Cleveland Indians outfielder Michael Brantley, Minnesota Twins third baseman Miguel Sanó and Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve have joined the leaders in the latest American League balloting update for the 2017 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard, it was announced earlier today on MLB Network. The 2017 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot, which is available exclusively online via MLB.com, Club sites and mobile devices, will be accessible until the voting period ends on Thursday, June 29th at 11:59 p.m. (ET).
Brantley, an All-Star in 2014, has accumulated 554,620 to overtake Boston’s Mookie Betts (519,146) for the third AL outfield spot in the league’s closest race. Brantley is bidding for his first fan-elected start, while Betts is aiming for his second consecutive starting nod. The last Indians player to earn a fan-elected starting assignment was outfielder Juan Gonzalez in 2001. After being limited to just 11 games in 2016, Brantley is batting .309 on the season with five home runs, 24 RBI, 10 doubles, 22 runs scored and seven stolen bases. The 30-year-old Brantley is joined in the outfield by rookie Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees (1,251,543) and Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels (1,155,356). Judge, who surpassed Trout this week as the league’s top vote-getter, has a Major League-leading 18 home runs entering play today. The fourth-place Betts is followed by Avisaíl García of the Chicago White Sox (479,349), who moved into fifth place this week ahead of Boston’s rookie standout Andrew Benintendi (416,461).
At third base, Sanó has received 638,952 votes to surpass last week’s leader Manny Machado of the Baltimore Orioles (520,116). Machado now ranks third overall at the hot corner, also falling behind Cleveland’s José Ramírez (541,040). With a fan-elected start, Sanó would become the first Twins third baseman to claim a starting assignment since the first year of fan balloting in 1970, when Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew was voted a starter by the fans. In addition, the 24-year-old native of the Dominican Republic would be the first Twins infielder to earn a fan-elected start since first baseman Justin Morneau in 2010.
Altuve, a fan-elected starter in 2015 and 2016, has totaled 998,107 votes to overtake Starlin Castro of the New York Yankees (778,699) at second base. The four-time All-Star would join Hall of Famer Craig Biggio as the only players in Astros history to earn three straight fan-elected starting assignments. Biggio made four consecutive National League starts at second base from 1995-98. Castro, a three-time NL All-Star at shortstop (2011-12), is bidding for his first career fan-elected start.
The remaining AL leaders include: first baseman Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers (475,826); shortstop Francisco Lindor of the Indians (842,166); catcher Salvador Perez of the Kansas City Royals (692,867); and designated hitter Nelson Cruz of the Seattle Mariners (615,955). Cabrera continues to be challenged closely by Yonder Alonso of the Oakland Athletics (433,570) and Carlos Santana of the Indians (420,336). Lindor is followed at shortstop by Carlos Correa of the Astros (662,124), while Baltimore’s Welington Castillo (543,146) follows Perez behind the plate. Matt Holliday of the Yankees (460,355) has moved ahead of Cleveland’s Edwin Encarnacion (447,275) in pursuit of Cruz at designated hitter. Tampa Bay’s Corey Dickerson (446,121) is also close behind.
With eight Major League Clubs currently represented among the nine leaders, 2017 would mark the first time that eight different AL teams have a starting player elected by the fans since balloting was returned to the fans in 1970.
The Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot, the largest program of its kind in professional sports, is being conducted exclusively online for the third consecutive season. Fans around the world can cast their votes for starters a total of 35 times with the 2017 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot, including a maximum of five valid ballots cast in any 24-hour period. The 2017 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot is available in English and Spanish, and offers audio CAPTCHA functionality for visually impaired fans. Banco BHD León once again 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.
Details regarding the unveiling of the 2017 American League and National League All-Star Teams will be available in the coming weeks. The AL All-Star Team will have nine elected starters via the fan balloting program, while the NL All-Star Team will have eight fan-elected starters. The pitchers and reserves for both squads – totaling 23 for the NL and 22 for the AL – will be determined through a combination of “Player Ballot” choices and selections made by the Commissioner’s Office.
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 32-man roster via the 2017 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote. Fans will cast their votes from a list of five players from each League over the balloting period. Now in its 16th season with over 680 million votes cast, fans again will be able to make their Final Vote selections on MLB.com, Club sites and their mobile devices.
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 can vote exclusively at MLB.com and the 30 Club sites – online or via their mobile devices – with the 2017 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.