PHILADELPHIA -- Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki has grabbed an early voting lead in his bid for a second straight starting berth on the National League All-Star team, and he is joined by outfielder Charlie Blackmon and injured third baseman Nolan Arenado among the leaders in voting at their positions.
Tulowitzki leads the Majors in batting average (.373), on-base percentage (.476), slugging percentage (.711) and runs scored (45). He was tops among NL players in the first balloting figures for the 85th All-Star Game.
Tulowitzki has been to the All-Star Game three times, but last year was the first time he was elected by the fans. He is attempting to become the first NL shortstop to earn consecutive fan-elected starts since Hanley Ramirez (2008-10). Tulowitzki hopes to join first baseman Todd Helton and outfielder Larry Walker as Rockies players to have been voted to start more than once.
According to Wednesday's first NL balloting update, Tulowitzki not only leads all shortstops, he tops all NL players with 745,823 votes. Second is Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina (640,464), and a surprising third is Blackmon (549,394).
Arenado, who suffered a fractured left middle finger on Friday night, has earned 318,111 votes. Arenado is vying to become the first third baseman in club history to be elected by the fans. Two-time All-Star Aramis Ramirez of the Brewers is second with 282,843 votes, and five-time fan-elected starter David Wright of the Mets is third at 278,840.
Tulowitzki entered the year seen as one of the top players in the game, so a high vote total was expected. But the presence of Blackmon and Arenado atop their positions is a testament to the surprising strong start the Rockies have fashioned.
"I'm more excited about those other guys -- Blackmon and Nolan leading at their positions," Tulowizki said. "It's pretty cool to see Rockies leading. I've been here for a long time, and you usually don't see Rockies in front of the vote. Some other guys are in the running as well, deservedly so. It's neat."
Blackmon declined to discuss the voting, preferring to focus on his own and his team's development.
"We've come a long way," Blackmon said. "With the way our roster is formed, we've got six outfielders and extra infielders. [Manager] Walt [Weiss] does such a good job of making sure everybody gets competitive opportunities, and through that we have one of the best benches around. There are a lot of contributors, and it makes our team better.
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 9:59 p.m. MT. 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 American League 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.