Catcher Russell Martin of the Los Angeles Dodgers has stormed into the lead among National League catchers in balloting results for the 78th All-Star Game, to be played on Tuesday, July 10th at San Francisco’s AT&T Park, it was announced today.
Martin was in third place among catchers in last week’s figures, but the 24-year-old has risen past both of the catchers who represented the N.L. at the 2006 All-Star Game in Pittsburgh, Paul Lo Duca of the New York Mets and Brian McCann of the Atlanta Braves. The Canadian native had trailed Lo Duca by more than 90,000 votes last week. Martin, in his second Major League season, has drawn 615,406 votes, with Lo Duca, a four-time N.L. All-Star, right behind him at 602,629. Martin currently leads the Dodgers with 40 RBI and 39 runs scored, to go along with his .299 batting average, seven home runs and 10 stolen bases.
The other change among balloting leaders is in the outfield, where five-time All-Star Alfonso Soriano (693,255) of the Chicago Cubs has taken third place behind Mets center fielder Carlos Beltran (1,017,795) and Ken Griffey, Jr. (759,484) of the Cincinnati Reds. Beltran is the only National Leaguer to top one million votes thus far. San Francisco’s Barry Bonds (651,246) and Atlanta’a Andruw Jones (576,589) follow the top three.
Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals continues to lead at his position with 645,967 votes, but a fellow N.L. Central slugging first baseman, Prince Fielder (598,848) of the Milwaukee Brewers, has inched closer. Completing the rest of the National League infield are the three others who started with Pujols at the 2006 Midsummer Classic, all of whom were first-time All-Stars in 2006: second baseman Chase Utley of the Philadelphia Phillies (630,007) and Mets teammates Jose Reyes (752,923) and David Wright (757,164).