Voting has begun for the 2014 Triple-A All-Star Game, and fans again will help decide who gets a trip to Durham on July 16.
Fans can vote for their favorite International and Pacific Coast League players up to 25 times on MiLB.com as rosters are selected for the annual All-Star exhibition between the two Triple-A circuits. The game will be televised live from Durham Bulls Athletic Park on MiLB.TV and MLB Network.
The fans' vote counts for one third of the total selection criteria, joining the media and Triple-A field and general managers in the balloting. Fans can easliy filter their favorite team's players on the ballot and even vote for write-in candidates. Plus, fans can access the ballot this year not only via their computers but also on mobile phones via MiLB.com's mobile site and through MiLB.com's First Pitch app for iPhone and Android.
Plus, eligible voters who aren't current MiLB.TV subscribers will receive a special discount offer toward the purchase of a 2014 MiLB.TV subscription after they vote.
The ballot is full of top prospects and notable veterans pushing toward the Majors. The IL's side includes the league's top hitter in Pirates No. 1 prospect Gregory Polanco, an Indianapolis outfielder who leads the circuit with a .355 average and 43 RBIs while ranking second in runs scored. Ageless slugger Mike Hessman, who recently hit his 400th career Minor League homer, should receive plenty of support from Toledo fans -- the 36-year-old leads the league with 13 long balls, ahead of fellow veterans Ruben Gotay and Wilson Betemit.
Other notable names on the IL ballot include Pawtucket second baseman Ryan "Tatman" Roberts and third baseman Garin Cecchini (Red Sox No. 4 prospect), Buffalo shortstop and fan favorite Munenori Kawasaki (Blue Jays), Durham shortstop Hak-Ju Lee (Rays No. 1), Lehigh Valley third baseman Maikel Franco (Phillies No. 1), Scranton/Wilkes-Barre catcher Austin Romine (Yankees) and Syracuse outfielder Brian Goodwin (Nationals No. 3).
On the mound, the IL has starting pitching candidates like Buffalo's Kyle Drabek (Blue Jays), Syracuse's Taylor Hill (Nationals), Norfolk's Kevin Gausman (Orioles), Rochester's Trevor May and Alex Meyer (Twins No. 12 and 3), Pawtucket's Anthony Ranaudo and Allen Webster (Red Sox No. 8 and 2), Toledo's Robbie Ray (Tigers No. 2) and even former World Series champion Chien-Ming Wang of Louisville (Reds).
The PCL ballot features the league's leading hitter, Tacoma catcher Chris Taylor, who owns a .372 average. Dodgers No. 2 prospect Joc Pederson, an outfielder for Albuquerque, leads the league with 43 runs scored and is tied for the lead in homers with Fresno's Adam Duvall with 15. Duvall is also tied for second with Las Vegas' Allan Dykstra with 44 RBIs, trailing Reno veteran Mike Jacobs, who has 46.
Other notable players on the PCL side include Oklahoma City first baseman Jon Singleton (Astros No. 4), Tacoma first baseman Jesus Montero (Mariners), Fresno second baseman Joe Panik (Giants No. 14) and catcher Andrew Susac (Giants No. 4), Albuquerque infielder Alex Guerrero (Dodgers), Iowa shortstop Javier Baez (Cubs No. 1) and Memphis outfielder Oscar Taveras (Cardinals No. 1).
PCL starting pitcher candidates include Nashville's Jimmy Nelson (Brewers No. 1) and PCL strikeout leader Mike Fiers, Colorado Springs' Tyler Matzek (Rockies No. 12) and Iowa's Kyle Hendricks (Cubs No. 15). Both leagues save leaders -- Fresno's Heath Hembree and Durham's Kirby Yates -- are among the relievers on the ballot as well.
Remember to vote up to 25 times for your favorite Triple-A stars to send them to Durham.