Seven Players Holding Leads of Less Than 100K Votes for Right to Advance to Phase 2; MLB Network to Announce Finalists on Thursday, June 22nd; ESPN to Unveil Starters on Thursday, June 29th; Full Rosters on Sunday, July 2nd
Outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. of the Atlanta Braves paces all Major League players in the first balloting update for the 2023 MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard, while designated hitter Shohei Ohtani ranks second across the Majors and leads all American League players.
The 2023 Scotts MLB All-Star Ballot, which is available exclusively online and via mobile devices at MLB.com/vote, all 30 Club web sites, the MLB App and the MLB Ballpark App, will be accessible until the voting period for Phase 1 concludes at 12:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, June 22nd. During the initial voting period, fans can submit up to five ballots per 24-hour period on MLB platforms. On Thursday, June 22nd, the top two vote-getters at each position (and the top six outfielders) in each League will be revealed on MLB Network at 6:00 p.m. (ET), and they will advance to the second phase of voting to determine who makes the All-Star teams and starts for each League. In addition, the leading vote-getter in each league during the first phase of voting will once again receive an automatic starting assignment at the All-Star Game and bypass the second phase of voting. (Note: if an outfielder is a league’s leading vote-getter, Phase 2 voting at the position will still take place to determine the remaining two starters among the next four outfield finalists)
Acuña Jr., seeking his fourth career All-Star selection and fourth consecutive fan-elected starting assignment, has received 1,086,537 votes. The 25-year-old, who has led the NL in voting in each of the previous two seasons, is seeking to become the first Braves player (and third overall) to lead the Majors in voting since Dale Murphy in 1985 (also: Hall of Famer Hank Aaron in 1970 and 1971). With a fan election this year, the Venezuela native would become the fourth player in Braves history to reach four, joining Aaron (5), Murphy (5) and Hall of Famer Chipper Jones (4). The last NL outfielder to earn a fan election in four consecutive seasons was Bryce Harper from 2015-18.
Acuña is followed in the NL outfield by six-time All-Star Mookie Betts of the Los Angeles Dodgers, who ranks third overall in the NL with 676,491 votes, and Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (367,348), who is bidding for his first career All-Star appearance. Betts is vying for his seventh All-Star selection and fourth starting assignment, including his second straight with Los Angeles (also 2016 and 2018 in the AL with Boston), while Gurriel is attempting to become the first D-backs outfielder to gain a starting assignment since Luis Gonzalez in 2001. Betts would become the first Dodgers outfielder to garner a fan-elected start in consecutive seasons since Matt Kemp in 2011-12, while Gurriel would become just the sixth D-backs player ever to earn a fan election, joining Paul Goldschmidt (2014-15), Jay Bell (1999), Gonzalez, Ketel Marte (2019) and Matt Williams (1999). The NL outfield leaders are followed by Juan Soto of the San Diego Padres (339,009), Corbin Carroll of the D-backs (232,565) and Fernando Tatis Jr. of the Padres (207,474), each of which are currently in position to advance, while Michael Harris II of the Braves (192,261), Cody Bellinger of the Chicago Cubs (187,828) and Nick Castellanos of the Philadelphia Phillies (186,503) are challenging for the right to advance to the Finalists Phase.
Three NL third basemen with All-Star experience are separated by just over 50,000 votes in total as they compete for two spots for the right to advance with Nolan Arenado of the St. Louis Cardinals leading the way with 410,122 votes as he tries for his eighth All-Star selection and fifth fan election. Austin Riley of the Braves (368,044), seeking his second All-Star appearance (also 2022), and Max Muncy of the Dodgers (358,235), trying for his third All-Star assignment (also 2019 and 2021), follow close behind. Riley’s current advantage of less than 10,000 votes over Muncy is the closest in the NL amongst players bidding to advance to Phase 2. Arenado earned the start in four straight Midsummer Classics from 2017-21. Riley is trying to become the first Braves third baseman to win a fan election since Jones (2008), while Muncy would be the first Dodgers third baseman since Ron Cey in 1977. Other highlights of the NL Ballot include:
- Orlando Arcia of the Braves (406,509) holds the advantage at shortstop over Francisco Lindor of the Mets (302,051), but San Diego’s Xander Bogaerts is lurking close behind with 209,144 votes. Arcia is aiming for his first All-Star appearance and to become the first Atlanta shortstop to draw a fan-elected start since Walt Weiss in 1998. Lindor, a four-time All-Star, is hoping for his first starting assignment and to become the first Mets shortstop to receive it since Jose Reyes in 2011. Bogaerts, also a four-time All-Star, won two fan elections in the AL with the Boston Red Sox (2016 and 2021).
- Freddie Freeman of the Dodgers ranks second overall in the NL with 775,503 votes and has a comfortable advantage over the Major League home run leader Pete Alonso of the New York Mets (377,749). Atlanta’s Matt Olson ranks third with 272,275 votes. Freeman, who earned the start at three straight All-Star Games from 2018-21, is aiming for his seventh All-Star bid overall. A Dodgers first baseman has not won a fan election since Steve Garvey won seven straight from 1974-80. Alonso seeks his third All-Star appearance while Olson tries for his second career All-Star nod and first in the NL.
- Luis Arraez of the Miami Marlins (509,092) is leading Atlanta’s Ozzie Albies (376,726) at second base while Nolan Gorman of the Cardinals ranks third with 245,524 votes. Arraez, an AL All-Star a season ago during his AL Batting Title-winning season, is leading the Majors with a .397 average on the season and would become the second straight Marlins player to win a fan election at second base, following teammate Jazz Chisholm Jr. last year. Albies is seeking his third All-Star appearance and first start, while Gorman vies for his All-Star debut.
- J.D. Martinez of the Dodgers (412,373) and Bryce Harper of the Phillies (380,345) are engaged in the NL’s closest race between positional leaders with Atlanta’s Travis d’Arnaud sitting in third place with 221,543 votes. Martinez, a five-time All-Star in the AL, drew the start in 2018 at DH with Boston. Harper is aiming for his eighth All-Star bid and seventh starting assignment while d’Arnaud seeks his second straight All-Star season.
- Braves catcher Sean Murphy (603,501) and Dodgers backstop Will Smith (419,587) have a comfortable advantage behind the plate as Elias Díaz of the Colorado Rockies (168,163), rookie Francisco Alvarez of the Mets (167,708) and J.T. Realmuto of the Phillies (161,838) battle for third. Murphy, in his first season with Atlanta, and Smith are both vying for their first All-Star nod. Murphy would be the first Braves catcher to win a fan election since Brian McCann in 2011, while Smith would be the first for the Dodgers since Russell Martin in 2007.
In the AL, Ohtani has a commanding lead as the top designated hitter and ranks second overall in the Majors behind Acuña with 924,182 votes. Ohtani is attempting to claim his third consecutive fan-elected start at designated hitter, which would place him alongside Hall of Famer David Ortiz (2011-13) as the only players to do so. The two-way star, who was also the starting pitcher at the 2021 Midsummer Classic in Colorado, would join Hall of Famer Rod Carew (1979) and his teammate Mike Trout (2019) as the only Angels to pace the AL in voting. Ohtani is followed at the DH spot by Brandon Belt of the Toronto Blue Jays (205,659), while four players sit close behind for the chance to advance to Phase 2, including Robbie Grossman of the Texas Rangers (129,623), Corey Julks of the Houston Astros (116,842), Harold Ramírez of the Tampa Bay Rays (112,860), and Giancarlo Stanton of the New York Yankees (112,608).
The AL outfield is currently led by a star-studded trio in Aaron Judge of the Yankees (844,965), Mike Trout of the Angels (598,918) and Yordan Alvarez of the Astros (571,986). Judge, a four-time All-Star, is bidding for his fifth starting assignment in six seasons. The 2022 overall leading vote-getter across Baseball would become just the fourth Yankees player ever with at least five fan elections, joining Hall of Famers Derek Jeter (9) and Dave Winfield (7), as well as Alex Rodriguez (6). With a 10th starting assignment, Trout would become just the fourth player in AL history to earn 10 fan elections with one Club, joining Hall of Famers Cal Ripken Jr. (BAL, 17); George Brett (KC, 11); and Ken Griffey Jr. (SEA, 10). Alvarez, an All-Star last season, is aiming for his first starting assignment. The AL outfield leaders are followed by Randy Arozarena of the Tampa Bay Rays (532,489), Kevin Kiermaier of the Blue Jays (322,341) and Adolis García of the Rangers (300,968), each of which are in position to advance to the Finalists Phase. George Springer of the Blue Jays (275,512) and Masataka Yoshida of the Boston Red Sox (268,969) are close behind and threatening to join the top six for a chance to advance. Other highlights of the AL Ballot include:
- Jonah Heim of the Rangers (320,028) and Salvador Perez of the Kansas City Royals (312,615) are involved in the closest race in all of Baseball to advance to the second phase, trailing positional leader Adley Rutschman of the Baltimore Orioles (460,496). Rutschman, who would become the first Orioles backstop to win a fan election since Matt Wieters in 2009, and Heim, who would be the first Rangers catcher to draw a start since Mike Napoli in 2012, are both looking for their first All-Star nod. Perez, a seven-time All-Star, has earned four fan elections, including three straight from 2015-17 (also 2021).
- In the AL’s two tightest races among positional leaders, a pair of Blue Jays corner infielders – Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (545,976) and Matt Chapman (475,322) – hold very tight leads over the second-place Yandy Díaz of the Rays (533,179) and rookie Josh Jung of the Rangers (470,836), respectively. Anthony Rizzo of the Yankees comes in next at first base with 321,765 votes, while Rafael Devers of the Red Sox ranks third at the hot corner with 221,310 votes. Díaz and Jung are both hoping to see an All-Star squad for the first time, while Guerrero vies for his third appearance and third straight start, and Chapman seeks his second nod and first start. The last AL first baseman to win three consecutive fan elections was Hall of Famer Frank Thomas (1994-96).
- Marcus Semien of the Rangers sits atop the board at second base with 707,712 votes, ranking ahead of Jose Altuve of the Astros (363,013) and Whit Merrifield of the Blue Jays (286,799). Semien, an All-Star in 2021 after winning a fan election with Toronto, would become the first Rangers second baseman to claim a starting assignment since Alfonso Soriano in 2004. Altuve, an eight-time All-Star, has drawn five fan elections, including four straight from 2015-18 (also 2022).
- Blue Jays shortstop Bo Bichette rounds out the AL leaders and ranks third overall in the AL with 775,221 votes to outpace Corey Seager of the Rangers (376,659) and Wander Franco of the Rays (226,629). An All-Star in 2021, Bichette, who is tied for the Major League lead with 91 hits on the season, would become Toronto’s first-ever shortstop to earn a fan-elected starting assignment. Seager, a three-time All-Star, would be the first Rangers shortstop to win a fan election since Rodriguez claimed three straight (2001-03).
Overall, 11 different Major League Clubs are represented among the 18 positional leaders, while 15 of the 30 Major League Clubs are represented among the players on pace to advance to the Finalist Phase of 2023 Scotts MLB All-Star Balloting. Seven of the 18 positional leaders (38.9%) are internationally-born, while 12 of the 18 leaders (66.7%) come from diverse backgrounds.
COURTESY MLB MEDIA RELATIONS & MLBpressbox.com