Ozuna needs fans' support in last All-Star push
Young outfielder among top rookies in game since April debut
MIAMI -- The results may not be visible in the standings just yet, but the youthful Marlins have several promising stars gaining valuable big league experience.
The biggest surprise for the franchise in the first half has been rookie outfielder Marcell Ozuna, the 22-year-old called up the final day of April, and he's been making an impact ever since.
Ozuna has flourished in the field and at the plate, and he's made the strongest case for any Marlins' position player to receive votes for the upcoming All-Star Game.
Among National League rookies with at least 130 at-bats, Ozuna has the best batting average. He also ranks among the rookie leaders in RBIs. In the field, he has played plus defense initially in right field and now in center.
Marlins fans have a few more days to show their support for Ozuna, or any other position player in the All-Star voting process.
With the team in last place in the National League East, understandably no Miami position player ranks among the leaders in the fan voting. Still, all fans have the opportunity to participate in the process.
Ozuna is not on the ballot because he joined the team after the season began, but that doesn't mean fans can't still show support for the rookie outfielder. The Marlins have a Twitter campaign for Ozuna with the #WriteInOzuna hashtag.
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- online or via a mobile device -- using the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot until Thursday at 11:59 p.m. ET.
Fans may submit 25 online ballots during the voting period, but can also earn a one-time bonus of 10 additional online ballots. To access these additional online ballots, fans must be logged into an MLB.com account when submitting any online ballot. To obtain an MLB.com account, visit www.mlb.com and register in accordance with the enrollment instructions for a free MLB.com account.
Fans can also once again participate in the Home Run Derby Fan Poll. Fans will have the opportunity to select three players in each league whom they would most like to see participate in the Home Run Derby. The 2013 Home Run Derby -- part of Gatorade All-Star Workout Day -- will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio in the United States beginning at 8 p.m. ET on Monday, July 15.
A year ago, Miami's Giancarlo Stanton was selected to compete in the Derby, but he had to withdraw due to right knee surgery. The procedure also prevented the slugger from attending the All-Star Game in Kansas City.
A strained right hamstring caused Stanton to miss five weeks this season. The slugger, however, is still one of the most feared hitters in the game, and fans can vote for him to participate in the Derby, even if he is not selected to the National League All-Star team.
Though originally scheduled for July 7, the 2013 rosters will now be unveiled Saturday, July 6, at 6:30 p.m. ET on the 2013 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Taco Bell. The show will be televised nationally on FOX.
From Saturday, July 6 to Thursday, July 11, be sure to return to MLB.com and cast your 2013 All-Star Game Final Vote Sponsored by freecreditscore.com for the final player for each League's All-Star roster.
And the voting doesn't end there. The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again have fans participating in the official voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com via the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote, and their voice will represent 20 percent of the official vote determining the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
The 2013 All-Star Game will be played at Citi Field on Tuesday, July 16. Come to MLB.com for extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.
The 84th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, 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 also will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.
The most prominent Marlins name on the ballot is Stanton, the organization's lone All-Star in 2012. Because of all the lost time, Stanton's numbers don't rank among the leaders in the outfield. Yet, he had a productive June, and he remains a rising star.
Most likely, the Marlins will have one representative, and if it is not Ozuna, it could be rookie right-hander Jose Fernandez.
The 20-year-old is one of the promising young pitchers in the game. Among rookies in both leagues he ranks near the top in strikeouts, and he's shown elite stuff.
Fernandez sports a 97-mph fastball, and he's been commanding four pitches, and he's often dominated.
Pitchers are not selected in the fan balloting. So if Fernandez is picked, it will be by input from National League manager Bruce Bochy, players voting and Major League Baseball.
NATIONAL LEAGUE ALL-STAR VOTING
(as of July 2)
Joey Votto, Reds 3,622,608
Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks 3,035,114
Allen Craig, Cardinals 2,525,399
Brandon Belt, Giants 1,804,152
Freddie Freeman, Braves 1,494,604
Brandon Phillips, Reds 3,411,839
Matt Carpenter, Cardinals 3,186,423
Marco Scutaro, Giants 3,142,783
Daniel Murphy, Mets 1,598,297
Chase Utley, Phillies 1,355,750
Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies 4,072,834
Brandon Crawford, Giants 2,383,248
Jean Segura, Brewers 2,072,083
Pete Kozma, Cardinals 1,867,781
Andrelton Simmons, Braves 1,192,066
David Wright, Mets 4,452,282
Pablo Sandoval, Giants 3,610,096
David Freese, Cardinals 2,376,121
Chris Johnson, Braves 1,234,095
Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals 1,072,563
Yadier Molina, Cardinals 5,093,645
Buster Posey, Giants 4,674,847
John Buck, Mets 1,446,565
Miguel Montero, Diamondbacks 997,791
Brian McCann, Braves 997,322
Carlos Beltran, Cardinals 5,013,806
Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies 2,928,606
Justin Upton, Braves 2,917,659
Bryce Harper, Nationals 2,902,393
Matt Holliday, Cardinals 2,697,608
Andrew McCutchen, Pirates 2,510,614
Hunter Pence, Giants 2,379,606
Ryan Braun, Brewers 2,331,774
Angel Pagan, Giants 2,016,370
Shin-Soo Choo, Reds 1,960,385
Jon Jay, Cardinals 1,825,513
Carlos Gomez, Brewers 1,746,318
Gregor Blanco, Giants 1,717,194
Jay Bruce, Reds 1,454,721
Domonic Brown, Phillies 1,427,696