MIAMI – The Braves’ Dan Uggla had a big lead among National League second baseman in the first All-Star voting update, while Chipper Jones, playing his final season, was third among NL third basemen and not too far behind the leaders.
Six-time All-Star catcher Brian McCann and first baseman Freddie Freeman were also third at their positions in the voting update announced Tuesday by Major League Baseball, while Braves outfielders Jason Heyward and Michael Bourn were seventh and eighth respectively among NL outfielders.
Fan voting continues at stadiums through June 22 and online at MLB.com through June 28 for the All-Star game July 11 at Kansas City.
Jones, voted or selected to seven NL All-Star teams in his career, hopes to come off the 15-day disabled list by this weekend. He had 727,719 votes, putting him within reach of the New York Mets’ David Wright (856,887) and St. Louis’ David Freese (824,801), the NL third-base leaders in votes.
“I want to get back in there and earn my fair share of votes,” said Jones, who is recovering from surgery for a hematoma above his left ankle. “I don’t want it to be given to me. I want to go out, play well and earn that spot.”
The glaring omission among Braves: left fielder Martin Prado, arguably the team’s most valuable player through the first third of the season. Prado wasn’t among the 15 leading NL outfield vote-getters, despite leading the Braves in average (.327), on-base percentage (.401) and extra-base hits (22), and ranking second on the team in slugging percentage (.482) and walks (24) before Tuesday.
Uggla was batting .263 with a .375 OBP before Tuesday, when he homered twice and drove in five runs in an 11-0 rout of his former Marlins team, giving him 10 homers and 37 RBIs. He had 872,136 votes to put him well ahead of Cincinnati’s Brandon Phillips (586,835).
Freeman, who won two of the first five NL Player of the Week awards this season before a vision problem slowed him, has 576,255 votes, trailing Cincinnati’s Joey Votto (1,314,516) and St. Louis’ Lance Berkman (634,473). Berkman is on the DL recovering from knee surgery.
McCann has made the All-Star team in all six of his full major league seasons, a franchise record. In the first voting update, his 707,508 votes put him a significantly behind St. Louis’ Yadier Molina (1,100,048) and San Francisco’s Buster Posey (1,072,464).
McCann returned to the lineup Tuesday after missing a game with a knee contusion, shortly after missing nearly a week with flu symptoms.
A .276 career hitter prior to this season, McCann was batting .248 with seven homers and 28 RBIs before Tuesday. He was asked about there being more than three weeks to go before the voting is closed and whether he had time to get his stats back where they typically are.
“To get where I need to be? Yeah,” he said. “I’m not too worried about it. I’m just going to play and see what happens.”
Updated NL voting totals will be announced each Tuesday through June.