CLEVELAND -- Michael Brantley has continued to produce at the place into June, and his recognition has grown along with it.
As of Sunday's American League All-Star ballot update, Brantley remained Cleveland's only representative among the league's top vote-getters, ranking seventh best among the outfielders with 720,961 votes -- up from a ninth-place ranking in last week's update. This marks the 27-year-old Brantley's second appearance on the 2014 voting leaderboards in as many weeks.
Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista, who sports a .309 batting average to go with 15 home runs this season, took over as the overall leader in votes with 2,135,223. He is trailed by Angels center fielder Mike Trout (1,945,170) and Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera (1,477,420).
Entering Monday's action, the left-handed Brantley has a .298/.361/.479 line with nine home runs and eight steals. He also owns the fourth-best OPS (.857) and the fourth-most RBIs (42) among AL outfielders while sitting tied with Bautista for the second-most outfield assists (six).
In May, Brantley strung together a team-high 15-game hitting streak. He has hit safely in 31 of his last 35 games, batting .329 with 10 doubles and 23 RBIs in that stretch.
"He's probably one of the best players I've seen be consistent day in and day out," Tribe designated hitter Jason Giambi said. "He takes incredible at-bats every day. He's really stepped up being a team leader this year, and I think it's starting to show because he's taken that responsibility -- that 'Hey, I can offer this to my ballclub.' It's starting to show in his numbers."
If Brantley earns a selection, it would be the fifth-year outfielder's first trip to the Midsummer Classic.
Infielder Lonnie Chisenhall, though he has yet to garner enough at-bats to qualify for league-leader status, would seem another Cleveland player that deserves voter acknowledgment. Entering Monday, his .365 average leads all players with at least 150 plate appearances, and his .950 OPS ranks fifth best among AL hitters that meet those same requirements.
Chisenhall has amassed 19 RBIs and hit four home runs in his last 18 games while splitting time between first base, third base and designated hitter.
"He's just doing everything," Indians manager Terry Francona said last week. "He's just playing the game really well. And then you add on to that, you can move him from third to first in a one-run game or a tie game and not even think anything of it. That's quite an accomplishment on his part."
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- online or on a mobile device -- using the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian until Thursday, July 3, at 11:59 p.m. ET. The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15.
Fans may submit up to 25 online ballots, but they can also earn a one-time bonus of 10 additional online ballots. To access these additional online ballots, you must be logged into your MLB.com account when you submit any online ballot. If you do not have an MLB.com account, register on the site in accordance with the enrollment instructions for a free MLB.com account.
Fans this year once again can participate in the Home Run Derby Fan Poll. Fans will have the opportunity to select three players in each league who they would most like to see participate in the Home Run Derby. The 2014 Home Run Derby 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 14.
The 2014 American League and National League All-Star teams will be unveiled on the 2014 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show during the weekend of July 5-6, with further details to follow on MLB.com. Immediately following the announcement of the AL and NL All-Star rosters, fans can begin voting to select the final player for each league's 34-man roster via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Experian. Fans will cast their votes from a list of five players from each league over the balloting period.
And the voting doesn't end there. The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again have fans participating in the 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 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote Sponsored by Pepsi, and their voice will represent 20 percent of the overall vote that determines the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.
The 85th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX, 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 SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.
AMERICAN LEAGUE ALL-STAR VOTE LEADERS
1. Jose Bautista, Blue Jays: 2,135,223
2. Mike Trout, Angels: 1,945,170
3. Melky Cabrera, Blue Jays: 1,096,784
4. Adam Jones, Orioles: 820,336
5. Jacoby Ellsbury, Yankees: 813,357
6. Yoenis Cespedes, A's: 799,123
7. Michael Brantley, Indians: 720,961
8. Carlos Beltran, Yankees: 712,154
9. Nick Markakis, Orioles: 691,023
10. Torii Hunter, Tigers: 666,116
11. Shin-Soo Choo, Rangers: 532,267
12. Alex Rios, Rangers: 483,151
13. Brett Gardner, Yankees: 453,169
14. Coco Crisp, A's: 444,433
15. David Lough, Orioles: 396,085
Alec Shirkey is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less