Marlins need plenty of support in All-Star vote
Miami also has a Twitter campaign for rookie Ozuna, who isn't on ballot
SAN FRANCISCO -- When Marcell Ozuna's batting average started to drop, the Marlins rookie's enthusiasm didn't.
Upbeat by nature, Ozuna was never down after going through the first slump of his big league career. Instead, after being in a 2-for-31 rut over eight games, the 22-year-old told hitting coach Tino Martinez a couple of days ago he was ready to turn things around. And he certainly did, delivering game-winning RBI singles in the Marlins' first two games against the Giants at AT&T Park on Thursday and Friday.
"I had a couple of days when I was in a little slump," Ozuna said. "When I came to San Francisco, I told Tino, 'Hey, I feel it. Today, I'm going to get out of my little slump.'"
On a team that has struggled offensively, Ozuna has been Miami's most consistent threat at the plate. He also mixes in excellent defense, with six outfield assists despite not being called up to the big leagues until the final day of April.
Ozuna has hit either above .300 or close to it all season, and he's made a case to represent the Marlins in the All-Star Game. But because he opened the season at Double-A Jacksonville, the rookie is not on the fan ballot.
Still, Marlins fans can show their support for Ozuna by writing him in on the ballot. The club has a Twitter campaign for Ozuna, with the #WriteInOzuna hashtag.
No Marlin ranks among the leaders at any position in the fan voting.
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.
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 Giancarlo Stanton, the organization's lone All-Star in 2012. But Stanton missed more than a month with a right hamstring injury.
Since returning, the slugger once again is showing he can be a threat. In spite of lost time, Stanton also is an attractive choice to compete in the Home Run Derby. In terms of pure power, the 23-year-old ranks up there with anybody in the game.
While Ozuna has placed himself in the All-Star discussion, perhaps the most deserving Miami player is rookie pitcher Jose Fernandez. But fans don't vote for pitchers, who are selected by their peers and the All-Star manager.
The 20-year-old is regarded as a future ace, but he has already made a major impact. Fernandez is 4-4 with a 3.05 ERA, and his 81 strikeouts rank second among National League rookies.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who will manage the NL squad, already is aware of what Fernandez has achieved on a team with the worst record in baseball.
"He's a nice young talent," Bochy said. "Gifted arm, hard thrower, good breaking ball. Threw a great game in Arizona, a tough place to pitch, yesterday. At his age, doing the things that he's doing is pretty impressive. He's their No. 1 guy and is going to be around for a long time."
NATIONAL LEAGUE ALL-STAR VOTING
(as of June 23)
Joey Votto, Reds 2,677,813
Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks 2,270,886
Allen Craig, Cardinals 1,801,138
Brandon Belt, Giants 1,323,511
Freddie Freeman, Braves 1,181,657
Brandon Phillips, Reds 2,597,742
Marco Scutaro, Giants 2,272,484
Matt Carpenter, Cardinals 2,251,248
Chase Utley, Phillies 1,136,890
Daniel Murphy, Mets 1,088,224
Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies 3,104,285
Brandon Crawford, Giants 1,757,255
Jean Segura, Brewers 1,625,753
Pete Kozma, Cardinals 1,354,974
Andrelton Simmons, Braves 965,016
David Wright, Mets 2,917,819
Pablo Sandoval, Giants 2,788,988
David Freese, Cardinals 1,728,322
Chris Johnson, Braves 1,008,552
Aramis Ramirez, Brewers 881,559
Yadier Molina, Cardinals 3,596,858
Buster Posey, Giants 3,506,402
John Buck, Mets 1,087,519
Jonathan Lucroy, Brewers 845,519
Miguel Montero, Diamondbacks 799,837
Carlos Beltran, Cardinals 3,473,030
Justin Upton, Braves 2,453,531
Bryce Harper, Nationals 2,363,965
Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies 2,060,388
Ryan Braun, Brewers 2,010,310
Matt Holliday, Cardinals 1,947,864
Andrew McCutchen, Pirates 1,777,568
Hunter Pence, Giants 1,732,843
Shin-Soo Choo, Reds 1,566,597
Angel Pagan, Giants 1,541,055
Carlos Gomez, Brewers 1,393,464
Jon Jay, Cardinals 1,321,149
Gregor Blanco, Giants 1,210,892
Domonic Brown, Phillies 1,107,632
Jay Bruce, Reds 978,994