Wright early leader at third for NL All-Star nod

Wright early leader at third for NL All-Star nod

WASHINGTON -- More and more, last season is looking like an aberration for David Wright, who missed more than two months due to a stress fracture in his lower back and posted some of the worst offensive and defensive numbers of his career when healthy.

It may have been an aberration in another way, as well. For the first time since his first full season in 2005, Wright was not a member of the National League All-Star team. Fans have quickly moved to correct that this season, pushing Wright to an early lead among third baseman in Major League Baseball's first official ballot update, released Tuesday.

"It's always a tremendous honor to go to the All-Star Game," Wright said. "I'm very fortunate in that I've gotten to go to five. You never take anything for granted, because you never know which one is going to be your last one. It's a tremendous honor, and I think it's extra special when you get voted in by the fans. I'm very, very appreciative."

The first ballot update showed Wright with 856,877 votes, leading Cardinals third baseman David Freese by 32,086 votes, and Braves third baseman Chipper Jones by 129,168 votes. Pablo Sandoval of the Giants and Aramis Ramirez of the Brewers round out the top five, with figures incorporating both online and in-stadium voting.

Fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- online or via mobile device -- using the 2012 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot until Thursday, June 28, at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Fans can also once again participate in the State Farm Home Run Derby Fan Poll, with the opportunity to select three players in each league whom they would most like to see participate in the State Farm Home Run Derby. The 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 9.

The 2012 American League and National League All-Star teams will be unveiled on Sunday, July 1, on the 2012 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 2012 All-Star Game Final Vote on MLB.com.

The final phase of All-Star Game balloting 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 2012 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 2012 All-Star Game will be played at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City on Tuesday, July 10. Log on to MLB.com for extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.

The 83rd All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, 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 Sirius XM also will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com or royals.com/asg.

Wright entered Tuesday's play leading NL third basemen in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging, hits, doubles, runs scored and walks. He also ranked in the top five in every other major offensive category, including home runs, stolen bases and RBI.

A five-time All-Star and four-time starter at third base, Wright was the only Mets player to crack the top five at his position through the first ballot update. But fans do not vote on pitchers or bench players, and Johan Santana and R.A. Dickey are both strong candidates to be named to NL manager Tony La Russa's pitching staff.

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.