ATLANTA -- Justin Upton has assumed the appearance of a man on a mission to prove the D-backs were wrong to give up on him by trading him to the Braves in January. His powerful surge through season's first three weeks have provided reason to think he could gain his third All-Star selection this year.
Upton has hit a Major League-leading 11 home runs through the his first 20 games. His production is one of the primary reasons the Braves won 13 of their first 15 games and entered Tuesday atop the National League East standings.
This early success has provided the Braves even more reason to be excited about the fact that they united the Upton brothers this offseason. They signed B.J. Upton to a franchise-record, five-year, $75.25 million contract in November and then acquired his younger brother from the D-backs two months later.
"To be able to be here and see it live, it's a pretty cool thing to watch," B.J. Upton said last week. "But he's still little brother, so I'm not going to give him too much credit."
Still big brother can't deny the fact that little brother has positioned himself to get a lot of love in this year's All-Star balloting.
If both Uptons are voted in, they would become the first brothers from the same Major League team elected to start an All-Star Game and the third set of brothers on the same All-Star team to start the Midsummer Classic (Harry and Dixie Walker in 1947 for the NL, and Roberto Alomar and Sandy Alomar Jr., in 1991-92 for the AL). They would be the FIRST brothers from the same team voted by fans to start an ASG, and they would be SECOND overall set of brothers from the same team to start an All-Star Game.
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- online or via your mobile device -- using the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot until Thursday, July 4, at 11:59 p.m. ET.
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, you must be logged into your MLB.com account when you submit any online ballot. If you do not have 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 who 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.
The 2013 American League and National League All-Star teams will be unveiled on Sunday, July 7, on the 2013 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show, televised nationally on TBS. Baseball fans around the world will then be able to select the final player on each team via the All-Star Game Final Vote sponsored by freecreditscore.com on MLB.com.
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 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.
Another worthy Brave on this year's All-Star ballot is third baseman Chris Johnson, who was acquired from the D-backs in the same trade that brought Justin Upton to Atlanta. Johnson entered Tuesday leading the Majors with a .407 batting average.
Other Braves on this year's ballot include catcher Brian McCann, first baseman Freddie Freeman, second baseman Dan Uggla, shortstop Andrelton Simmons and outfielders B.J. Upton and Jason Heyward.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less