ATLANTA -- Freddie Freeman was thrilled to gain his first All-Star Selection through MLB.com's Final Vote balloting last year. This year, the Braves' first baseman would love to serve as the National League's starting first baseman in the All-Star Game.
Freeman, Justin Upton, Andrelton Simmons and the remainder of Atlanta's eight regular position players are on this year's Major League Baseball All-Star Ballot, which was released on Friday. This annual voting process determines which players will be in the starting lineup for the All-Star Game.
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- online or on a mobile device -- using the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian until Thursday, July 3, at 11:59 p.m. ET. The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15.
Fans can also cast their votes in person during Braves' home games at Turner Field from May 5-June 18.
Simmons' defensive excellence has drawn widespread attention over the past two seasons. His early-season offensive production has seemingly strengthened his bid to garner more votes than Troy Tulowitzki, Hanley Ramirez and the NL's other shortstops.
Upton was positioned to serve as one of the NL's three starting outfielders until the latter portion of last year's voting process. Though he has not matched the excellence he achieved last April, the Braves left fielder still has proven productive enough to maintain his status as one of this year's top outfield candidates.
This marks the first time Braves catcher Evan Gattis has been on the All-Star ballot. While Yadier Molina and Buster Posey once again stand as the most likely candidates to serve as the National League's starting catcher, Gattis has established himself as a fan favorite who seems destined to draw widespread attention during this balloting process.
Fans may submit up to 25 online ballots, but they 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, register on the site in accordance with the enrollment instructions for a free MLB.com account.
Fans this year once again can 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 2014 Home Run Derby 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 14.
The 2014 American League and National League All-Star teams will be unveiled on the 2014 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show during the weekend of July 5-6, with further details to follow on MLB.com. Immediately following the announcement of the AL and NL All-Star rosters, fans can begin voting to select the final player for each league's 34-man roster via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Experian. Fans will cast their votes from a list of five players from each league over the balloting period.
And the voting doesn't end there. The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again have fans participating in the 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 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote Sponsored by Pepsi, and their voice will represent 20 percent of the overall vote that determines the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.
The 85th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX, 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 will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less