AL All-Star outfield, catcher races heating up
Markakis, Torii, Bautista fighting for last spot; Wieters closing in on Mauer
While it's becoming clear that two young, talented outfielders will earn their way into the American League starting lineup for the 2013 All-Star Game, the player who will complete the trio of starters remains a tossup.
With Adam Jones and Mike Trout neck-and-neck at the top of the outfield race in the most recent voting tally released on Saturday, the Orioles' Nick Markakis has a tenuous hold on the coveted No. 3 spot, mere thousands of votes among millions separating him from the Blue Jays' Jose Bautista and the Tigers' Torii Hunter.
It's clear that race will come down to the wire, and not much else is settled outside of the two corners inhabited by the game's best hitters so far in 2013.
Third baseman Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers continues to set a torrid pace at the top of the overall AL vote with 4,337,223 votes keeping him in line to register one of the greatest totals in voting history. But Orioles first baseman Chris Davis, the only player on the planet keeping up with Cabrera in the batter's box and surpassing him in homers, is not far behind at 3,960,299 as he dominates his position as well.
The Twins' Joe Mauer holds the lead at catcher, The Yankees' Robinson Cano maintains a solid gap at second base, the Orioles' J.J. Hardy continues to fend off the field at shortstop and Red Sox slugger David Ortiz is still the top designated hitter in the most recent round of voting results.
There is still plenty of time for voters to change things, especially with that AL outfield ripe for last-minute maneuvering for one final spot in the starting rotation.
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- online or via a mobile device -- using the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot until Thursday, July 4, at 11:59 p.m. ET.
Fans may submit 25 online ballots during the voting period but can also earn a one-time bonus of 10 additional online ballots. To access these additional online ballots, fans must be logged into an MLB.com account when submitting any online ballot. To obtain an MLB.com account, visit www.mlb.com and register in accordance with the enrollment instructions for a free MLB.com account.
In that torrid outfield race, it was Bautista who had the biggest jump of the week, putting himself right in contention along with Markakis and Hunter for that final outfield spot. Jones (3,571,693) and Trout (3,548,195) are far away in the lead at the position, and looking like a tight race for bragging rights. Markakis (1,915,860) maintained the No. 3 spot for the second week in a row, but it's not a comfortable lead.
Bautista, who was the overall leading vote-getter in 2011, overtook Hunter for the No. 4 spot this week, moving to 1,867,367, just ahead of Hunter's 1,851,657 votes. Nate McLouth of the Orioles and Nelson Cruz of the Rangers are about 200,000 votes behind them, so it's definitely a race to watch.
At first, Davis retains a solid lead over Detroit's Prince Fielder, whose 2,579,031 votes represent the most for a player not currently in a starting position. Cabrera leads at third base by a wide margin as well, although the Orioles' Manny Machado is making a strong first impression with more than 2 million votes already.
In the middle of the infield, Cano (3,032,183) is still ahead of Dustin Pedroia of the Red Sox at second, but Hardy (2,548,682) has a new pursuer at shortstop, where the Tigers' Jhonny Peralta overtook the Rangers' Elvis Andrus for the No. 2 spot, still more than a half-million votes off Hardy's pace.
Eight-time All-Star Ortiz and five-time All-Star Mauer remain in first at their respective positions. Ortiz (3,247,462) has a huge lead over Lance Berkman of the Rangers, with the Tigers' Victor Martinez making his first appearance in the top five. Meanwhile, Mauer (2,788,972) is holding off Matt Wieters, one of five Orioles with more than 2 million votes.
The clock is ticking toward the end of the process to vote in the game's starters, but there's still plenty of time to vote, and there will be other ways to vote, too.
Fans once again also can participate in the Home Run Derby Fan Poll. Fans will have the opportunity to select three players in each league they would most like to see participate in the Home Run Derby. The 2013 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 p.m. ET on Monday, July 15.
Though originally scheduled for July 7, the 2013 rosters will now be unveiled Saturday, July 6, at 6:30 p.m. ET on the 2013 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Taco Bell. The show will be televised nationally on FOX.
From Saturday, July 6 to Thursday, July 11, be sure to return to MLB.com and cast your 2013 All-Star Game Final Vote, sponsored by freecreditscore.com, for the final player for each league's All-Star roster.
And the voting doesn't end there. The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again 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 via the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote, and their voice will represent 20 percent of the official vote determining the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
The 2013 All-Star Game will be played at Citi Field on Tuesday, July 16. Come to MLB.com for extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.
The 84th 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 national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM also will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.
AMERICAN LEAGUE ALL-STAR VOTING
(as of June 22)
Chris Davis, Orioles 3,960,299
Prince Fielder, Tigers 2,579,031
Mike Napoli, Red Sox 902,562
Albert Pujols, Angels 872,602
Mitch Moreland, Rangers 750,674
Robinson Cano, Yankees 3,032,183
Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox 2,135,499
Ian Kinsler, Rangers 1,329,136
Omar Infante, Tigers 1,191,119
Jose Altuve, Astros 850,577
J.J. Hardy, Orioles 2,548,682
Jhonny Peralta, Tigers 1,838,500
Elvis Andrus, Rangers 1,616,834
Jed Lowrie, Athletics 1,207,486
Derek Jeter, Yankees 819,175
Miguel Cabrera, Tigers 4,337,223
Manny Machado, Orioles 2,097,804
Adrian Beltre, Rangers 1,334,195
Evan Longoria, Rays 1,106,984
Josh Donaldson, Athletics 635,581
Joe Mauer, Twins 2,788,972
Matt Wieters, Orioles 2,068,032
A.J. Pierzynski, Rangers 1,054,093
Carlos Santana, Indians 1,029,674
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Red Sox 966,196
David Ortiz, Red Sox 3,247,462
Lance Berkman, Rangers 1,519,503
Edwin Encarnacion, Blue Jays 1,091,593
Victor Martinez, Tigers 959,646
Mark Trumbo, Angels 919,036
Adam Jones, Orioles 3,571,693
Mike Trout, Angels 3,548,195
Nick Markakis, Orioles 1,915,860
Jose Bautista, Blue Jays 1,867,367
Torii Hunter, Tigers 1,851,657
Nate McLouth, Orioles 1,660,080
Nelson Cruz, Rangers 1,595,371
Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox 1,289,195
Alex Gordon, Royals 1,239,771
Yoenis Cespedes, Athletics 1,183,926
Coco Crisp, Athletics 1,115,204
Austin Jackson, Tigers 983,469
Josh Hamilton, Angels 897,181
Shane Victorino, Red Sox 823,363
Ichiro Suzuki, Yankees 759,154
John Schlegel is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.