Braves close, but need help for All-Star starts
Freeman third among first basemen; Simmons cracks top five shortstops
ATLANTA -- Andrelton Simmons moved back into the picture among All-Star ballot leaders, and Freddie Freeman continues to rank third among National League first basemen. But Jason Heyward still is not receiving much love in this balloting process.
Freeman, Simmons Evan Gattis and Justin Upton were the only Braves players listed on updated ballot results which were released Monday night. The weekly updates include the top five players at each infield position and the top 15 outfielders.
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- online or on a mobile device -- using the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian until Thursday, July 3, at 11:59 p.m. ET. The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15.
Freeman ranked second when the first updates were initially released. But he has sat in the third spot during the two weeks that have followed. His 710,778 votes place him behind the Dodgers' Adrian Gonzalez (888,906) and the D-backs' Paul Goldschmidt (784,026).
Gattis maintained his spot, ranked fourth among NL catchers. But he is more than one million votes behind the leader, the Cards' Yadier Molina, and approximately 500,000 votes behind the Giants' Buster Posey, who ranks second.
Simmons ranked third among NL shortstops when the first update was released, and then fell out of the top five last week. He now ranks fifth, trailing leader Troy Tulowitzki of the Rockies by more than 1.5 million votes.
Upton ranked seventh among NL outfielders after the first two updates, but he has now fallen to the eighth spot. He stands approximately 700,000 votes behind leader Yasiel Puig's total (935,276) and a little more than 400,000 behind Carlos Gomez, who is currently positioned to win the final starting spot in the NL's outfield.
Heyward leads the Majors with 18 Defensive Runs Saved and he has been one of Atlanta's most consistent offensive threats over the past month, but he has not garnered much attention among voters.
Fans may submit up to 25 online ballots, but they can also earn a one-time bonus of 10 additional online ballots. To access these additional online ballots, you must be logged into your MLB.com account when you submit any online ballot. If you do not have an MLB.com account, register on the site in accordance with the enrollment instructions for a free MLB.com account.
Fans this year once again can participate in the Home Run Derby Fan Poll. Fans will have the opportunity to select three players in each league who they would most like to see participate in the Home Run Derby. The 2014 Home Run Derby will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio in the United States beginning at 8 p.m. ET on Monday, July 14.
The 2014 American League and National League All-Star teams will be unveiled on the 2014 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show during the weekend of July 5-6, with further details to follow on MLB.com. Immediately following the announcement of the AL and NL All-Star rosters, fans can 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.
And the voting doesn't end there. The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again have fans participating in the 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 via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote Sponsored by Pepsi, and their voice will represent 20 percent of the overall vote that determines the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.
The 85th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX, 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 national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.