Oakland Athletics outfielder Yoenis Cespedes has overtaken Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera for the third outfield spot in the final American League balloting update for the 85th All-Star Game, to be played on Tuesday, July 15th at Target Field in Minnesota. The final National League balloting results will be announced tomorrow afternoon, and the 2014 A.L. and N.L. All-Star squads will be unveiled on the "Taco Bell™ All-Star Selection Show" on ESPN at 7:00 p.m. (ET)/6:00 p.m. (CT) on Sunday, July 6th.
Cespedes, who has received 1,941,553, joins outfield leaders Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays andMike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. They are followed by 2012 N.L. All-Star Cabrera (1,929,506), three-time All-Star Adam Jones (1,853,268) of the Baltimore Orioles and Michael Brantley (1,630,452) of the Cleveland Indians. Aiming for his first All-Star selection, Cespedes is currently riding a career-best 13-game hitting streak, which is also the longest by an Athletic this year.
The Cuban native has hit .352 (19-for-54) with two home runs and 13 RBI during the streak. Cespedes, who won the 2013 Home Run Derby, has now hit safely in 22 of his last 24 games. He leads the Majors with 10 outfield assists on the season, ranks seventh in the A.L. with 38 extra-base hits, is tied for eighth with 55 RBI and places 10th with 152 total bases.
Bautista has totaled 4,460,245 votes as he continues to pace the A.L. in balloting. The Dominican Republic native, who also led the Majors in fan balloting in 2011 (7,454,753), is bidding for his fifth All-Star selection and fourth consecutive fan election. He would become the 10th different A.L. outfielder in history to earn four consecutive fan elections, joining Hall of Famers Reggie Jackson (four from 1972-75 and five from 1980-84); Dave Winfield (six from 1983-88); Rickey Henderson (four from 1985-88); and Kirby Puckett (four from 1992-95); as well as Ken Griffey, Jr. (10 from 1990-99); Manny Ramirez (eight from 1999-2006); Vladimir Guerrero (four from 2004-07); Ichiro Suzuki (four from 2001-04 and five from 2006-10); and Josh Hamilton (five from 2008-12). Bautista would also become the second player in franchise history to earn four fan-elected starts, joining Hall of Fame second baseman Roberto Alomar (1991-94). Bautista has reached base safely in 72 of his 78 games played this season. He leads the A.L. with a .432 on-base percentage and 59 walks, is tied for fifth with 54 runs scored, seventh with a .524 slugging percentage, tied for ninth with a .304 batting average and tied for 10th with 15 home runs.
Trout has accumulated 4,085,647 votes, good for the second-highest total in the league. He has reached base safely in 43 of his last 45 games and has 38 RBI in his last 39 contests. For the second consecutive season, Trout has at least 15 home runs and at least 10 stolen bases before the All-Star break, joining his hitting coach Don Baylor (1978-79) as the only Angels to ever accomplish the feat in back-to-back seasons. The two-time All-Star, who was a fan-elected starter in 2013, would become the fifth player in Angels history to earn consecutive fan-elected starts, joining Hall of Famers Rod Carew (1979-84) and Jackson (1982-84), as well as Fred Lynn (1982-83) and Guerrero (2004-07). At 21 years old last year, Trout became the youngest A.L. position player to start a Midsummer Classic since Ivan Rodriguez in 1993. Over his last 31 games, Trout is batting .388 (45-for-116). On the season, he ranks second in the A.L. with 44 extra-base hits, a .407 on-base percentage and a .610 slugging percentage, is tied for third with 175 total bases, ranks fourth with five triples, tied for fourth with 48 walks, tied for fifth with 54 runs scored, is sixth with a .314 batting average and tied for sixth with 18 home runs and 59 RBI.
Cespedes' Athletics teammate Derek Norris, also bidding for his first All-Star appearance, continues to make up ground on Baltimore's Matt Wieters, who leads A.L. backstops with 2,103,385 votes. Norris, in his third Major League season, has received 1,924,049 votes. Wieters, who underwent season-ending Tommy John earlier this month, batted .308 with five home runs and 18 RBI over 26 games played. Wieters, a two-time All-Star would join Terry Kennedy (1987) as the only catchers in Orioles history to earn a fan election, while Norris would join Terry Steinbach (1987-88) as the only catchers in Athletics history to accomplish the feat. The 25-year-old Norris is batting .349 (15-for-43) with three home runs and 10 RBI in 15 games during June. He leads A.L. catchers in on-base percentage (.400) and slugging percentage (.497), ranks second in RBI (30) and batting average (.299) and is fifth in home runs (7). His 35 RBI are a new career-best and his eight home runs are one shy of his career-high of nine hit in 2013.
Third baseman Josh Donaldson of the Athletics remains the leader at the hot corner with 2,943,332 votes. The Athletics, who own the best record in the Major Leagues at 51-30 (.630), have not had a fan-elected starter since Jason Giambi earned a fan election at first base for the 2000 Midsummer Classic in Atlanta. In addition, Oakland has not featured multiple fan-elected starters since 1992, when first baseman Mark McGwire and outfielder Jose Canseco earned starting assignments. The Athletics have had at least three fan elections in a single season on five occasions since fan balloting began in 1970, including 1975 (Bert Campaneris, Jackson, Joe Rudi, Gene Tenace); 1988 (Canseco, McGwire, Steinbach); 1989 (Canseco, McGwire, Steinbach); 1990 (Canseco, McGwire, Rickey Henderson); and 1991 (Dave Henderson, R. Henderson, McGwire). Donaldson is in line for his first All-Star selection as he leads three-time All-Star Adrian Beltre (1,730,748) of the Texas Rangers. Donaldson, who would become the first Oakland third baseman to earn a fan-elected start, ranks second in the A.L. with 56 runs scored, fifth with 61 RBI and is tied for sixth with 18 home runs.
Thirteen-time American League All-Star Derek Jeter (2,924,686) of the New York Yankees remains ahead of Alexei Ramirez (2,325,527) of the Chicago White Sox at shortstop. Jeter, bidding for his ninth career fan election, is hitting .275 with 19 RBI and 27 runs scored in his final season. He would become the seventh player in A.L. history to earn at least nine fan elections, joining Hall of Famers Cal Ripken, Jr. (17 with Baltimore), George Brett (11 with Kansas City) and Carew (nine with Minnesota); as well as Griffey (10 with Seattle); teammate Suzuki (nine with Seattle); and Ivan Rodriguez (nine with Texas). Over his last 17 games since June 10th, Jeter is batting .343 (23-for-67) with three doubles, a home run, six RBI and 10 runs scored. Jeter, who ranks eighth on the all-time hit list with 3,393 hits, is one of three players in Major League history with at least 3,000 hits, 250 home runs and 350 stolen bases, along with Craig Biggio and Hall of Famer Henderson.
Jeter is joined up the middle of the infield by second baseman and former teammate Robinson Canoof the Seattle Mariners. Cano (2,474,924) remains ahead of three-time All-Star Ian Kinsler (1,603,185) of the Detroit Tigers and four-time All-Star Dustin Pedroia (1,477,800) of the Boston Red Sox. Cano, a five-time All-Star, has been elected the starting second baseman in each of the last four years. With a fan election this year, he would become the third second baseman in A.L. history to earn five consecutive fan-elected starts, joining Hall of Famers Carew (six straight, 1970-75) and Alomar (five straight, 1996-2000). In addition, Cano would join Bret Boone (2001) as the only fan-elected starting second basemen in Mariners history, and he could become just the fourth Seattle infielder to receive an election from the fans, joining Boone, John Olerud (1B, 2001) and Alex Rodriguez (SS, 1997-98; 2000). Cano ranks second in the A.L. with a .367 batting average with runners in scoring position, is fourth with a .319 batting average overall, is tied for fourth with 30 multi-hit games, tied for sixth with 96 hits and tied for eighth with a .377 on-base percentage. Since May 9th, Cano is batting .343 (57-for-166) with 25 runs scored, 11 doubles, four home runs and 26 RBI.
Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera, who has received 3,323,380 votes, joins Cano on the right side of the infield. Cabrera, an eight-time All-Star, ranks ahead of White Sox rookie Jose Abreu, who has totaled 1,801,592 votes. The reigning two-time A.L. Most Valuable Player is seeking his second fan election after earning his first career fan-elected start in 2013 as a third baseman. He would become just the fifth player in Tigers history to earn multiple fan-elected starting assignments at the Midsummer Classic, joining catchers Bill Freehan (1970, 1972), Lance Parrish (1984-86), Rodriguez (2004, 2006-07) and second baseman Lou Whitaker (1984-86). In addition, the 2012 Triple Crown winner would join former teammate Prince Fielder as the only fan-elected starting first basemen in Tigers history. Cabrera leads the A.L. with a .372 batting average with runners in scoring position and 28 doubles, is tied for third with 64 RBI, fourth with 41 extra-base hits, sixth with a .533 slugging percentage, seventh with a .311 batting average and 161 total bases, and tied for ninth with 94 hits.
With four different teams currently represented in the A.L. infield, the 85th All-Star Game could mark the first time since 2003, and the 19th time overall since fan balloting began in 1970, that the four A.L. fan-elected starting infielders come from four different teams.
Orioles designated hitter Nelson Cruz, bidding for his first career fan-elected start, has garnered 2,944,267 votes to remain ahead of Boston's David Ortiz (1,948,211). Ortiz, a nine-time All-Star, has earned each of the last three fan elections at designated hitter. Cruz, a two-time All-Star, leads the Majors with 66 RBI and is tied for first with 25 home runs. His 25 home runs are currently fourth in Orioles franchise history before the All-Star break, trailing teammate Chris Davis (37 in 2013), Brady Anderson (30 in 1996) and Rafael Palmeiro (26 in 1998). He would become just the fifth different fan-elected starter at the position, joining Edgar Martinez (1997, 2001, 2003), Canseco (1999), Ortiz (2005, 2008, 2011-13) and Guerrero (2010). Along with Wieters, who currently leads at catcher, the duo would give the Orioles multiple fan elections in consecutive years (Chris Davis, J.J. Hardy and Adam Jones in 2013) for the first time since 1997 (Alomar, Ripken, Brady Anderson) and 1998 (Alomar, Ripken). Cruz also ranks second in the A.L. with 176 total bases, fifth with a .575 slugging percentage and is tied for fifth with 39 extra-base hits.
MLB's All-Star Balloting Program is the largest of its kind in professional sports. The last two years represent the two highest totals in balloting history, including a record 40.2 million ballots cast in 2012. More than 20 million Firestone All-Star ballots were distributed at MLB's 30 ballparks, each of which had 23 dates for balloting.
In addition, fans around the world can cast their votes for starters 25 times exclusively at MLB.com and all 30 Club web sites - online or via their mobile devices - with the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian. The All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian is available in English and Spanish, and offers audio CAPTCHA functionality for visually-impaired fans. Banco BHD sponsors online All-Star balloting in the Dominican Republic, making Spanish-language ballots available to fans in the Dominican Republic via LasMayores.com, the official Spanish-language Web site of Major League Baseball.
Every Major League Club began its in-stadium balloting no later than May 12th. When the in-stadium phase of balloting concluded no later than June 26th, fans continued to have the opportunity to cast their ballots exclusively online at MLB.com, the 30 Club Web sites and their mobile devices until Thursday, July 3rd at 11:59 p.m. (EDT).
Firestone, the official tire of MLB, was once again the exclusive sponsor of the 2014 In-Stadium All-Star Balloting Program. The ballot featured an All-Star sweepstakes, in which a winner will be rewarded with a trip for two to MLB All-Star Week, including airfare, hotel accommodations, tickets to the All-Star Game and other MLB All-Star Week events, and VIP on-field access to watch batting practice before the All-Star Game with an MLB legend.
For the sixth consecutive year, the ballot features the Home Run Derby Fan Poll. Fans have the opportunity to select three players in each League who they would most like to see participate in the Gillette Home Run Derby. The Fan Poll is also available online at MLB.com. The 2014 Gillette Home Run Derby, part of Gatorade All-Star Workout Day, will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio in the United States beginning at 8:00 p.m. (ET)/7:00 p.m. (CT) on Monday, July 14th. The 10 American League candidates are Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays; Carlos Beltran of the New York Yankees; Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers; Robinson Cano of the Seattle Mariners; 2013 Home Run Derby Champion Yoenis Cespedes of the Oakland Athletics; Chris Davis of the Baltimore Orioles; Prince Fielder of the Texas Rangers; All-Star Ambassador Joe Mauer of the Twins; David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox; and Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The 10 National League candidates are Pedro Alvarez of the Pittsburgh Pirates; Jay Bruce of the Cincinnati Reds; Paul Goldschmidt of the Arizona Diamondbacks; Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals; Jason Heyward of the Atlanta Braves; Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants; Yasiel Puig of the Los Angeles Dodgers; Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins; Troy Tulowitzki of the Colorado Rockies; and David Wright of the New York Mets.
The 2014 American League and National League All-Star Teams will be unveiled on the "Taco Bell™ All-Star Selection Show" on ESPN at 7:00 p.m. (ET)/6:00 p.m. (CT) on Sunday, July 6th. The A.L. All-Star Team will have nine elected starters via the fan balloting program, while the N.L. All-Star Team will have eight fan-elected starters. The pitchers and reserves for both squads - totaling 25 for the N.L. and 24 for the A.L. - will be determined through a combination of "Player Ballot" choices and selections made by the two All-Star managers - N.L. skipper Mike Matheny of the St. Louis Cardinals and A.L. manager John Farrell of the defending World Series Champion Boston Red Sox.
Immediately following the announcement of the American League and National League All-Star rosters, fans will begin voting to select the final player for each League's 34-man roster via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Experian. Fans will cast their votes from a list of five players from each League over the balloting period. Now in its 13th season with more than 430 million votes cast, fans again will be able to make their Final Vote selections on MLB.com, Club sites and their mobile phones.
This year's final phase of All-Star Game voting again will have fans participating in the official voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com and the 30 Club sites via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote Sponsored by Pepsi, and their collective voice will represent 20 percent of the official vote determining this year's recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15th. The 85th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network, MLB.com and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.
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