ST. PETERSBURG -- When Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr. became roommates for their start in professional baseball back in 2011, they envisioned playing together for the Red Sox. But they weren't bold enough to predict starting in the same outfield in the All-Star Game.That scenario has a realistic chance
ST. PETERSBURG -- When Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr. became roommates for their start in professional baseball back in 2011, they envisioned playing together for the Red Sox. But they weren't bold enough to predict starting in the same outfield in the All-Star Game.
That scenario has a realistic chance to take place, as the duo maintained their positions as the final round of All-Star balloting was released on Tuesday. Bradley (2,184,884 votes) ranks second among American League outfielders and Betts (1,915,637) is third.
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"It's definitely cool," said Betts. "It's definitely something I would love to be a part of. We're kind of struggling right now, so my mind is kind of somewhere else right now. But I'm going to do the best I can and in doing that the All-Star voting will take care of itself."
Angels superstar Mike Trout is the only AL outfielder with more votes than Bradley and Betts.
"That would be pretty special," said Bradley. "We've both worked really hard in order to help the team any way we can and what better guy to deserve it than [Mookie], my very first roommate. You couldn't even script something like that. It would be pretty special if we do happen to make it. It would definitely be a unique situation."
If the current voting holds, nearly half of the AL starting lineup will feature Red Sox players.
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Designated hitter David Ortiz, in the midst of his final season, continues to hold a commanding lead at his position. This would be Ortiz's 10th All-Star appearance.
Shortstop Xander Bogaerts (2,825,025 votes) is in strong position to become an All-Star for the first time. His nearest competitor -- Kansas City's Alcides Escobar -- has 1,478,645 votes.
Dustin Pedroia, Boston's sparkplug second baseman, ranks third behind Houston's Jose Altuve and Seattle's Robinson Cano.
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Following the announcement of the 2016 All-Stars, be sure to return to MLB.com and cast your 2016 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote for the final player on each league's All-Star roster. On Tuesday, July 12, watch the 2016 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 2016 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote.
The 87th All-Star Game, in San Diego, 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.
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.