Nolan Arenado appears to be slowly chipping away at the national prejudice against Coors Field.
Already a four-time All-Star, voted the starting third baseman in each of the last two years, Arenado is the leading voter-getter at third base again this year in the initial update from Major League Baseball. With 783,684 vote he is nearly 340,000 ahead of second-place Kris Bryant of the Cubs, and more than triple the total for the Dodgers' Justin Turner, who is in third place.
The top three vote-getters at each defensive position -- except the outfield -- will advance to a championship vote to pick the starter for the All-Star Game. Arenado is the only Rockies player among the top three in initial voting at his position. Shortstop Trevor Story is fourth, less than 25,000 votes behind third-place Corey Seager of the Dodgers, and less than 45,000 votes behind second-place Dansby Swanson of the Braves.
In the outfield voting, the top nine vote-getters will advance to the finals with the top three finalists earning a starting spot. Blackmon is sitting sixth in the NL outfield voting in the this week's release.
Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger is Major League Baseball’s leading vote-getter in the first National League balloting update for the 2019 MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard. The 2019 Google MLB All-Star Ballot, which is available exclusively online and via mobile devices at MLB.com, all 30 Club sites, the MLB At Bat and MLB Ballpark mobile apps and on Google Search (U.S. and Canada only) will be accessible until the “The Primary” voting period ends on Thursday, June 21st at 4:00 p.m. (ET).
Bellinger, an All-Star during his NL Rookie of the Year Award-winning season in 2017, has received a Major League-best 1,189,380 votes in a bid for his first fan election. The 23-year-old, who leads the Majors with a .355 batting average, is joined among the outfield leaders by 2018 All-Star and reigning NL MVP Christian Yelich of the Milwaukee Brewers (1,057,855) and 2018 NL Rookie of the Year winner Ronald Acuña Jr. of the Atlanta Braves (518,760). The trio is followed by Bellinger’s Dodgers teammate Joc Pederson (344,440), Albert Almora of the Chicago Cubs (294,445), Blackmon (278,070), Jason Heyward of the Cubs (270,745), Kyle Schwarber of the Cubs (252,557) and Alex Verdugo of the Dodgers (242,988). Six-time All-Star outfielder Bryce Harper of the Philadelphia Phillies (242,719), a starter in each of the last four seasons and in five of the last six, trails Verdugo for the final spot in the Starters Election by just 269 votes, while Braves outfielder Nick Markakis (232,995), a first-time All-Star in 2018, remains close behind.
A pair of Cubs are leading at two positions that feature tightly-contested races to advance to the Starters Election. Shortstop Javier Báez, the NL’s starting second baseman last season, has received 861,496 votes, the third-highest total in the NL, to outpace Atlanta’s Dansby Swanson (286,802). Corey Seager of the Dodgers (257,085) and Colorado’s Trevor Story (243,550) are engaged in a close race to claim the final shortstop spot in the Starters Election. Backstop Willson Contreras (850,613), last year’s starting NL catcher, ranks ahead of Atlanta’s Brian McCann (269,963) and Philadelphia’s J.T. Realmuto (206,442), but a five-way race for two spots has emerged with Yadier Molina of the St. Louis Cardinals (202,401), Yasmani Grandal of the Brewers (195,922) and Austin Barnes of the Dodgers (183,692) following closely behind McCann and Realmuto.
Rounding out the NL leaders are first baseman Josh Bell of the Pirates (621,915) and second baseman Ozzie Albies of the Braves (424,467) and third baseman Nolan Arenado of the Rockies (783,684). Bell, who leads the Majors with 25 doubles and 57 RBI, is seeking his first All-Star selection and ranks ahead of three-time All-Stars Anthony Rizzo of the Cubs of the Cubs (461,210) and Freddie Freeman of the Braves (406,283), while Max Muncy of the Dodgers (232,583) places fourth.
Albies, an All-Star in 2018 bidding for his first fan-elected start, leads a crowded field at second base, including Mike Moustakas of the Brewers (377,983), Ketel Marte of the Arizona Diamondbacks (327,269), César Hernández of the Phillies (265,608) and Kiké Hernández of the Dodgers (244,589).
The voting period for “The Primary” concludes at 4:00 p.m. ET on June 21st. Later that evening, during the MLB Network Showcase telecast of the New York Yankees hosting the Houston Astros, the top three vote-getters at each position (and the top nine outfielders) in each League will be revealed on MLB Network, and they will move on to the second phase of voting. During the initial voting period, fans can submit up to five ballots per 24-hour period on MLB platforms, and can vote for every position, or up to 17 unique players per day on Google.
“The Starters Election” will begin at 10 a.m. (MT) June 26th, with fans voting among the finalists at each position during a 28-hour window that concludes at 2:00 p.m. (MT) June 27th. Results of “The Starters Election” will be announced at 7:00 p.m. (ET) that night on ESPN. During this second phase of voting, in which fans can vote once on MLB platforms and submit up to 17 unique player votes on Google, vote totals will reset (i.e., vote totals from “The Primary” do not carry over) and the winner at each position (including three outfielders per League) will be named a starting position player for the 2019 Midsummer Classic.
The AL All-Star Team, which will be managed by Alex Cora of the defending World Series Champion Boston Red Sox, will have nine elected starters via the fan balloting program, while the NL All-Star Team, led for a second consecutive year by Dave Roberts of the defending NL Champion Los Angeles Dodgers, will have eight fan-elected starters. The pitchers and reserves for both squads – totaling 24 for the NL and 23 for the AL – will be determined through a combination of “Player Ballot” choices and selections made by the Commissioner’s Office. The balance of the All-Star rosters will be announced on Sunday, June 30th at 5:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.
During each phase of voting, the 2019 Google MLB All-Star Ballot will be available when fans search in English and Spanish. The ballot at MLB.com and Club sites also 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 D.R. via LasMayores.com, the official Spanish-language web site of Major League Baseball.
Fans will once again have the opportunity to participate 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 2019 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.