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Trio of Reds still in mix for starting spot in All-Star Game

NEW YORK (WKRC) -- Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen, the reigning National League Most Valuable Player, has taken over the top outfield spot in the final balloting update for the 85th All-Star Game, to be played on Tuesday, July 15th at Target Field in Minnesota.  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.


McCutchen has received 3,173,810 votes, which ranks second overall in the N.L., and he is joined by fellow outfield leaders Carlos Gomez (3,169,748) of the Milwaukee Brewers and Yasiel Puig (3,001,907) of the Los Angeles Dodgers.  They are followed by 2012 All-Star Giancarlo Stanton (2,681,019) of the Miami Marlins, Gomez's Milwaukee teammate and five-time All-Star Ryan Braun (2,509,770) and Charlie Blackmon (1,859,729) of the Colorado Rockies.
McCutchen, who is bidding for his fourth All-Star selection and first fan-elected start, would become the first Pittsburgh player to earn a fan election since outfielder Jason Bay in 2006.  In addition, McCutchen could become just the seventh player in franchise history to garner a fan election, joining Bay, Barry Bonds (1992-93), Andy Van Slyke (1992-93), Dave Parker (1977-78, 1980-81), and Hall of Famers Roberto Clemente (1972) and Willie Stargell (1971-72).  McCutchen, who has hit safely in eight straight games, led all Major League players with 20 extra-base hits during the month of June, and he was the first Pirates player with 20 extra-base hits in one month since Brian Giles in June 2001.  He ranks first in the N.L. with 54 walks, second with a .418 on-base percentage, tied for third with 38 extra-base hits, fourth with a .314 batting average, tied for fourth with 24 doubles and 159 total bases, tied for fifth with a .525 slugging percentage, seventh with 95 hits, tied for seventh with 48 RBI,
Gomez is attempting to earn his first career fan election after being selected an All-Star for the first time in 2013.  He would join teammate Ryan Braun (2008-11) as the only Brewers outfielders to garner a fan election in franchise history.  Gomez, who posted a career-best and Milwaukee season-high 18-game hitting streak in June, is third in the N.L. with a .359 batting average with runners in scoring position, is tied for fourth with 159 total bases, tied for fifth with a .525 slugging percentage, tied for seventh with 36 extra-base hits, ranks eighth with 94 hits, ninth with a .310 batting average and is tied for ninth with 52 runs scored. 

Puig, in his second Major League season, is seeking his first All-Star assignment.  An election for Puig would give the Dodgers a fan-elected outfielder in the All-Star Game for the fourth time in the last five years, following the elections of Andre Ethier (2010) and Matt Kemp (2011-12). The Cuban native is tied for fifth in the N.L. with 28 multi-hit games, ranks sixth with a .401 on-base percentage, seventh with a .344 batting average with runners in scoring position, tied for seventh with a .311 batting average overall, eighth with a .517 slugging percentage and is tied for ninth with 153 total bases.

After taking over the top spot at third base last week, Aramis Ramirez (1,790,777) of the Milwaukee Brewers continues to hold a slight advantage over seven-time All-Star and five-time fan-elected starter David Wright (1,555,717) of the New York Mets, and two-time All-Star and 2012 starter Pablo Sandoval (1,406,026) of the San Francisco Giants.  Ramirez, a two-time All-Star, is aiming for the first fan election of his career, and he would become the first Brewers third baseman to win a fan election.  The 35-year-old native of the Dominican Republic is batting .292 with 11 home runs and 40 RBI on the season.  Among N.L. third basemen, he ranks third in home runs and fifth in RBI.  Wright is attempting to join Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt (eight fan elections) as the only N.L. third basemen to earn at least six fan-elected starting assignments.  Sandoval would become the fourth infielder in Giants history to earn multiple fan elections, joining Will Clark (1988-91), Jeff Kent (2000-01) and Matt Williams (1994-96).
Behind the plate, St. Louis Cardinals backstop Yadier Molina remains the leader with 3,100,939, but Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy (2,636,640) has cut into his lead and is within striking distance heading into the final stretch of fan voting.  Molina, a five-time All-Star and three-time fan-elected starter, is attempting to earn his second consecutive fan-elected starting assignment.  He would join Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith (12) and former teammate Albert Pujols (5) as the only players in Cardinals history to receive at least four fan-elected starts.  Molina has thrown out 17 of 34 runners attempting to steal this season for a N.L.-best .500 percentage.  The Cardinals have had at least one player elected to start in each of the last five seasons (2009-13), marking the longest active streak in the N.L.  Lucroy, who is vying for his first career All-Star selection, leads all Major League catchers with 100 hits and 28 doubles, and ranks second with 42 RBI.
Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki continues to lead the N.L. with 3,997,477 votes, which also ranks third in the Majors behind A.L. outfielders Jose Bautista (4,460,245) of the Toronto Blue Jays and Mike Trout (4,085,647) of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.  Tulowitzki leads the Majors with a .353 batting average, .445 on-base percentage and 65 runs scored, and he is second with a .618 slugging percentage.  The three-time All-Star, who is trying for his second consecutive fan election, would become the first N.L. shortstop to earn consecutive fan-elected starts since Hanley Ramirez accomplished the feat from 2008-10.  Tulowitzki would also become just the third player in Rockies history to earn multiple fan elections, joining Todd Helton and Larry Walker, both of whom were voted a starter on three occasions.  Tulowitzki, the N.L. captain for the 2014 Gillette Home Run Derby, also ranks second in the N.L. with 18 home runs and 170 total bases, is tied for second with 29 multi-hit games, tied for third with 97 hits, tied for sixth with 46 walks, tied for seventh with 36 extra-base hits and tied for 10th with 47 RBI.  Milwaukee's Jean Segura ranks second behind Tulowitzki with 1,729,054 votes.
On the right side of the infield, Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Chase Utley and Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt own comfortable leads as balloting comes to a close.  Utley, who has totaled 2,436,143 votes, is followed by Neil Walker (1,556,511) of the Pirates.  Utley is attempting to make his sixth All-Star squad and earn his sixth fan election after garnering a starting assignment in each season from 2006-10.  His five fan elections trail only Schmidt (9) for the most in Phillies history, and the only other N.L. second basemen to draw more All-Star starts are Utley's manager Ryne Sandberg (9) and fellow Hall of Famer Joe Morgan (7).  Utley is batting .293 on the season with six home runs, 37 RBI, 24 doubles and 45 runs scored.  Utley, who picked up his 1,500th career hit on Sunday against Atlanta, leads all N.L. second basemen in doubles and is tied for first with 33 extra-base hits. 

Goldschmidt has accumulated 2,582,955 votes, and he is followed at first base by Milwaukee's Mark Reynolds (1,430,395).  Goldschmidt, who earned his first All-Star selection in 2013, would become the first D-backs first baseman, and just the fourth player in franchise history, to earn a fan election.  The other three to do so were second baseman Jay Bell (1999), third baseman Matt Williams (1999) and outfielder Luis Gonzalez (2001).  Goldschmidt is tied for first in the N.L. with 28 doubles and 43 extra-base hits, ranks second with 59 runs scored, third with 53 RBI, a .529 slugging percentage and 166 total bases, is tied for fourth with 47 walks, tied for seventh with 15 home runs, tied for eighth with 27 multi-hit games, and places ninth with 93 hits and a .387 on-base percentage.

With seven different teams currently represented among the eight leaders, this would mark the eighth time since fan balloting began in 1970 that the N.L. could have as many as seven different teams represented among the starting position players.  The other years in which this has occurred include 1971, 1984, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2010.  The N.L. has never had eight different teams represented among the eight positional leaders.

Information courtesy MLB



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