Ohtani, Tatis Jr. Among Eight Potential First Time All-Stars Leading Their Position; Twelve Different Teams Represented Among Positional Leaders and 21 Clubs in Position to Advance Players to Finalist Phase; Phase One Voting Available Until Thursday, June 24th at 4:00 p.m. (ET)
First baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. of the Toronto Blue Jays leads all Major League players in the first balloting update for the 2021 MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard, while Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. ranks second across the Majors and paces all National League players.
The 2021 Google MLB All-Star Ballot, which is available exclusively online and via mobile devices at MLB.com, all 30 Club sites, the MLB App and on Google Search (U.S. and Canada only) will be accessible until the voting period for Phase 1 concludes at 4:00 p.m. (ET) on Thursday, June 24th. On Sunday, June 27th, the top three vote-getters at each position (and the top nine outfielders) in each League will be revealed at 12:00 p.m. (ET) on the 2021 Google MLB All-Star Ballot Finalists Show exclusively on MLB Network, and they will advance to the second phase of voting to determine who makes the All-Star teams and starts for each League. During the initial voting period, fans can submit up to five ballots per 24-hour period on MLB platforms, and can vote for every position, or up to 17 unique players per day on Google.
Guerrero, seeking his first career All-Star selection, has received 857,956 votes. The 22-year-old, who was the runner-up in the 2019 T-Mobile Home Run Derby in Cleveland, is aiming to become the third Blue Jays player to pace the Majors in All-Star balloting, following José Bautista (2011, 2014) and Josh Donaldson (2014). An All-Star selection for Guerrero, the son of nine-time All-Star and Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero, would make the duo the second Dominican father-son tandem to earn All-Star selections, joining Felipe and Moises Alou. Guerrero is followed at first base by 2020 AL MVP and three-time All-Star José Abreu of the Chicago White Sox (146,549), Yuli Gurriel of the Houston Astros (130,188) and Jared Walsh of the Los Angeles Angels (114,904).
Two-way star Shohei Ohtani of the Angels is leading the way at designated hitter with 526,608 votes, ranking ahead of Boston’s J.D. Martinez (293,757). Ohtani, who is attempting to make his first All-Star team, ranks third in the AL with 17 home runs while compiling a 2.85 ERA with 68 strikeouts over 47.1 innings pitched on the mound. Houston’s Yordan Álvarez (143,091) has an advantage of just over 10,000 votes for third place at designated hitter as White Sox rookie Yermín Mercedes (132,247) remains in close contention.
Other highlights of the AL Ballot include:
• Mike Trout of the Angels paces AL outfielders and ranks second in the AL overall with 706,503 votes. With a fan election, Trout would become the eighth player in AL history to earn eight fan elections with one Club, joining Cal Ripken Jr. (BAL, 17); George Brett (KC, 11); Ken Griffey Jr. (SEA, 10); Carew (MIN, 9); Derek Jeter (NYY, 9); Ichiro Suzuki (SEA, 9); Iván Rodríguez (TEX, 9); and David Ortiz (BOS, 8). Trout is joined among the AL outfield leaders by Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees (538,448) and Minnesota’s Byron Buxton (383,178), with Texas Rangers rookie Adolis García (353,230) just outside the top three. Baltimore Orioles outfielder Cedric Mullins (145,537) is less than 20,000 votes behind Houston’s Michael Brantley (166,298) for the right to advance to Phase 2.
• Kansas City’s Salvador Perez (694,710) paces a crowded group of catchers, including Yasmani Grandal (141,801) of the White Sox; Houston’s Martín Maldonado (112,585); Christian Vázquez of the Boston Red Sox (100,573); Kurt Suzuki of the Angels (93,316); and Mike Zunino of the Tampa Bay Rays (91,513).
• Tim Anderson of the White Sox (177,320) and Carlos Correa of the Astros (163,945) are locked in a tight battle for third at shortstop behind leader Xander Bogaerts of the Red Sox (502,629) and Toronto’s Bo Bichette (252,479), son of 1998 All-Star and Rockies’ great Dante Bichette.
• Rounding out the AL leaders are second baseman Marcus Semien of the Blue Jays (561,326) and third baseman Rafael Devers of the Red Sox (451,042).
• Five of the nine leaders in the AL – Guerrero, Semien, Devers, Buxton and Ohtani – are attempting to earn their first All-Star Game selections.
• Guerrero and Semien are bidding to become the first pair of teammates to win fan-elected starts on the right side of the infield since Boston’s Kevin Youkilis and Dustin Pedroia in 2008.
• Devers and Bogaerts are trying for the same feat on the left side of the infield, and would be the first teammates since Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees in 2011.
• The Red Sox and Blue Jays are joined by the Angels as AL teams with two players leading at their position, while the Astros have an AL-best six players in position to advance to Phase 2.
Acuña, who has totaled 834,287 votes, is bidding for his second consecutive starting assignment and is one of just two players across the Majors leading at his position after receiving a fan-elected start in 2019 (also Trout). With a fan election, Acuña would become the first Braves outfielder with consecutive fan elections since David Justice in 1993-94. In addition, the 23-year-old is aiming to join his teammate Freddie Freeman (2018) as the second Braves player in three years of All-Star balloting to pace the NL. He is joined among the NL outfield leaders by Cincinnati Reds teammates Nick Castellanos (568,758) and Jesse Winker (462,692). Four-time All-Star Mookie Betts of the Los Angeles Dodgers (400,202) is in position to advance to the next phase as he looks to make his first NL All-Star appearance. Juan Soto of the Washington Nationals (195,950) ranks fifth among NL outfielders, while Bryce Harper of the Philadelphia Phillies (157,816) is seventh. Both Soto and Harper are in range to advance as Soto seeks his first-ever All-Star selection and Harper vies for his seventh selection and first with Philadelphia. In a tight race to advance to Phase 2, Ketel Marte of the Arizona Diamondbacks (128,515) is attempting to hold off a trio of NL Central outfielder in Joc Pederson of the Chicago Cubs (126,223), Christian Yelich of the Milwaukee Brewers (120,472) and Tyler O’Neill of the St. Louis Cardinals (120,447).
Bidding for his first appearance in the Midsummer Classic, San Diego’s Fernando Tatis Jr. has accumulated the second-most votes in the NL behind Acuña with a total of 701,251 votes. Tatis, who leads the NL and ranks second in the Majors (behind Guerrero) with 19 homers on the season, leads a competitive field of shortstops that include Javier Báez of the Cubs (233,644), Corey Seager of the Dodgers (153,863), Brandon Crawford of the San Francisco Giants (122,536), Trea Turner of the Washington Nationals (111,889) and Dansby Swanson of the Braves (106,927).
Other highlights of the NL Ballot include:
• Gavin Lux of the Dodgers (167,421) holds a slight advantage for third place among second basemen, outpacing Nico Hoerner of the Cubs (165,135) and Jake Cronenworth of the Padres (159,760) while Ozzie Albies of the Braves (295,478) leads the position.
• Justin Turner of the Dodgers (198,807), Manny Machado of the Padres (188,836) and Austin Riley of the Braves (181,570) are engaged in a close three-way battle to advance to the next phase alongside Kris Bryant of the Cubs (502,970) and Nolan Arenado of the Cardinals (239,189).
• Cubs catcher Willson Contreras (194,550) leads Will Smith of the Dodgers (181,054) by less than 14,000 votes for third place among NL backstops. Six-time All-Star Buster Posey of the Giants (511,221) paces the group, which also includes nine-time All-Star Yadier Molina of the Cardinals (273,515).
• Rounding out the NL leaders is first baseman Max Muncy of the Dodgers (405,609), who is bidding to become the first Dodgers first baseman to win a fan election since Steve Garvey won seven straight from 1974-80. Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman (288,580) and Anthony Rizzo of the Cubs (207,187) are on pace to join Muncy in the next stage of voting, while Eric Hosmer of the Padres (175,206) remains within striking distance.
• Castellanos and Winker are attempting to become the first pair of NL outfield teammates to earn fan-elected starting assignments since Alfonso Soriano and Kosuke Fukudome of the Cubs in 2008. Other NL outfield tandems to earn fan-elected starts in the same year include Pittsburgh’s Barry Bonds and Andy Van Slyke in 1992 and 1993; Montreal’s Andre Dawson and Tim Raines in 1982 and 1983; Pittsburgh’s Roberto Clemente and Willie Stargell in 1972; and Atlanta’s Hank Aaron and Rico Carty in 1970.
• The Braves and Reds are the only NL teams with two players leading at their position, while the Dodgers have a NL-best six players in position to advance to Phase 2.
Overall, 12 different Major League Clubs are represented among the 17 positional leaders, which include eight potential first-time All-Stars. Additionally, 21 of the 30 Major League Clubs are represented among the players on pace to advance to Phase 2 of 2021 Google MLB All-Star Balloting.
Phase 2 will begin at 12:00 p.m. (ET) on Monday, June 28th, with fans voting among the finalists at each position during a four-day window that concludes at 2:00 p.m. (ET) on Thursday, July 1st. Later that night, the winners will be announced on the 2021 Google MLB All-Star Starters Reveal (details to follow). During this second phase of voting, in which fans can vote once on MLB platforms and submit up to 17 unique player votes on Google, vote totals will reset (i.e., vote totals from Phase 1 do not carry over) and the winner at each position (including three outfielders per League) will be named a starting position player for the 2021 Midsummer Classic.
The NL All-Star Team, which will be managed for a third consecutive time by Dave Roberts of the defending World Series Champion Los Angeles Dodgers, will have eight elected starters via the fan balloting program, while the AL All-Star Team, led by Kevin Cash of the defending AL Champion Tampa Bay Rays, will have nine fan-elected starters. The pitchers and reserves for both squads – totaling 24 for the NL and 23 for the AL – will be determined through a combination of “Player Ballot” choices and selections made by the Commissioner’s Office. The balance of the All-Star rosters will be announced on July 4th during the 2021 Google MLB All-Star Selection Show (details to follow).
During each phase of voting, the 2021 Google MLB All-Star Ballot will be available when fans search in English and Spanish. The ballot at MLB.com and Club sites also will offer audio CAPTCHA functionality for visually impaired fans. Banco BHD León will once again sponsor online All-Star balloting in the Dominican Republic, making Spanish-language ballots available to fans in the D.R. via LasMayores.com, the official Spanish-language web site of Major League Baseball.
Fans will once again have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans can vote exclusively at MLB.com and the 30 Club sites – online or via their mobile devices – with the 2021 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote, and their collective voice will represent 20 percent of the official vote determining this year’s recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
MLB All-Star Week includes the MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard (July 13th), Gatorade All-Star Workout Day featuring the T-Mobile Home Run Derby (July 12th), All-Star Sunday featuring the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game and All-Star Celebrity Softball Game (July 11th), the MLB Draft (July 11th-13th) and PLAY BALL PARK at the Colorado Convention Center (July 9th-13th), plus a lineup of additional events taking place around the city. The 91st Midsummer Classic will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by 70 partners in 15 languages across 223 countries and territories. 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, including ticket information and updates, please visit www.allstargame.com and follow @MLB and @AllStarGame on social media.
COURTESY MLB & MLBpressbox.com