NEW YORK — Rays outfielder Austin Meadows fell out of the top three American League outfielders in All-Star Game fan balloting, but because of this year’s new voting format, he doesn’t need to be in the top three quite yet to earn a starting assignment in the midsummer classic.
In the latest All-Star Game fan balloting results released Monday afternoon, Houston's Michael Brantley passed Meadows for third. Meadows now sits in fourth by 36,227 votes after leading Brantley by 9,534 in the first fan balloting update.
Rays’ infielder Brandon Lowe moved up from seventh to sixth among AL second basemen. He is the only other Rays player within the top six at his position. Among outfielders, Tommy Pham is 15th and Kevin Kiermaier is 20th.
This year’s new fan balloting format features multiple rounds in deciding the position player starters in this year’s All-Star Game, set for Cleveland on July 9, So despite falling out of the top three outfielders, Meadows only needs to be among the top nine to advance out of the “primary” round into the “starters election.” The top three at every other position advances to the second round.
Players who advance to the second round will be announced on Friday and second-round voting runs over a 48-hour window from Wednesday, June 26 at noon to Thursday, June 27 at 4 p.m. Starters will be announced that night at 7 p.m.
Corey Dickerson was the last Rays player to start in the All-Star Game. He was the AL’s starting DH in 2017. Before then, Evan Longoria and Carl Crawford started the 2010 All-Star Game.
Contact Eduardo A. Encina at email@example.com. Follow @EddieInTheYard.