Bryce Harper leads NL in first MLB All-Star voting returns

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Philadelphia Phillies’ Bryce Harper (3) celebrates as he rounds the bases after hitting a home run against the New York Mets during the fourth inning of a London Series baseball game in London, Saturday, June 8, 2024. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

The Philadelphia Phillies are going to be represented heavily in the 2024 MLB All-Star game, which will take place at the Texas Rangers’ Globe Life Field on July 16.

The first batch of returns in All-Star voting shows that numerous Phillies are projected to receive starting nods while others have ground to make up in their respective races to make it to the next phase of voting.

The first phase of voting (the link to which can be found here) ends on June 27. The leading vote-getters in each league will automatically earn a starting spot. The second phase runs from June 30 to July 3 and will feature the other top-two vote recipients at each position (six for the outfield) to determine who gets the other starting spots. Votes from the first phase don’t carry over.

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Philadelphia Phillies’ Alec Bohm (28) holds up a bat decorated like an old London phone booth during the eighth inning of a London Series baseball game against the New York Mets in London, Saturday, June 8, 2024. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Harper, Bohm lead respective positions

It’s no surprise that Bryce Harper is one of the overall top recipients of votes. The National League Player of the Month for May has been sensational in his first full season as a first baseman and is the league’s leading candidate with over 1.1 million votes. With a .908 OPS, 46 RBI, and 15 home runs (tied for fifth-best in the NL), he absolutely deserves a spot in the mid-summer classic.

Bohm being the leader at third base is not too shocking. Even with his recent slump, he still has an OPS of .830 and a majors-leading 26 doubles. But what is really eye-opening is the fact that he has more votes than the finishers in second, third, and fourth place combined. The Phillies’ third baseman and first baseman are two of the four players with over a million votes. The other four are Aaron Judge, Juan Soto, Mookie Betts and Shohei Ohtani. Bohm leads Ohtani by almost 10,000 votes.

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Philadelphia Phillies’ Bryce Harper, right, watches his two-run home run off St. Louis Cardinals’ John King during the seventh inning of a baseball game, Saturday, June 1, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Derik Hamilton)

Although Harper could lose his automatic starting bid if Betts or Ohtani (or even Bohm!) pass him as the NL leader, both of the Phillies infielders are dominating their respective races. Harper leads second-place Freddie Freeman by almost 500,000 votes while Bohm has a lead of almost 750,000 over second-place Manny Machado. For those advantages not to show up in the next phase of voting would be shocking.

The Phillies haven’t had multiple All-Star starters since 2009 with Chase Utley, Shane Victorino, and Raul Ibañez. With Harper and Bohm dominating their respective races, it seems like that drought is coming to an end.

Numerous Phillies fall in top three at respective positions

The Phillies are sure to get Harper and Bohm into the All-Star game along with numerous pitchers, who will be voted in on the players’ ballot. Zack Wheeler and Ranger Suarez should be locked to make it while Matt Strahm, Aaron Nola, Cristopher Sanchez, and Jeff Hoffman will be among the contenders, too.

While the Phils that don’t make the cut in fan voting could be selected as a reserve (which will also be chosen through the players’ ballot), they would be better served to fight for a spot in the second phase. Some of the races will come down to the wire but the Phillies aren’t totally out in any position, which speaks volumes about the depth of their team.

In the catchers’ ballot, J.T. Realmuto is in a tight race with Will Smith for second place behind William Contreras. The Phillies’ catcher currently has the narrow lead but will be sidelined for about a month and lags behind Smith’s numbers at the plate, so he may unfortunately not have much of a chance to reach his fourth career All-Star game.

Kyle Schwarber is third among NL designated hitters but has less than half the votes of Ohtani, so he’s going to be jostling for position with the Atlanta Braves’ Marcell Ozuna, who leads the NL in slugging percentage and OPS. Schwarber, who trails Ozuna by over 43,000 votes, has activated his June slugging powers that could help him get a leg up on Atlanta DH in the final 10 days of the first voting phase. He has a 1.298 OPS over his last six games.

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Philadelphia Phillies’ Kyle Schwarber (12) is congratulated by Nick Castellanos after his solo home run against the Boston Red Sox during the fifth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, June 11, 2024, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Bryson Stott trails Luis Arraez and Ketel Marte by over 100,000 but he’s also 200,000 above fourth place (Ozzie Albies) so he’s closer to stealing a nod than falling out of the running. Stott is a two-way talent but he doesn’t have the numbers on offense that the two second basemen ahead of him do.

Trea Turner has played in just 33 games this season but is now set to resume what was a stellar campaign before his hamstring injury. He sports a .852 OPS with 10 stolen bases, putting him in (a distant) second place behind Betts. He has a healthy lead over Elly De La Cruz and the rest of the shortstop field.

Even the Phillies’ outfield, the weakness among the team’s position groups, is respectively represented in spots five, six and seven with Brandon Marsh, Nick Castellanos and Johan Rojas, who was just optioned to Triple-A to make way for Turner.

The NL’s biggest vote receiver among outfielders is Jurickson Profar, who leads the NL with an on-base percentage of .422. Christian Yelich, Fernando Tatis Jr., and Teoscar Hernandez trail behind. Philly could have two outfielders represented in the next phase but the fight for a starting spot will be a tough one.

(AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)