Just checked into my hotel in Baltimore. After a quick and easy flight out of Toronto, I turned on my phone to discover 24 emails waiting for me, among them was a message from Frankie Piliere saying it sounds more and more like the Yankees are targeting a high school bat in the first round. His latest mock draft has the Yankees taking Drew Vettleson.
Also in my email was this release from Major League Baseball. Justin Morneau has rightfully moved ahead of Mark Teixeira in all-star voting. Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano still lead at short and second, and Nick Swisher is fifth in outfield voting. Here’s the press release.
Three-time American League All-Star Justin Morneau of the Minnesota Twins has continued his surge through the standings by overtaking Mark Teixeira of the New York Yankees in the third set of American League balloting figures for the 81st All-Star Game, to be played on Tuesday, July 13th at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. The third National League All-Star balloting update will be released tomorrow, Tuesday, June 8th.
Bidding for his first fan-elected starting assignment, Morneau has jumped atop a deep field at first base with 973,563 votes, slightly ahead of 931,405 cast for Teixeira, who is aiming for his second straight fan election and his third overall. Miguel Cabrera (659,965) of the Detroit Tigers and Kevin Youkilis (456,101) of the Boston Red Sox rank third and fourth at the position, respectively.
Morneau’s Minnesota teammate, catcher Joe Mauer, is the most popular choice in all of Major League Baseball with 1,886,188 votes. Second overall in the A.L. is Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, whose 1,554,781 votes put him in line for his 11th trip to the Midsummer Classic. Jeter’s double-play partner, Robinson Cano (1,293,724), remains ahead of Dustin Pedroia (725,081) of the Boston Red Sox.
Angling for his third All-Star berth in his third Major League season and his second consecutive election by fans, third baseman Evan Longoria (1,403,566) of the Tampa Bay Rays holds the edge over New York’s Alex Rodriguez (956,419).
In the outfield, Ichiro Suzuki of the Seattle Mariners continues to set the pace with 918,730 votes. Behind the nine-time All-Star is Texas Rangers right fielder Nelson Cruz, who is accompanied in the lead by the 2009 Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player presented by Chevrolet, Carl Crawford of the Rays. Cruz has garnered 809,902 votes, while Crawford has drawn 806,202. The three closest outfielders are Cruz’s teammate Josh Hamilton (697,993); Yankees right fielder Nick Swisher (587,977); and three-time All-Star Torii Hunter (575,044) of the host Angels.
The designated hitter spot is held by Rangers slugger Vladimir Guerrero (1,210,521), who is ahead of Hideki Matsui (638,237) of the host Angels. Ken Griffey, Jr., who retired last week, occupies third place with 463,149 votes. Griffey entered the season with an all-time high 48,973,314 career votes, and his 6,079,688 votes in 1994 represent the single-season record.