Trout leads American League in All-Star voting
Angels star has healthy lead over Bautista in second place
ANAHEIM -- Mike Trout was selected by his peers as an All-Star during his rookie season in 2012, started the Midsummer Classic for the first time in 2013 and is on pace to be the American League's leading vote-getter in 2014.
It's only the latest indication of the 22-year-old's meteoric rise.
"It feels good to be up at the top," Trout said. "To be No. 1 is something special for sure."
When fan-voting results for the AL's starting lineup were unveiled Tuesday, Trout had compiled 764,007 votes, topping the 675,290 of second-place Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista. Last year, the Angels' superstar center fielder finished sixth overall, fourth in the AL and second among Junior Circuit outfielders, trailing Orioles first baseman Chris Davis, Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera, Orioles center fielder Adam Jones, Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina and then-Cardinals right fielder Carlos Beltran.
Then he finished second in AL Most Valuable Player Award voting for the second straight time, and easily led the Majors in Wins Above Replacement once again.
"It's something special; it means a lot," said Trout, off to a relatively slow start but still managing to bat a solid .279/.368/.537.
"I'm going out there and playing with some passion and some fun. I've had a lot of fun the last two All-Star Games, so it would be a blast if I went this year."
Angels first baseman Albert Pujols, batting .267 with 14 homers and 31 RBIs after a season hindered by plantar fasciitis, is second at his position, trailing Cabrera (.321 batting average, seven homers, 42 RBIs) by about 70,000 votes.
Howie Kendrick, with a .303/.379/.415 slash line, is fifth among second basemen, his 165,003 votes nearly 200,000 shy of Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler (.330/.360/.477). Josh Hamilton, out since April 8 with a broken left thumb, is 12th among outfielders.
On pace to join Trout in the starting lineup on July 15 at Target Field are Orioles catcher Matt Wieters, Cabrera, Kinsler, A's third baseman Josh Donaldson, Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter -- playing in his final season -- Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz, Yankees center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury and Bautista.
The best part about the All-Star Game, Trout said, was "just being with all the top players in the league."
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.
The 2014 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. The AL will have nine elected starters via the fan balloting program, while the NL will have eight fan-elected starters. Pitchers and reserves for both squads -- totaling 25 for the NL and 24 for the AL -- will be determined through a combination of "Player Ballot" choices and selections made by All-Star managers Mike Matheny (NL) and John Farrell (AL).
Immediately following the announcement of the rosters, you can select the final player for each league's 34-man roster via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Experian. Choose again at that point from among five players in each league. The Final Vote returns for its 13th season with more than 430 million votes cast to date, and you'll be able to make selections on MLB.com, club sites and your mobile device.
You'll be on a voting tear at that point, having already selected starters and the last men, and the ritual will not 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 big game, vote exclusively online at MLB.com via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote Sponsored by Pepsi. The fan 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.
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.