With Ten Days Left, Some All-Star Positions Still Close

The 2009 MLB All-Star Game, which will be held in St. Louis this season on July 14th, has less than ten days left in which fans can vote. Voting closes at midnight on July 2nd, and some positions are still too close to call.

One of the tightest races is in the American League, at first base. Naturally, it’s between a Red Sox player and a Yankees player. Boston’s Kevin Kevin Youkilis and New York’s Mark Teixeira have been jockeying back and forth since the first ballot results were released a few weeks ago. At the last results, Teixeira was leading by 35,632 votes.

Another very close race in the American League is taking place between Ian Kinsler of the Texas Rangers and reigning MVP Dustin Pedroia of the Red Sox. In the ballot released Monday, Kinsler was ahead by 58,390 votes. Ian Kinsler was the AL starter in last season’s game.

Here are the rest of the American League positions and how they look as of Tuesday’s ballot:

Third Base: Tampa Rays’ Evan Longoria leads New York Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez by more than 1.3 million votes. It will be Longoria’s second All-Star game in as many years in the majors.

Shortstop: New York Yankees’ SS Derek Jeter, the American League’s leading vote-getter to date, leads Tampa’s Jason Bartlett by over 1.4 million votes. This would be Jeter’s 10th All-Star Game.

Outfield: Boston’s Jason Bay leads all AL outfielders with 2,077,504 votes. Next in line is Mariners’ Ichiro Suzuki with 1,455,266 votes, and then Rangers’ Josh Hamilton with 1,385,212. After Hamilton is a pretty close race between Angels’ Torii Hunter and the Rays’ Carl Crawford who are only separated by 13,856 votes.

Catcher: Minnesota’s Joe Mauer, last year’s AL starter, is well ahead of Boston’s captain, Jason Varitek by some 1,190,490 votes.

Here is the current breakdown:

1st Base    
Mark Teixeira Yankees 1,561,292
Kevin Youkilis Red Sox 1,525,660
Justin Morneau Twins 1,275,694
Miguel Cabrera Tigers 944,855
Chris Davis Rangers 632,895
2nd Base    
Ian Kinsler Rangers 1,791,177
Dustin Pedroia Red Sox 1,732,787
Robinson Cano Yankees 1,062,863
Aaron Hill Blue Jays 775,200
Placido Polanco Tigers 660,693
3rd Base    
Evan Longoria Rays 2,488,076
Alex Rodriguez Yankees 1,165,243
Michael Young Rangers 933,630
Mike Lowell Red Sox 890,138
Brandon Inge Tigers 535,226
Derek Jeter Yankees 2,563,093
Jason Bartlett Rays 1,148,988
Elvis Andrus Rangers 844,349
Marco Scutaro Blue Jays  684,883
Jed Lowrie Red Sox 459,732
Joe Mauer Twins 2,298,544
Jason Varitek Red Sox 1,108,054
Jorge Posada Yankees 947,887
Jarrod Saltalamacchia Rangers 827,063
Victor Martinez Indians 754,571
Jason Bay Red Sox 2,077,504
Ichiro Suzuki Mariners 1,455,266
Josh Hamilton Rangers 1,385,212
Torii Hunter Angels 1,186,097
Carl Crawford Rays 1,172,241
Jacoby Ellsbury Red Sox 1,051,270
Johnny Damon Yankees 1,021,394
Ken Griffey Jr.  Mariners 1,009,584
Nelson Cruz Rangers 956,294
Adam Jones Orioles 894,664
J.D. Drew Red Sox 818,459
Nick Markakis Orioles 756,316
Curtis Granderson Tigers 641,102
Grady Sizemore Indians 626,014
Bobby Abreu Angels 614,244

 In the National League, there are no close races, beyond who will be the overall lead vote-getter. As of the time of the Tuesday’s vote, St. Louis’s own super-star first baseman Albert Pujols led Philadelphia Phillies’ second baseman Chase Utley by just under 12,000 votes as they both came in just shy of 3 million votes.

In what’s the closest race for an actual position, Florida Marlins’ SS Hanley Ramirez leads Phillies’ SS Jimmy Rollins by 154, 016 votes. If Ramirez ends up as the starter, according to MLB.com, he’ll be the first Marlins player in their history to start back to back All-Star Games.

The next closest margin is the race for the top outfield spot. Phillies’s Raul Ibanez currently leads Brewers Ryan Braun 2,465,539 – 2,178,144, or 287, 395 votes.

Here are the rest of the National League positions and how they look as of Tuesday’s ballot:

First Base: Albert Pujols leads all vote-getters with 2,934,794 votes. He leads the Phillies’ Ryan Howard by 1,541,248 votes. Pujols leads the majors in HR (26), RBI (70), runs (57), slugging (.713), and OPS (1.159), and is 10th in batting average (.238).

Second Base: At second, Philadelphia’s Chase Utley is far ahead of LA Dodger’s 2B Orlando Hudson by more than 1.8 million votes.

Third Base: Mets’ David Wright leads Nationals’ Ryan Zimmerman by just over 550K votes. Still could go either way. And then just to make it more interesting, Atlanta’s future Hall of Famer Chipper Jones is in 3rd, only 44K behind Zimmerman and less than 600K out of first.

Catcher: Cardinals’ Yadier Molina leads Atlanta’s Brian McCann by 315,937 votes. This one could also go either way. This would be Molina’s first All-Star Game. McCann has been to three (’06-’08).

Outfield: Aside from the aforementioned Ibanez and Braun, Mets’ outfielder Carlos Beltran is currently in third place with 1,779,344 votes. Right behind him is Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano with 1,639,664 votes.

Dodger’s suspended outfielder Manny Ramirez, who’s 3rd place ranking a couple of weeks ago caused quite a stir, has dropped down to 6th place.

Here is the current breakdown:

1st Base  
Albert Pujols   Cardinals  2,934,794
Ryan Howard   Phillies  1,393,546
Prince Fielder  Brewers  1,155,529
Adrian Gonzalez  Padres  894,600
Lance Berkman   Astros  512,879
2nd Base  
Chase Utley   Phillies  2,922,796
Orlando Hudson   Dodgers  1,082,248
Rickie Weeks  Brewers   832,870
Skip Schumaker  Cardinals   729,722
Dan Uggla   Marlins  475,372
3rd Base  
David Wright   Mets  1,698,366
Ryan Zimmerman   Nationals  1,148,054
Chipper Jones   Braves  1,104,485
Pedro Feliz   Phillies  954,945
Bill Hall  Brewers   842,295
Hanley Ramirez  Marlins   1,648,482
Jimmy Rollins   Phillies  1,494,466
J.J. Hardy  Brewers   1,051,309
Miguel Tejada   Astros  834,754
Jose Reyes   Mets  754,579
Yadier Molina  Cardinals   1,496,285
Brian McCann  Braves   1,180,312
Ivan Rodriguez   Astros  1,002,882
Jason Kendall   Brewers  995,633
Carlos Ruiz   Phillies  980,164
Raul Ibanez   Phillies  2,465,539
Ryan Braun   Brewers  2,178,144
Carlos Beltran   Mets  1,779,344
Alfonso Soriano  Cubs  1,639,664
Shane Victorino  Phillies   1,371,362
Manny Ramirez   Dodgers  1,162,507
Mike Cameron   Brewers  1,140,167
Rick Ankiel  Cardinals  1,011,527
Jayson Werth   Phillies  1,008,256
Corey Hart  Brewers   959,614
Ryan Ludwick   Cardinals  950,662
Adam Dunn   Nationals  742,515
Matt Kemp   Dodgers  673,979
Andre Ethier   Dodgers  642,983
Justin Upton   D-backs  594,185