Upton deserves All-Star consideration
Young star needs fans' help to reach Midsummer Classic
LOS ANGELES -- Another round of ballot updates were released and once again, there is nary a D-backs player among the vote leaders.
It's hard to imagine outfielder Justin Upton does not deserve better. At just 21 years of age, Upton has seemingly come into his own this year.
Among National League outfielders, Upton is third in OPS (on-base plus slugging) with a 1.010 mark and he is also third in slugging percentage with a .606 mark. In both categories he trails Raul Ibanez and Brad Hawpe.
"A lot of the All-Star balloting depends on the city you play for," Upton's teammate Dan Haren said. "And unfortunately the New Yorks, L.A.s and Chicagos of the world are going to get the votes."
That does not mean that D-backs fans cannot help Upton's cause, though.
The 2009 All-Star Game will be held at St. Louis' Busch Stadium on July 14 at 6 p.m. MST.
Fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times with the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Online Ballot at MLB.com and all 30 club sites until July 2 at 9:59 p.m. ET. Balloting will run through June 25 at Chase Field.
Starting rosters will be announced during the 2009 All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Chevrolet on TBS on July 5. Baseball fans around the world will then be able to select the final player on each team via the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Final Vote at MLB.com.
And the voting doesn't end there. Fans will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet at the Midsummer Classic via the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint MVP Vote at MLB.com.
The All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX and around the world by Major League Baseball International. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio play-by-play, while MLB.com will offer extensive online coverage.
Upton continues to draw raves from his teammates for his work at the plate. He had a career-best 18-game hitting streak from April 24-May 11, batting .385 during that stretch.
"Regardless of whether he gets a starting spot in the game, I like his chances once the manager or coaches decide the players," Haren said. "If you look at his numbers, he's in the top 10 in a lot of categories. I think he's the best player on our team right now. It would really surprise me if he didn't go."
It would definitely be a learning experience for Upton, who was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft.
"I would love to see him go," Haren said. "I've had the opportunity to go twice and it's a really fun experience. You get to rub elbows with I'm sure players he has grown up watching. I really hope that he gets the opportunity to go."
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.