Arenado needs voting boost; Blackmon steady

Arenado needs voting boost; Blackmon steady

DENVER -- Center fielder Charlie Blackmon is in solid shape to become the first Rockies player to be voted a National League All-Star starter since 2014. Also, third baseman Nolan Arenado -- whose performance Sunday should touch off a rush to the Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot -- and second baseman DJ LeMahieu are in the mix at their positions.

According to Monday's update, Blackmon is solidly in second place among outfielders with 2,259,867 votes, trailing only the Nationals' Bryce Harper at 2,827,330. The top three outfield vote-getters will start the All-Star Game presented by MasterCard on July 11 in Miami.

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Blackmon entered Monday's play with a .612 slugging percentage in 289 at-bats from the leadoff position -- easily tops among NL players when batting first. His .329 batting average from the top spot is best in the league among everyday leadoff men -- Eric Sogard of the Brewers has a .370 leadoff batting average, but in just 73 at-bats (as is his .379 on-base percentage).

If the voting holds -- the next highest vote-getter, the Cubs' Jason Heyward, is more than 1.2 million votes off the pace -- Blackmon will become the first Rockies player chosen by the fans since Troy Tulowitzki led all NL vote-getters in 2014. That was the year Blackmon made his only previous All-Star appearance.

Arenado, a four-time Gold Glove Award winner who entered Monday leading the NL with 26 doubles and hitting .299 with 15 home runs and 55 RBIs, continues to trail the Cubs' Kris Bryant, last year's NL Most Valuable Player, in the race at third base.

Market size and perception about a hitter at Coors Field continues to work against Arenado. But his enthusiastic celebration of his game-winning homer -- which completed a cycle -- on Sunday against the Giants shows he loves his market.

As for the Coors thing, well, Arenado had to hit .500 in a four-game series against the Giants for his offensive numbers at home to surpass what he had accomplished on the road this season. He has a .313 batting average, .352 on-base percentage and .603 slugging percentage at home, but doesn't have to apologize for a .287/.351/.547 slash line on the road.

LeMahieu, who won the NL batting title last year and has gradually overcome a slow start to this season, is third in voting at second base. The Nationals' Daniel Murphy is the runaway leader at 2,365,180 votes, followed by the Cubs' Javier Baez at 1,328,917 and LeMahieu at 401,768.

Fans may cast votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- on computers, tablets and smartphones -- exclusively online using the 2017 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot until Thursday, June 29, at 9:59 p.m. MT. On smartphones and tablets, fans can also access the ballot via the MLB.com At Bat and MLB.com Ballpark mobile apps. Vote up to five times in any 24-hour period for a maximum of 35 ballots cast.

Following the announcement of the 2017 All-Star starters, reserves and pitchers, fans should return to MLB.com and cast their 2017 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote for the final player on each league's All-Star roster. Then on Tuesday, July 11, while watching the 2017 All-Star Game presented by MasterCard live on FOX, fans may visit MLB.com to submit their choices for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet with the 2017 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote.

The 88th Midsummer Classic, at Marlins Park in Miami, will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 160 countries. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage, while MLB Network, MLB.com and SiriusXM will have comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information about MLB All-Star Week and to purchase tickets, please visit AllStarGame.com and follow @AllStarGame on social media.

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.