Atlanta Braves: Freddie Freeman among vote leaders in MLB All-Star ballot update

ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 29: Nick Markakis
ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 29: Nick Markakis /

The young and talented Atlanta Braves are among the early vote leaders in first NL MLB All-Star ballot update

One of the tangible results of the Atlanta Braves rebuilding process has been the lack of talent available at the Major League level.  This has not been more evident than at the annual Midsummer Classic.

The Braves have only had one representative at the All-Star Game each of the last three years, and have not had more than three players chosen since 2012.  The last two starters selected by the fans were Dan Uggla in 2012 and Brian McCann in 2011.

The 2018 All-Star Game ballot opened last week, and with the first updates in, it is apparent that fans nationwide are paying close attention to what is happening in Atlanta.

Atlanta Braves Currently Leading

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As of today, Freddie Freeman is the overwhelming leader at first base with 633,342 votes, nearly 400,000 votes ahead of Chicago Cub Anthony Rizzo.

At second base, Ozzie Albies‘ hot start (which has cooled a bit over the past week and a half) has enabled him to take a slim lead over Chicago Cub Javier Baez (398,816 to 360,307).

With over 2,000 career hits, Nick Markakis has been the model of consistency throughout his career with the Orioles and the Braves.  Consistency, however, has not enabled Markakis to earn a trip to the All-Star Game.

After playing some of the best baseball of his career over the first two months of the season, the bearded vet finds himself firmly in 2nd amongst all NL outfield candidates.

If voting closed today, that would give the Braves THREE starters at this year’s All-Star Game.

After years of being labeled fair-weathered and indifferent, it is clear that the motivated Braves fans are stuffing the ballots en masse this year.

In addition to the 3 (current) starters, Ronald Acuna and Ender Inciarte are 5th and 6th in outfield voting respectively, and Dansby Swanson is 2nd in the race at shortstop.

Johan Camargo, who has split time between the disabled list, shortstop, third base, and the super utility role finds himself sitting at 3rd in the vote for the starter at third base.

At Catcher, Kurt Suzuki took advantage of additional playing time with the injury to co-starter Tyler Flowers to put himself into the conversation by also coming in at third in votes.

Baby what a big surprise…

In my mind, Freddie Freeman has been a top 5-10 player in all of baseball over the past several years, so his inclusion comes at no surprise.

Ozzie Albies is also no surprise to me, as he possesses the combination of power, speed, and flashiness that tend to catch the attention of the casual fan in these voting exercises.

The big shocker is that Nick Markakis is fairing better than guys like Matt Kemp, Charlie Blackmon, Kyle Schwarber, and A.J. Pollock.  I full expected Nick to make the roster as a coach/player pick, but I certainly didn’t expect him to get the respect and recognition from the fans.

Next: 14 Braves prospects included in Top 131 rankings

With 35 votes each (and up to 5 votes per day), this is a call to ALL Atlanta Braves fans to keep stuffing those ballots.  These guys have earned it!