Bryce Harper, Cubs lead first round of National League All-Star Game voting
It wasn't exactly the Bryce Harper-focused press release we were expecting from MLB today, but the Nationals' slugger has some good pub to go with Monday's benches-clearing brouhaha against the Giants, as the league announced the totals of the first round of All-Star Game voting for the National League. To the surprise of no one, Harper is the overall leader in the Senior Circuit so far, with 900,079 votes to his name—nearly 250,000 more than the next closest man, teammate and first-place second baseman Daniel Murphy.
Also unsurprisingly, there are Cubs aplenty amid the top five at every position. Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant lead the way at first and third base, respectively, and Javier Baez (second base), Addison Russell (shortstop) and Willson Contreras (catcher) are second at their positions, trailing Murphy, the Dodgers' Corey Seager and the Giants' Buster Posey, respectively. In the outfield, meanwhile, Jason Heyward, Ben Zobrist and Kyle Schwarber are 3-4-5 behind Harper and the Rockies' Charlie Blackmon.
Posey and Blackmon are the only non-Cubs or Nationals with starting spots, and both teams dominate the early voting, though Ryan Zimmerman is the only non-starting National within shouting distance of first place (he trails Rizzo by roughly 100,000 votes at first base). There's less respect, though, for the first-place Rockies or Brewers: Blackmon is the only player from either team with a starting spot at the moment, and Eric Thames is the only member of the latter to show up in the top five at any position, though he's a distant fifth in the first base balloting (Ryan Braun is 12th in the outfield).
There's still plenty of time for voting to shake out, though it's clearly going to take a lot to break the firewall that Cubs fans have built (and, in the process, are currently handing an undeserved starter spot to Heyward and making the race at shortstop between Seager and Russell far closer than it should be). We'll get a new update on the vote totals on Monday, June 5. The first AL vote totals, meanwhile, will be out on May 31.