Bautista leads all-star voting
By Sports Network
|Blue Jays batter Jose Bautista reacts to striking out against the Astros at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ont., May 22, 2011. (MARK BLINCH/Reuters)
NEW YORK - Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista, who entered Wednesday's play with a major league-best 20 home runs and 45 runs scored, was the top vote-getter in first returns for American League balloting for this year's All-Star Game.
Bautista, bidding to become the first Blue Jay ever to finish as the top overall vote-getter in the majors, has 1,261,659 votes to top all players, including ones from the National League.
The last Blue Jays player to earn a start in the All-Star contest was first baseman Carlos Delgado in 2003. Joe Carter (1994) was the last Toronto outfielder to start the All-Star Game.
Bautista is joined by Curtis Granderson (994,315) of the New York Yankees and 2010 AL MVP Josh Hamilton (748,240) of the Texas Rangers as the top three vote-getters among outfielders for the July 12 game at Chase Field.
Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki (674,406), an All-Star in each of his last 10 seasons, is close fourth among AL outfielders, followed by Texas' Nelson Cruz (514,006) and Jacoby Ellsbury (494,721) of the Boston Red Sox.
New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano has compiled 1,185,952 total votes, which ranks second overall in the majors. He's joined in the infield by teammates Mark Teixeira (827,247) at first base, 11-time All-Star Derek Jeter (931,410) at shortstop, and 13-time All-Star Alex Rodriguez (945,127) at third base.
At catcher, Yankees backstop Russell Martin (843,459) leads four-time All-Star and 2010 MLB top vote-getter Joe Mauer (593,949) of the Minnesota Twins.
Michael Young of the Texas Rangers has received 646,979 total votes to lead all designated hitters, just ahead of David Ortiz (618,609) of the Red Sox.
The 2011 All-Star teams for both leagues will be unveiled on Sunday, July 3.