No. 27 is perfect in baseball, and there are some perfectly good reasons to vote for No. 27 on May 27 as you help decide All-Star starters via your 2016 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot.As an added bonus, this red-letter date means we are now 35 days out from the
No. 27 is perfect in baseball, and there are some perfectly good reasons to vote for No. 27 on May 27 as you help decide All-Star starters via your 2016 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot.
As an added bonus, this red-letter date means we are now 35 days out from the end of balloting for the 87th All-Star Game presented by MasterCard, and so if you haven't started, you can use up your 35 allotted ballots by voting once every day the rest of the way.
Jose Altuve, Astros second baseman
It is a strong year for American League second basemen on the ballot -- especially with Robinson Cano's resurgence in Seattle -- but it's hard to imagine the Houston mighty mite missing out on a fourth selection in a five-year span. Altuve leads all AL second basemen in batting, steals, OPS and plenty more.
Matt Kemp, Padres right fielder
An All-Star in 2011-12, Kemp certainly merits consideration for a hometown assignment at Petco Park. He ranks among National League outfield leaders with 10 homers and 30 RBIs, and when you look at that latter category, consider that he has come to the plate with runners in scoring position in only 38 of his 197 plate appearances (19.3 percent) -- well below the league norm of 24.8 percent.
Addison Russell, Cubs shortstop
He is among the wave of young marquee talent that has helped take the Cubs to the top of the overall MLB won/lost records, and you can see his maturation process on display this season -- his first as the everyday shortstop. Russell ranks among club RBI leaders with 30, and for most of the season he has been pretty reliable with runners in scoring position. Only four other regular MLB players have had a greater percentage of RISP opportunities per at-bat this season, so he has prime RBI potential ahead. He has struggled against lefties, but he had an OPS of 1.394 (20 PAs) at home over the past 14 days.
Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins right fielder
Mr. Exit Velocity is hoping for a fourth All-Star selection over the last five years, and his sheer entertainment value as MLB's hardest-hitting player is definitely a reason many people click. Hey, you want to see this guy take BP at Petco Park, we get it. Only Yoenis Cespedes has more homers among NL outfielders so far this season.
Trevor Story, Rockies shortstop
Only one NL shortstop has more RBIs than Russell, and that would be this guy. Much of the damage came at start of this season, when the rookie dominated MLB headlines by becoming the first player of the modern era to homer eight times in his first 13 games. He's tied for fifth in the Majors with 13 homers, so he might wind up in San Diego no matter what, at least in the T-Mobile Home Run Derby. Story broke out as a classic slug-or-miss player, leading the Majors in total bases and strikeouts for a while, but he's hit safely in 15 of his past 20 games.
Mike Trout, Angels center fielder
The All-Star MVP two years running could become the first player to win the award as many as three times. Who doesn't want to see what he can do in his first July 12 at-bat, considering that he hit for a combined cycle in his first at-bat the last four years? First, of course, is the matter of a selection. Given his clout on the field and with fans, it is hard to imagine that being more than a formality. Trout has the second-best on-base percentage among AL outfielders, 10 homers, a .318 batting average ... your standard unreal season in the works again.
Brandon Drury of the D-backs and Jung Ho Kang of the Pirates might merit some clicks as well. Hey, who could forget that three-day span in which Drury went over the rail for a foul catch to the delight of a fan who snapped the selfie of the season, or Kang's two-homer return from 7 1/2 months away due to knee surgery?
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- on their computers, tablets and smartphones -- exclusively online using the 2016 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot until Thursday, June 30, at 11:59 p.m. ET. Vote up to five times in any 24-hour period for a maximum of 35 times.
Fans may also receive the ballot by texting VOTE to 89269 (USA) or 101010 (Canada). Or text VOTA for a ballot in Spanish. Message and data rates may apply, with a maximum of up to five messages and no purchase required. Reply STOP to cancel. Reply HELP for info.
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 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.
Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog.