AL All-Star balloting update: Jose Bautista joins the leaders

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The latest American League ballot totals are in and the red-hot Jose Bautista has moved into third place in the outfielder voting, with Nelson Cruz dropping out of the lineup to fifth place.

Bautista had the AL’s highest vote total last year, but his slow start guarantees he won’t duplicate that feat this year. Instead, it looks like Josh Hamilton will take the title.

CATCHER
Mike Napoli, Rangers: 2,239,047
Joe Mauer, Twins: 1,283,804
Matt Wieters, Orioles: 1,242,247

FIRST BASE
Prince Fielder, Tigers: 1,946,045
Paul Konerko, White Sox: 1,680,793
Mark Teixeira, Yankees: 1,405,187

SECOND BASE
Ian Kinsler, Rangers: 2,580,306
Robinson Cano, Yankees: 2,565,046
Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox: 1,331,657

THIRD BASE
Adrian Beltre, Rangers: 2,251,304
Miguel Cabrera, Tigers: 1,869,727
Evan Longoria, Rays: 1,442,308

SHORTSTOP
Derek Jeter, Yankees: 3,359,875
Elvis Andrus, Rangers: 2,008,678
J.J. Hardy, Orioles: 968,963

OUTFIELD
Josh Hamilton, Rangers: 5,414,880
Curtis Granderson, Yankees: 2,818,535
Jose Bautista, Blue Jays: 1,996,940
Adam Jones, Orioles: 1,959,207
Nelson Cruz, Rangers: 1,944,487
David Murphy, Rangers: 1,229,190
Nick Swisher, Yankees: 1,177,500
Jeff Francoeur, Royals: 823,568
Brett Gardner, Yankees: 818,164

DESIGNATED HITTER
David Ortiz, Red Sox: 2,390,132
Michael Young, Rangers: 1,892,150
Raul Ibanez, Yankees: 1,080,421

Watch: Christian Yelich continues to make a case for NL MVP repeat

Christian Yelich
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Christian Yelich simply can’t be stopped. The Brewers outfielder (and defending NL MVP) entered Saturday’s game with a league-leading 11 home runs after swatting two against the Dodgers on Friday night, then clubbed another two homers in the first six innings of Saturday’s game.

The first came on a 2-1 pitch from the Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu, who lobbed a changeup toward the bottom of the strike zone before it was lifted up and out to center field for a solo home run in the third inning.

While Chase Anderson and Alex Claudio held down the fort against the Dodgers’ lineup, Yelich prepared for his second blast in the sixth inning — this one a 421-foot double-decker on a first-pitch curveball from Ryu.

Yelich’s 13 home runs not only gave him a stronger grip on the league’s leaderboard, but helped him tie yet another franchise record, too. Per MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, he’s tied with Prince Fielder for the most home runs hit by a Brewers player in a single month, and sits just one home run shy of tying Álex Rodríguez’s 2007 record for most home runs hit within any club’s first 22 games of the season.

It may be far too early to predict which players will finish first in the MVP races this fall, but there’s no denying Yelich has already set himself apart from the competition. Through Saturday’s performance, he’s batting .361/.459/.880 with a 1.329 OPS and MLB-best 31 RBI across 98 PA so far.