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Meadows: 'Surreal' to be near Trout in ASG vote

@juanctoribio
June 10, 2019

Read our FAQ on this year’s revamped balloting format, which includes two phases of fan voting to determine the All-Star starters, and the ability to vote through Google Search. ST. PETERSBURG -- Austin Meadows’ torrid start to the season has not gone unnoticed around the league. The first All-Star ballot

Read our FAQ on this year’s revamped balloting format, which includes two phases of fan voting to determine the All-Star starters, and the ability to vote through Google Search.

ST. PETERSBURG -- Austin Meadows’ torrid start to the season has not gone unnoticed around the league.

The first All-Star ballot update that was released on Monday revealed that the Rays outfielder is third amongst American League outfielders, receiving 468,111 votes. Only Mike Trout (951,002) and George Springer (776,352) have received more votes than Meadows.

In his first full season with the Rays, Meadows has quickly established himself as one of the best hitters on the team and in the American League. Meadows opened the season with a leadoff home run against Houston’s Justin Verlander and has not slowed down since. The 24-year-old leads the AL with a .346 batting average and is third in the league with a 1.046 OPS.

“Mike Trout is the best player in baseball and to be able to be up there with him, it’s definitely very surreal,” Meadows said. “The stats are what they are, but for me, I’m just trying to have fun and really just go by each day and help my team win, and that’s kind of been the biggest thing. But to be able to be up there with those guys, that’s definitely really cool.”

Meadows has just under 10,000 more votes than Houston’s Michael Brantley, who came in fourth in the first ballot update.

While Meadows is the Rays player with the best chance at locking up a starting role in the All-Star Game, Tampa Bay was also represented in the top 10 by Mike Zunino (C, eighth 64,167), Ji-Man Choi (1B, ninth, 77,847), Brandon Lowe (2B, seventh, 110,507), Yandy Díaz (3B, tenth, 62,930), Willy Adames (SS, tenth, 60,392), Avisaíl García (DH, ninth, 127,731), Tommy Pham (OF, fifteenth, 119,691) and Kevin Kiermaier (OF, nineteenth, 76,526).

“We’re a good team and I think we’ve shown that to this point, and the reason why is because we have good players and we have All-Star-caliber-worthy players,” said Rays manager Kevin Cash. “A lot of guys have come on strong and helped us get to this point, and I hope that our fans and baseball fans continue to recognize all of them because we’re in this position because of those guys.”

Fans may vote in "The Primary" at MLB.com and all 30 club sites, the MLB At Bat and MLB Ballpark apps up to five times in any 24-hour period. Fans in the US and Canada can also vote on Google Search for every position, or up to 17 unique players per day, by searching "MLB Vote" or the names of their favorite players. Primary voting ends at 4 p.m. ET on Friday, June 21.

The top three vote-getters at each position per league (including nine outfielders) will move on to "The Starters Election," which begins at noon ET on Wednesday, June 26. The votes will reset for a 28-hour voting window that ends at 4 p.m. ET on Thursday, June 27. Starters for the 2019 Midsummer Classic will be unveiled on ESPN that night at 7 ET. The pitchers and reserves will be announced on Sunday, June 30, at 5:30 p.m. ET.

Then on Tuesday, July 9, during the 2019 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard, fans may visit MLB.com and the 30 club sites to submit their choices for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet.

The 90th Midsummer Classic, at Progressive Field in Cleveland, 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. 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.

Juan Toribio covers the Rays for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @juanctoribio.