Puig rises to top of ASG outfield; Adrian leads 1B
Cuban star surges in latest All-Star balloting; voting ends July 3
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers manager Don Mattingly suggested that Yasiel Puig could expect a surge in All-Star voting, that the early results favored hitters who were hot in April.
Mattingly was right. Puig got his surge.
In the latest All-Star Game voting results, the Cuban outfielder jumped from fifth place in the outfield all the way to first, with 935,276 votes. Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon is behind Puig with 883,186 votes, dropping from first place. The Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton (863,307) sits in third. Puig, who has reached base in 34 consecutive games, is second in the National League with a .340 batting average and .430 on-base percentage, and he's tied for the NL lead with 22 multi-hit games.
"I don't know if we've seen [Puig's ceiling]," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "He's around .350. He's doing it with on-base percentage. He's doing it with some power, and he's driving in runs. And he continues to get better. I still think there's some room for improvement with him.
"It's been a little up, a little down, a little sideways. It's been fun. He's a real talent. And he's fun to watch."
If elected, Puig, who celebrated his one-year big league anniversary on Tuesday, would give the Dodgers a fan-elected outfielder for the fourth time in five years. Andre Ethier got the fan nod in 2010, while Matt Kemp was elected in 2011 and 2012.
"The biggest change I think we've seen so far is just his patience at the plate," Mattingly said of Puig's development. "I think that's been a huge difference because when you first come up, everyone's going to challenge you, see if you can't. And then once you sort of prove you can do that, then all of a sudden they started working on him. This year, he's shown he's not going to chase.
"I think his game has matured from the standpoint of -- still with all of the energy, but less out of control. He's throwing the ball to the right place most of the time. You see him still being aggressive on the bases, but not just running wild. There's still going to be some step backwards now and then, but … he's been fun to watch actually."
Puig likely won't be the lone Dodgers representative, though. First baseman Adrian Gonzalez (647,826) continues to lead the vote at his position, holding more than a 100,000-vote lead over Colorado first baseman Justin Morneau. Gonzalez, who is tied for fourth in the National League with 38 RBIs and ranks fifth with 12 home runs, would become the first Dodgers infielder to earn an All-Star Game start since Jeff Kent in 2005.
A couple of other Dodgers remain in the hunt as well, though they have some ground to make up. Speedy second baseman Dee Gordon (530,289), who leads the MLB with 34 stolen bases, is second to Philadelphia's Chase Utley (974,196). Meanwhile, in the shortstop race, Los Angeles' Hanley Ramirez (366,355) will have an uphill climb to catch overall MLB vote leader -- and NL batting leader - Troy Tulowitzki with his 1,419,718 votes.
At fifth place, Juan Uribe (436,776) remains in contention in a crowded third-base race, with leading vote-getter Nolan Arenado of the Rockies earning 590,745 votes. Uribe is currently on the 15-day disabled list with a hamstring injury.
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 8:59 p.m. PT. 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.
Michael Lananna is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.