Mauer leads AL in early All-Star voting
Longoria holds edge on A-Rod to prevent all-Yankees infield
One thing was evident when the first batch of American League voting results for the 81st All-Star Game were made public Monday: Winning yields votes.
If the voting ended today, the nine starting position players in the AL would be Joe Mauer, Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter, Evan Longoria, Ichiro Suzuki, Carl Crawford, Nelson Cruz and Vladimir Guerrero. If the season ended today, eight of those players -- all except Ichiro -- would be on teams headed to the playoffs.
By the time the Midsummer Classic at Angel Stadium in Anaheim rolls around on July 13, the Yankees could end up ruling most of the infield. But it's Mauer who rules all voting thus far.
The reigning American League Most Valuable Player and the face of the Twins checked in as the leading AL vote-getter in the year's first ballot update, sporting 644,533 votes to easily lead the position of catcher and put him on pace to make his third consecutive Midsummer Classic start.
Through his first 36 games, Mauer ranks third in the AL with a .346 batting average and fifth with a .414 on-base percentage. In the voting, he holds the second-biggest gap between first and second place among position players in the AL, as the Yankees' Jorge Posada comes in second among AL catchers with 287,486 votes.
The biggest lead belongs to "The Captain," Jeter, who has the second-highest vote total at 639,227 and holds a lead of more than 400,000 votes over the second-place shortstop, Rangers youngster Elvis Andrus.
Jeter, batting .276 with four homers and 27 RBIs, is looking to make his 11th All-Star Game appearance and start for the fifth consecutive time.
If he pulls that off, he may have some familiar faces around the diamond.
The Yankees' Teixeira leads at first base with 396,034 votes so far, which puts him nearly 138,000 votes ahead of the Twins' Justin Morneau. And one of the hottest players at the start of the season, Cano, holds a lead of more than 200,000 votes over Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia.
Pedroia has appeared in back-to-back All-Star Games and started in 2008. But Cano is batting .335 with nine homers and 28 RBIs and is gunning for his second All-Star Game appearance -- and first since '06.
There is one man currently preventing an all-Yankees infield, however, and he's pacing the best team in the Major Leagues thus far.
Longoria -- with a .319 batting average, nine homers and 38 RBIs for the 32-12 Rays -- has captured 541,253 votes to lead the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez by a little less than 130,000, which is the smallest discrepancy between first and second place in the AL infield.
This would be Longoria's third All-Star Game in as many years in the big leagues.
In the bunched-up outfield, the Mariners' Suzuki (366,903 votes) leads the way, followed by the Rays' Carl Crawford (319,953) and the Rangers' Nelson Cruz (307,928).
For Suzuki -- batting .352 with a .395 on-base percentage and 11 stolen bases in his first 44 games -- it would be his 10th consecutive All-Star Game appearance in as many years in the big leagues.
But it's close in the AL outfield, where the Rangers' Josh Hamilton (265,896), the Yankees' Curtis Granderson (264,572), the Angels' Torii Hunter (230,036) and the Yankees' Nick Swisher (229,944) are creeping close with plenty of time left.
Guerrero's knees no longer have him patrolling right field. But the eight-time All-Star is swinging a hot bat in his first year as the Rangers' designated hitter, batting .339 with 10 homers and 37 RBIs in his first 44 games and leading balloting at his new position.
The 35-year-old Guerrero has captured 374,333 votes in the DH category, while Hideki Matsui ranks second at 298,487 and the Mariners' Ken Griffey Jr. is third, with 213,658 votes.
Fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times at MLB.com and all 30 club sites using the 2010 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Sprint until July 1 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Sprint subscribers can now vote on the go with select Sprint devices. They can learn more about how to vote on their smart phones at MLB.com/Sprint.
Starting rosters will be announced during the 2010 All-Star Game Selection Show on July 4 on TBS. Baseball fans around the world will then be able to select the final player on each team via the 2010 All-Star Game Final Vote Sponsored by Sprint.
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 2010 All-Star Game MVP Vote Sponsored by Sprint.
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.
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.