NEW YORK -- Gary Sanchez believes that he is in the process of turning around one of the longest slumps of his professional career. Currently involved in the closest race on the American League All-Star ballot, an offensive surge could boost Sanchez's chances of becoming the first Yankees catcher since Jorge Posada to earn back-to-back fan selections to the All-Star Game.
• VOTE: 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot
While Aaron Judge remains in position to earn his second consecutive selection to start the Midsummer Classic, Sanchez was overtaken this week by Rays catcher Wilson Ramos, who has received 678,159 votes to Sanchez's 618,899 -- a difference of 59,260.
Sanchez and Ramos are each vying for their second career All-Star selections, with Sanchez having represented the Bombers in 2017, and Ramos earning a selection as a member of the Nationals the season prior. Posada was tabbed by fans to start back-to-back All-Star Games in '02 and '03.
"I'm definitely feeling better," Sanchez said recently. "Now it's just about keeping it going. Keep getting one hit, two hits and help the team."
Standout rookies Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar also need a push to earn a starting nod. Torres' 534,758 votes at second base significantly trail the AL's reigning Most Valuable Player Award winner, Jose Altuve of the Astros (1,572,101).
Judge's 1,061,370 votes rate third among AL outfielders, behind Mookie Betts (1,568,417) of the Red Sox and Michael Trout (1,323,292) of the Angels. Judge's 4,488,702 votes led the AL last year, making him the first Yankee to lead the AL in votes since Derek Jeter in 2009.
At shortstop, Didi Gregorius (413,135) is fourth behind Manny Machado (671,133) of the Orioles, Carlos Correa (458,367) of the Astros and Francisco Lindor (420,674) of the Indians. In the outfield, Brett Gardner rates seventh with 330,970 votes and Aaron Hicks is 13th with 239,594 votes.
Fans may cast votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- on computers, tablets and smartphones -- exclusively online using the 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot until Thursday, July 5, at 11:59 p.m. ET. On smartphones and tablets, fans can also access the ballot via the MLB At Bat and MLB Ballpark mobile apps. Each fan can vote up to five times in any 24-hour period, for a maximum of 35 ballots cast.
Following the announcement of this year's All-Star starters, reserves and pitchers, fans should return to MLB.com and cast their 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Final Vote for the final player on each league's roster. Then on Tuesday, July 17, while watching the 2018 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard live on FOX, fans may visit MLB.com to submit their choices for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet with the 2018 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote.
The 89th Midsummer Classic, at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., 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 of the All-Star Game. 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.