Harper, Nats need help at polls in All-Star race
Rehabbing outfielder among top 15 at position on National League ballots
MILWAUKEE -- Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper hasn't played a Major League game since April 25 because of a left thumb injury, but he is still getting respect from fans who would like to see him in the All-Star Game in Minnesota next month. As of Monday's balloting update, Harper received 680,930 votes, which is 15th among National League outfielders.
Harper isn't the only Nationals player who should receive recognition. First baseman Adam LaRoche and third baseman Anthony Rendon deserve votes. LaRoche is arguably the Nationals' best hitter, leading the team in batting average (.305) and on-base percentage (.418) entering Monday night's game. And let's not forget to mention that he is one of the best defensive first basemen in the game.
Rendon is not bad on the defensive side either. Entering his first full season in the big leagues, Rendon is among the team leaders in home runs, RBIs and runs scored.
For manager Matt Williams, it difficult to pick an All-Star on his team.
"We want as many guys to represent us as possible," Williams said. "I don't know anybody in particular that I would say. None of our guys lead in voting in that regard. There will be choices on merit in the way they have handled themselves during the first half of the season. As many as possible, we would love that."
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.
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.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.