Contreras is likely headed to the All-Star game (David Banks - USA Today Sports)
Contreras is likely headed to the All-Star game (David Banks - USA Today Sports)

Willson Contreras leads NL catchers with 1.37 million votes for MLB All-Star game


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Close races in the National League and American League infields highlight the latest balloting figures for the 2022 MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard, while Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees continues to pace all Major Leaguers and Mookie Betts of the Los Angeles Dodgers leads NL players.

The 2022 Chevrolet MLB All-Star Ballot, which is available exclusively online and via mobile devices at MLB.com, all 30 Club web sites and the MLB App, will be accessible until the voting period for Phase 1 concludes at 2:00 p.m. ET this Thursday, June 30th. During the initial voting period, fans can submit up to five ballots per 24-hour period on MLB platforms. On Thursday, the top two vote-getters at each position (and the top six outfielders) in each League will be revealed on MLB Network at 5:00 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, for the first time since two-phase balloting began in 2019, the leading vote-getter in each league during the first phase of voting will 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)

In the NL, tight battles continue to develop throughout the infield for the right to advance to the Finalists Phase. At second base, Jazz Chisholm Jr. of the Miami Marlins (1,066,927) remains in front as he attempts to become the first player born in the Bahamas to earn an All-Star selection. Ozzie Albies of the Atlanta Braves (984,846) and Jeff McNeil of the New York Mets (945,335) remain close behind. A starting election by any one of the three would mark the 11th consecutive different NL second baseman to start the Midsummer Classic. Staying up the middle in the NL, a trio of shortstops are also vying for two spots in Phase 2, with Trea Turner of the Los Angeles Dodgers leading the way with 1,369,759 votes. Dansby Swanson of the Braves (1,069,312), who is hitting .395 over his current nine-game hitting streak, ranks second, followed by Francisco Lindor of the Mets (808,729). At third base, Nolan Arenado of the St. Louis Cardinals (977,485), bidding for his fifth straight starting election, and Austin Riley of the Braves (911,663), vying for his first career All-Star appearance, are locked in a tight competition behind positional leader and five-time All-Star Manny Machado of the San Diego Padres (1,563,188).

Other highlights of the NL Ballot include:

Paul Goldschmidt of the Cardinals has 1,562,027 votes to remain in pole position at first base. A five-time All-Star and two-time fan-elected starter (2014-15), Goldschmidt leads the NL with a .337 batting average. He is followed by Major League RBI leader Pete Alonso of the Mets (958,777), 2020 NL Most Valuable Player Freddie Freeman of the Dodgers (760,524) and Matt Olson of the Braves (663,711).

Atlanta’s Travis d’Arnaud (880,963) is holding off Yadier Molina of the Cardinals (699,907) for second place among backstops behind Willson Contreras of the Chicago Cubs, who leads all NL catchers with 1,372,780 votes. Contreras is aiming for his third starting nod in the last four All-Star Games. d’Arnaud is seeking his first Midsummer Classic selection ahead of the 10-time All-Star Molina, who is attempting for his fifth fan election, and first since 2014.

The aforementioned Betts continues to lead all NL players with 2,270,566 votes, but Atlanta’s Ronald Acuña Jr. (2,197,684) is threatening to overtake Betts for the top spot, which will result in an automatic starting bid and bypass the Finalists Phase. Acuña Jr., who led all NL players in voting last season, would become the first player to lead his league in All-Star voting in consecutive years since Albert Pujols for the Cardinals in 2009-10. Betts and Acuña Jr. are followed by Joc Pederson of the San Francisco Giants (1,090,260), Starling Marte of the New York Mets (765,362) and Juan Soto of the Washington Nationals (679,511). Adam Duvall of the Braves (580,110) is holding on to the sixth spot ahead of Mark Canha of the Mets (526,319), Marcell Ozuna of the Braves (505,975) and Cody Bellinger of the Dodgers (490,939).

Six-time All-Star Bryce Harper of the Philadelphia Phillies, who suffered a broken left thumb on Saturday, remains third among all NL players with 1,740,935 votes and holds a comfortable lead for the NL’s first-ever fan-elected designated hitter. Harper is followed by William Contreras of the Braves (976,038) and Albert Pujols of the Cardinals (535,661).

The nine NL players currently in position to earn a starting spot are represented by eight different Clubs, with only the Dodgers placing two players among the positional leaders.

The reigning World Series Champion Braves have an NL-best and Major League high-tying six players in position to advance to the Finalists Phase.

The AL sports similar close competitions in the infield, particularly up the middle at shortstop and second base. A trio of shortstops are battling for the two spots to advance, led by Bo Bichette of the Toronto Blue Jays, who is out in front with 1,084,794 votes. Tim Anderson of the Chicago White Sox (844,921) is in a heated competition with two-time All-Star Xander Bogaerts of the Boston Red Sox (822,019), who is seeking a second consecutive fan election.

Bichette’s double-play partner Santiago Espinal (943,125) is attempting to hold off Andrés Giménez of the Cleveland Guardians (819,163) for second place at second base. Both are hoping for a first All-Star selection as seven-time All-Star and four-time fan-elected starter Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros remains in front with 1,156,474 votes.

Other highlights of the AL Ballot include:

At the corners, AL RBI leader José Ramírez of the Guardians (1,219,704) has jumped Rafael Devers of the Red Sox (1,185,906) as the duo look destined for a showdown in the Finalists Phase at third base. Devers is trying to earn his second straight starting election, while Ramírez aims for his third career starting assignment. Toronto’s Matt Chapman remains third with 696,556 votes. Across the diamond, Chapman’s teammate Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who led all Major League players in fan voting last summer, paces the AL first base race with 1,624,228 votes, while a competitive race for second place has emerged between Ty France of the Seattle Mariners (880,530) and Anthony Rizzo of the Yankees (773,218).

The aforementioned Judge is still pacing all Major League players with 2,433,088 votes. The three-time All-Star, who led the AL in voting in 2017, is trying to become the first Yankees player to lead the Majors since 2008 (Alex Rodriguez). In addition, Judge is trying to secure his fourth starting spot in the last five Midsummer Classics (also 2017, 2018 and 2021). Judge is followed in the AL outfield by nine-time All-Star Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels (2,134,471) and Toronto’s George Springer (1,048,403). The AL outfield leaders are followed by Giancarlo Stanton of the Yankees (814,706), Taylor Ward of the Angels (763,939) and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. of the Blue Jays (672,811), who has jumped into the sixth spot in the AL. His teammate Teoscar Hernández (662,092) and Byron Buxton of the Minnesota Twins (629,216) are challenging for the opportunity to advance to the next phase.

Blue Jays catcher Alejandro Kirk continues his strong showing and ranks third among all AL players with 1,857,670 votes. Kirk is followed by Yankees catcher Jose Trevino (695,935), who is trying to hold off Salvador Perez of the Royals (395,838) and Martín Maldonado of the Astros (376,093).

Yordan Alvarez of the Astros (1,374,876), who is tied with Alonso and Trout for second in the Majors with 22 home runs behind Judge’s 28, is leading at designated hitter ahead of last year’s two-way Midsummer Classic starter Shohei Ohtani of the Angels (965,932). With a fan election, Alvarez could become the seventh straight different player to start at designated hitter for the AL.

The Blue Jays boast an AL-best and Major League high-tying six players in position to advance to Phase 2, including four players currently in position to earn a starting assignment, which would mark the Club’s most starters in a single season in team history.

Overall, 13 different Major League Clubs are represented among the 18 positional leaders. Additionally, 18 of the 30 Major League Clubs are represented among the players on pace to advance to the Finalists Phase of 2022 Chevrolet MLB All-Star Balloting. Eight of the 18 positional leaders (44.4%) are internationally-born, spanning six different countries and territories outside of the 50 United States (Bahamas, Canada, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mexico and Venezuela). In addition, 12 of the 18 leaders (66.7%) come from diverse backgrounds.

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