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Blackmon 'really grateful' for All-Star candidacy

Rockies right fielder on hot streak ahead of Starters Election
@SarahWexler32
June 22, 2019

These are all of the finalists for the Starters Election, which begins Wednesday at noon ET and runs through Thursday at 4 p.m. The winners will be unveiled on ESPN that night starting at 7 ET. Players who do not get elected starters are not automatically added to the team

These are all of the finalists for the Starters Election, which begins Wednesday at noon ET and runs through Thursday at 4 p.m. The winners will be unveiled on ESPN that night starting at 7 ET. Players who do not get elected starters are not automatically added to the team as reserves -- they will be determined through a combination of “Player Ballot” choices and selections made by the Commissioner’s Office. All-Star pitchers and reserves will be announced on Sunday, June 30, at 5:30 p.m., also on ESPN.

LOS ANGELES -- Charlie Blackmon was having a good season when All-Star Game voting began on May 28. Before landing on the injured list on May 24, he was slashing .300/.356/.565 with 10 home runs.

Since his return from the IL on June 8, Blackmon’s season numbers have gone from merely good to exceptional. In 13 games since his activation, Blackmon is 29-for-63 (.460 average), collecting 14 extra-base hits (eight home runs, five doubles and a triple) to boost his OPS by over 100 points, from .921 to 1.042. Entering Saturday’s game at Dodger Stadium, he was riding an 11-game hitting streak and a 31-game on-base streak. He has been one of the hottest hitters in baseball and was recognized with National League Player of the Week honors on Monday.

Blackmon, who finished fifth among NL outfielders in the Primary Round of All-Star balloting, ranks third among that group in OPS, weighted-on base average (.427) and total bases (173). He’s also in the top five in batting average (.338), OPS+ (147) and runs scored (53). All in all, he has a compelling case as a top three NL outfielder.

Blackmon, of course, undoubtedly gets a boost from playing his home games at hitter-friendly Coors Field, and his home-road splits this season are considerably more skewed than his career average. That doesn’t impact how manager Bud Black feels about his center fielder’s offensive prowess.

“I mean, that’s always out there,” said Black. “But I’ll put Charlie in the box anywhere and feel good about.”

For Blackmon’s part, he’s waiting for final results to come in before getting too invested. Still, the prospect of making his fourth All-Star roster remains meaningful for the slugger.

“[All-Star Game selections are] definitely special,” said Blackmon, whose teammates Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story also advanced to the Starters Election. “I don’t think it really wears off. It’s really special for Major League Baseball to pick their best players, and I think any time you can be included in that group, you should be really grateful that you’ve been healthy and that you’ve had enough success to be there.”

The 2019 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard will be played on Tuesday, July 9, at Progressive Field in Cleveland. It 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.

During the game, 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. For more information about MLB All-Star Week and to purchase tickets, please visit AllStarGame.com and follow @MLB and @AllStarGame on social media.

Sarah Wexler is a reporter/editor for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. Follow her on Twitter @SarahWexler32.