Bautista among top vote-getters in early ASG tally

Outfielder eyeing fifth straight All-Star appearance after stellar start to season

Bautista among top vote-getters in early ASG tally

TORONTO -- Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista is off to yet another good start in fan balloting for the upcoming All-Star Game in Minnesota.

Bautista received the second most votes in the American League after the first ballot update was released by Major League Baseball on Tuesday afternoon. He finished with 675,290 votes, which trails only Angels outfielder Mike Trout for the top overall spot.

The 33-year-old Bautista needs to finish in the top three for outfielders in order to secure his fifth consecutive appearance at an All-Star Game. In addition to Bautista and Trout, Yankees outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury (417,452) and Carlos Beltran (401,101) are also in the mix at the third and fourth spots, respectively.

Bautista has been voted into the game by fans during each of the past three seasons. In 2011, he set what was then a Major League record by receiving 7,454,753 votes to surpass a previous mark set by Ken Griffey Jr. in 1994. Bautista became the ninth Blue Jays player to be voted into the game as a starter.

The honor would be well-deserved again this season, as he's enjoying one of the best starts of his career. Bautista began the year reaching base in his first 37 games, which fell just shy of a franchise record set by Carlos Delgado. Bautista entered play on Tuesday night hitting .289 with 12 homers and 35 RBIs with a .421 on-base percentage and a .945 OPS.

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 11:59 p.m. ET. 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.

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.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.