Angels need fan support in All-Star voting
Hunter and Co. trail American League peers in ballot update
ANAHEIM -- The reigning American League West champion Angels are lagging behind in the early All-Star Game balloting returns, with none of their eight players on the ballot in early contention for assignments to the Midsummer Classic in St. Louis.Only center fielder Torii Hunter, 11th among AL outfielders, is making any imprint on the ballot. Leading the way among outfielders are Jason Bay of the Red Sox, Josh Hamilton of the Rangers, and Ichiro Suzuki of the Mariners.
Hunter has been one of the most productive players in the Majors, offensively and defensively, and there are few leaders in his class.Also on the ballot are first baseman Kendry Morales, second baseman Howard Kendrick, shortstop Erick Aybar, third baseman Chone Figgins, outfielders Bobby Abreu and Vladimir Guerrero and catcher Mike Napoli. Fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times with the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Online Ballot at MLB.com and all 30 club sites until July 2 at 8:59 p.m. PT. Starting rosters will be announced during the 2009 All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Chevrolet on TBS on July 5. Baseball fans around the world will then be able to select the final player on each team via the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Final Vote at MLB.com. And the voting doesn't end there. Fans will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet at the Midsummer Classic via the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint MVP Vote at MLB.com. The All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX and around the world by Major League Baseball International. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio play-by-play, while MLB.com will offer extensive online coverage. Hunter, a Rawlings Gold Glove winner eight consecutive seasons, is bidding for his third All-Star Game appearance and first representing the Angels. He leads his team in home runs and RBIs and has been consistently above the .300 mark. Defensively, Hunter has stolen home runs and games from rivals, climbing walls, crashing into them and chasing down drives in gaps. In the space of five days, he took a potential game-turning home run away from the Royals' Miguel Olivo and robbed Dustin Pedroia of the Red Sox of a possible game-breaking extra-base hit. Figgins, like Hunter, is enjoying a high-caliber season offensively and defensively. Guerrero, an eight-time All-Star, has started slowly this season, mending a torn pectoral muscle.
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.