Wright overtakes Arenado; Gomez joins outfield leaders in latest National League balloting update for 85th All-Star Game
Six outfielders locked in tight battle for starting assignments; first base race heating up; Tulowitzki remains overall league leader
New York Mets third baseman David Wright, bidding for his second consecutive fan-elected start and sixth start overall, has overtaken Nolan Arenado of the Colorado Rockies at the hot corner, in the third balloting update for the 85th All-Star Game, to be played on Tuesday, July 15th at Target Field in Minnesota. The next balloting update for the N.L. will be announced on Sunday, June 15th after ESPN announces the positional leaders as part of its "Baseball Tonight" telecast at 7:00 p.m. (ET). The fourth American League balloting results will be announced on Monday, June 16th after local rightsholder broadcasts announce the positional leaders.
Wright, a seven-time All-Star, has received 859,082 votes and would join Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt (eight fan elections) as the only N.L. third basemen to earn at least six fan-elected starting assignments. In addition, Wright would join Mike Piazza (seven) and Darryl Strawberry (6) as the only players in Mets history to receive at least six fan elections. Wright, who prior to Sunday had started the first 62 games this season (64 straight dating back to 2013), is hitting .279 on the season with four home runs and 32 RBI. Eighteen of his 32 RBI this season have either tied the game or given the Mets a lead. Since he entered the league in 2004, Wright has collected an N.L.-best 140 three-hit games. Arenado, seeking his first All-Star selection, follows closely behind with 766,364 votes and San Francisco Giants two-time All-Star and 2012 starter Pablo Sandoval has received 714,548 tallies.
Carlos Gomez (1,192,174) of the Milwaukee Brewers has jumped ahead two positions since last week to join Yasiel Puig (1,472,717) of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Giancarlo Stanton (1,259,047) as the N.L. outfield leaders. In the league's tightest race, 2013 N.L. MVP Andrew McCutchen of the Pittsburgh Pirates trails Gomez by less than 2,000 votes with a total of 1,190,516. McCutchen is followed by Colorado's Charlie Blackmon (1,129,313), bidding for his first All-Star appearance, and Gomez's Brewers teammate and five-time All-Star Ryan Braun (1,058,680). Gomez is attempting to become just the fourth player in Brewers history to earn a fan election, joining Braun (four), Prince Fielder (two) and Rickie Weeks (one). Carlos ranks among the N.L. leaders in a number of offensive categories, including slugging percentage (4th, .554); total bases (4th, 128); extra-base hits (T-4th, 31); runs (T-5th, 42); doubles (T-5th, 17); batting average (7th, .307); home runs (T-8th, 12); and stolen bases (T-10th, 11). He is one of three players in the Majors with at least 10 home runs and 10 stolen bases this season, joining Blackmon and Minnesota's Brian Dozier. Puig, attempting to make his first All-Star squad, ranks second in the Majors with a .335 batting average. The Cuban native has reached base safely in 38 consecutive games since April 25th, marking the longest streak in the Majors this season. In his second Major League season, Puig ranks second in the N.L. with a .591 slugging percentage and a .430 on-base percentage, is tied for fourth with 23 multi-hit games, ranks fifth with 127 total bases, is tied for sixth with 40 RBI and 30 extra-base hits and is tied for seventh with 72 hits. With an election, Puig would give the Dodgers a fan-elected outfielder in the Midsummer Classic for the fourth time in the last five years, following the elections of Andre Ethier (2010) and Matt Kemp (2011-12). Stanton, who leads the N.L. with 53 RBI, is looking to become just the third player in Marlins history to earn a fan election, joining Gary Sheffield (1993) and Hanley Ramirez (2008-10). The 2012 N.L. All-Star is tied for the N.L. lead with 17 home runs, ranks second with 33 extra-base hits and 139 total bases, is third with a .589 slugging percentage and is tied for third with 46 runs scored. He would become just the third Marlins outfielder in history to make multiple All-Star appearances, joining Jeff Conine (1994-95) and Miguel Cabrera (2004-05 as an outfielder).
Four-time All-Star Adrian Gonzalez of the Dodgers, who is tied for ninth in the N.L. with 38 RBI, continues to lead a highly-contested race at first base with 888,906 total votes. He is trailed closely by a pair of 2013 N.L. All-Stars - Paul Goldschmidt (784,026) of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Freddie Freeman (710,778) of the Atlanta Braves. Gonzalez, the 2011 starting A.L. first baseman, is aiming for his second career starting assignment and is looking to become the first Dodgers infielder to receive a fan-elected start since Jeff Kent was elected at second base in 2005. Along with Puig, the duo is attempting to become the first pair of Dodgers teammates to earn fan elections in a Midsummer Classic since 1980, when first baseman Steve Garvey, second baseman Davey Lopes, shortstop Bill Russell and outfielder Reggie Smith were all elected by the fans.
Gonzalez is joined on the right side of the infield by Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Chase Utley, who has garnered 1,342,480 votes to hold a comfortable lead over Dodgers speedster Dee Gordon (735,831). Utley, a five-time All-Star, has been elected a starter in each of his All-Star appearances from 2006-10. His five fan elections trail only Schmidt (9) for the most in Phillies history, and the only other N.L. second basemen to draw more All-Star starts are Utley's manager Ryne Sandberg (9) and fellow Hall of Famer Joe Morgan (7). Utley, who is 18 hits shy of 1,500 for his career, leads all N.L. second basemen in batting average (.314), on-base percentage (.371), slugging percentage (.498), doubles (24), extra-base hits (31) and total bases (114).
Rounding out the infield is overall N.L. leader Troy Tulowitzki of the Rockies, who has collected 2,007,202 votes, which ranks second among all Major Leaguers behind A.L. leader Jose Bautista (2,135,223) of the Toronto Blue Jays. The three-time All-Star continues to lead the Majors with a .361 batting average, a .451 on-base percentage and a .688 slugging percentage. In addition, he leads the N.L. with 51 runs scored and 141 total bases, is tied for the lead with 17 home runs and 24 multi-hit games, ranks third with 32 extra-base hits, is tied for third with 42 RBI and ranks fifth with 74 hits. Tulowitzki, a three-time All-Star, is attempting to make his second consecutive fan-elected start. He would become the first N.L. shortstop to earn consecutive fan-elected starts since Ramirez accomplished the feat from 2008-10. Tulowitzki would also become just the third player in Rockies history to earn multiple fan elections, joining Todd Helton and Larry Walker, both of whom were voted a starter on three occasions. Brandon Crawford of the Giants ranks second among N.L. shortstops with 656,719 votes.
Yadier Molina of the St. Louis Cardinals remains the leading backstop in the N.L. with 1,621,944 votes received, which ranks second overall in the league behind Tulowitzki. Molina, a five-time All-Star, ranks second among N.L. catchers with 64 hits. The three-time fan-elected starter, who is seeking a second consecutive start, would join Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith (12) and former teammate Albert Pujols (5) as the only players in Cardinals history to receive at least four fan-elected starts. The Cardinals have had at least one player elected to start in each of the last five seasons (2009-13), marking the longest active streak in the N.L. Two-time All-Star Buster Posey of the Giants has received a total of 1,078,007 votes. Posey was the N.L. starter behind the plate in 2012 after setting an N.L. record with 7,621,370 votes.
With seven different teams currently represented among the eight leaders, this would mark the eighth time since fan balloting began in 1970 that the N.L. could have as many as seven different teams represented among the starting position players. The other years in which this has occurred include 1971, 1984, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2010. The N.L. has never had eight different teams represented among the eight positional leaders.
MLB's All-Star Balloting Program is the largest of its kind in professional sports. The last two years represent the two highest totals in balloting history, including a record 40.2 million ballots cast in 2012. More than 20 million Firestone All-Star ballots will be distributed at MLB's 30 ballparks, each of which will have 23 dates for balloting.
In addition, fans around the world can cast their votes for starters 25 times exclusively at MLB.com and all 30 Club web sites - online or via their mobile devices - with the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian. The All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian is available in English and Spanish, and offers audio CAPTCHA functionality for visually-impaired fans. Banco BHD sponsors online All-Star balloting in the Dominican Republic, making Spanish-language ballots available to fans in the Dominican Republic via LasMayores.com, the official Spanish-language Web site of Major League Baseball.
Every Major League Club began its in-stadium balloting no later than May 12th. When the in-stadium phase of balloting concludes no later than June 26th, fans will have the opportunity to cast their ballots exclusively online at MLB.com, the 30 Club Web sites and their mobile devices until Thursday, July 3rd at 11:59 p.m. (EDT).
Firestone, the official tire of MLB, is once again the exclusive sponsor of the 2014 In-Stadium All-Star Balloting Program. The ballot features an All-Star sweepstakes, in which a winner will be rewarded with a trip for two to MLB All-Star Week, including airfare, hotel accommodations, tickets to the All-Star Game and other MLB All-Star Week events, and VIP on-field access to watch batting practice before the All-Star Game with an MLB legend.
For the sixth consecutive year, the ballot features the Home Run Derby Fan Poll. Fans have the opportunity to select three players in each League who they would most like to see participate in the Home Run Derby. The Fan Poll is also available online at MLB.com. The 2014 Home Run Derby, part of Gatorade All-Star Workout Day, will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio in the United States beginning at 8:00 p.m. (ET)/7:00 p.m. (CT) on Monday, July 14th. The 10 American League candidates are Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays; Carlos Beltran of the New York Yankees; Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers; Robinson Cano of the Seattle Mariners; 2013 Home Run Derby Champion Yoenis Cespedes of the Oakland Athletics; Chris Davis of the Baltimore Orioles; Prince Fielder of the Texas Rangers; All-Star Ambassador Joe Mauer of the Twins; David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox; and Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The 10 National League candidates are Pedro Alvarez of the Pittsburgh Pirates; Jay Bruce of the Cincinnati Reds; Paul Goldschmidt of the Arizona Diamondbacks; Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals; Jason Heyward of the Atlanta Braves; Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants; Yasiel Puig of the Los Angeles Dodgers; Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins; Troy Tulowitzki of the Colorado Rockies; and David Wright of the New York Mets.
The 2014 American League and National League All-Star Teams will be unveiled on the 2014 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show during the weekend of July 5th-6th, with further details to follow. The A.L. All-Star Team will have nine elected starters via the fan balloting program, while the N.L. All-Star Team will have eight fan-elected starters. The pitchers and reserves for both squads - totaling 25 for the N.L. and 24 for the A.L. - will be determined through a combination of "Player Ballot" choices and selections made by the two All-Star managers - N.L. skipper Mike Matheny of the St. Louis Cardinals and A.L. manager John Farrell of the defending World Series Champion Boston Red Sox.
Immediately following the announcement of the American League and National League All-Star rosters, fans will begin voting to select the final player for each League's 34-man roster via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Experian. Fans will cast their votes from a list of five players from each League over the balloting period. Now in its 13th season with more than 430 million votes cast, fans again will be able to make their Final Vote selections on MLB.com, Club sites and their mobile phones.
This year's final phase of All-Star Game voting again will have fans participating in the official voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com and the 30 Club sites via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote Sponsored by Pepsi, and their collective voice will represent 20 percent of the official vote determining this year's recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15th. The 85th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network, MLB.com and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.