Mets dominate early NL All-Star vote
Beltran leads all position players on the Senior Circuit ballot
The Mets not only have the best record in the National League, they also lead the way in the NL All-Star balloting, according to the first results released on Tuesday by Major League Baseball.
Led by center fielder Carlos Beltran, who leads all National Leaguers in votes received, the Mets currently have four players among the eight position leaders in the balloting for the 78th All-Star Game to be played July 10 at San Francisco's AT&T Park.
Mets shortstop Jose Reyes, third baseman David Wright and catcher Paul Lo Duca also lead at their respective positions. NL leaders at the other four positions include first baseman Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals, second baseman Chase Utley of the Philadelphia Phillies and outfielders Barry Bonds of the host San Francisco Giants and Alfonso Soriano of the Chicago Cubs.
Beltran, a three-time All-Star and one of the NL starters a year ago, is among the league leaders in RBIs (33 through Monday) and is batting .296 with eight homers for the NL East-leading Mets.
Reyes, who made his first All-Star team last season but didn't play because of an injury, is batting .312 with a Major League-leading 28 stolen bases. Among the other vote leaders at shortstop include J.J. Hardy of the Milwaukee Brewers, Jimmy Rollins of the Philadelphia Phillies, David Eckstein of the St. Louis Cardinals and Edgar Renteria of the Atlanta Braves.
Wright was also selected to the starting lineup in 2006, his first All-Star game appearance. He is being chased by the Atlanta Braves' Chipper Jones, the Florida Marlins' Miguel Cabrera, Scott Rolen of the St. Louis Cardinals and Aramis Ramirez of the Chicago Cubs.
Lo Duca, a four-time All-Star who started last season's Midsummer Classic at Pittsburgh, ranks fourth in the league in hitting with a .329 batting average. Lo Duca has won the balloting at NL catcher each of the last two seasons. His early competition in the balloting this year includes Atlanta's Brian McCann, Johnny Estrada of the Milwaukee Brewers, Russell Martin of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Yadier Molina of the Cardinals.
Bonds, a 13-time All-Star who is closing in on Henry Aaron's career home run record of 755, hasn't appeared in an All-Star Game since being elected to the starting outfield in 2004. Five-time All-Star Soriano was elected to the starting lineup last year as a member of the Washington Nationals. Chasing Beltran, Soriano and Bonds in the vote are Ken Griffey Jr. of the Cincinnati Reds, Andruw Jones of the Braves, Carlos Lee of the Houston Astros, Moises Alou of the Mets, and Bill Hall of the Milwaukee Brewers.
Pujols is in the running for what would be his sixth consecutive All-Star selection. After a slow start, the Cardinals slugger is batting .297 with eight homers and 24 RBIs. He is followed by Milwaukee's Prince Fielder, Derrek Lee of the Cubs and Nomar Garciaparra of the Dodgers, respectively.
Utley made his All-Star debut last year when the Phillies second baseman won the balloting at his position. Houston's Craig Biggio trails Utley in the balloting, followed by Rickie Weeks of the Brewers, Jose Valentin of the Mets and Jeff Kent of the Dodgers.
Fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times with the Monster 2007 All-Star online ballot at MLB.com and all 30 club sites until June 28 at 11:59 p.m. ET.
Fans will again be given the opportunity to cast an All-Star vote immediately following the 2007 MLB "All-Star Game Selection Show" presented by Chevrolet, which will be televised by Turner Sports on July 1. Baseball fans around the world will be able select the final player on each All-Star team via the Monster.com 2007 All-Star Final Vote.
Selecting the rosters isn't the end of the fun in 2007, either. Concluding the All-Star balloting process, fans will have the opportunity to vote for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player presented by Chevrolet at the All-Star Game via the Monster.com 2007 All-Star Game MVP vote at MLB.com.
The All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports and televised around the world by Major League Baseball International. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio coverage, while MLB.com will offer extensive online coverage and MLB Radio will have exclusive play-by-play coverage of the game on the Internet.
Jim Molony is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.