and smartphones -- exclusively online using the 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot until Thursday, July 5, at 11:59 p.m. ET. On smartphones and tablets, fans can also access the ballot via the MLB At Bat and MLB Ballpark mobile apps. Each fan can vote up to five times in any 24-hour period, for a maximum of 35 ballots cast.

Following the announcement of this year's All-Star starters, reserves and pitchers, fans should return to MLB.com and cast their 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Final Vote for the final player on each league's roster. Then on Tuesday, July 17, while watching the 2018 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 2018 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote.

The 89th Midsummer Classic, at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., 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 of the All-Star Game. MLB Network, MLB.com and SiriusXM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information about MLB All-Star Week and to purchase tickets, please visit AllStarGame.com and follow @MLB and @AllStarGame on social media.

Mitch Moreland, who started the season as a backup, impressively ranks second among AL first basemen. With 241,889 votes, Moreland is within striking distance of the White Sox Jose Abreu (267,812).

Red-hot Andrew Benintendi hopes to join Betts in the outfield for the AL. He is sixth with 208,837 votes.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox, Mookie Betts