The second week of 2011 MLB All-Star voting results have been released, and the National League has a surprising new leader. A flood of votes have caused Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun (1,588,342) to overtake St. Louis Cardinals' distinguished first basemen Albert Pujols (1,479,320) as the league's top vote-getter.
The remaining two-thirds of the starting outfield remain claimed by the pairing of St. Louis Cardinals' Matt Holiday (1,407,781) and Lance Berkman (1,382,436), who clutch a stranglehold over the next closest competitor. Cinncinnati Reds second basemen Brandon Phillips (1,331,568), Philadelphia Phillies third basemen Placido Polanco (1,303,817), and Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (1,409,806) also maintained strong leads at their respective positions.
The only switch to the NL's starting lineup was an expected one, as the Atlanta Braves' Brian McCann (1,123,943) took over starting catcher duties from the San Francisco Giants' Buster Posey (1,065,983). Momentum for the 2010 NL Rookie of Year proved difficult to maintain following a horrific left leg injury that left doubts regarding his ability to return for rest of the 2011 season.
Besides catcher, the closest race for the top spot lies at first base, where reigning NL MVP Joey Votto (1,310,755) is charging hard to overtake leader Albert Pujols. The margin between the two division rivals has shrunk from 182,438 to 168,565 votes since the release of the first early results.
Also noteworthy, Philadelphia Phillies' Shane Victorino (787,987) has surpassed the Atlanta Braves' Jason Heyward (697,458), sneaking onto the list as the third back-up outfielder. Though, it will still take a mighty movement for the Hawaiian to make a run at the starting rotation.
Voting will remain available at all MLB ballparks, as well as online at MLB.com, and each major league team website until June 24th. Once the June 24th deadline passes, voting will exclusively be available online until June 30th.
The starting NL lineup as of June 8th:
C: Brian McCann, Braves: 1,123,943 (Buster Posey, Giants: 1,065,983)
1B: Albert Pujols, Cardinals: 1,479,320 (Joey Votto, Reds: 1,310,755)
2B: Brandon Phillips, Reds: 1,331,568 (Rickie Weeks, Brewers: 982,561)
3B: Placido Polanco, Phillies: 1,303,817 (Chipper Jones, Braves: 872,052)
SS: Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies: 1,409,806 (Jimmy Rollins, Phillies: 785,703)
OF: Ryan Braun, Brewers: 1,588,342 (Andre Ethier, Dodgers: 1,130,888)
OF: Matt Holliday, Cardinals: 1,407,781 (Matt Kemp, Dodgers: 918,269)
OF: Lance Berkman, Cardinals: 1,382,436 (Shane Victorino, Phillies: 787,987)