Tulo: Stanton, Puig among Derby candidates
NL's captain plans to weigh options for annual home run showcase
DENVER -- Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki said he hadn't checked his texts as of Monday afternoon, but doesn't mind being hit with messages from power-hitting National League players.
Tulowitzki was named captain of the NL team for the Gillette Home Run Derby on July 14 at Target Field in Minneapolis. The Blue Jays' Jose Bautista was chosen captain of the American League squad.
"I haven't even looked at my phone, to be honest with you, but I'm sure I will in the upcoming days with guys that want to participate," Tulowitzki said. "And I welcome that, knowing who and who won't participate. Some guys don't like it and some guys do and want to put on a show for the fans."
Fans can help Tulowitzki and Bautista, who are the captains because they are the leaders in fan voting for the All-Star Game in their respective leagues. As of Monday's update, Tulowitzki had more than 3.2 million votes at shortstop and was the only NL player at any position who had surpassed 3 million votes.
Tulowitzki will be one of five NL participants in a format that has been tweaked to guarantee an NL vs. AL final.
The All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian also features the Home Run Derby Fan Poll. Select up to three candidates in each league, and the final results will be considered as the captains determine the field in consultation with MLB. The field will officially be announced on ESPN on July 7.
Tulowitzki is excited for the responsibility.
"I've never participated in the Home Run Derby itself," said Tulowitzki, a three-time All-Star on track for his second straight fan-elected start. "I've watched a couple of them -- I was at the All-Star Game. It's something you dream of as a kid, to participate in it.
"To be the captain, I don't know if that's something I'm looking forward to because of how tough the decisions are going to be. You can't put everybody that wants to participate on your team. So with that, you open yourself up, but at the same time I'm honored to be the National League captain."
Speculation in the NL begins with the Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton, who has made a career of tape-measure shots, and Tulowitzki threw Dodgers second-year sensation Yasiel Puig's name into the mix.
"[Stanton is] definitely on my list," Tulowitzki said. "Puig would be another one. He has tremendous power, watching him from afar. There are so many guys I can pick from, to be honest with you, it's going to be tough."
A wild card is Rockies first baseman Justin Morneau, who had a lengthy and successful career with the Twins before being traded to the Pirates last August and joining the Rockies this year. Morneau is putting up a season worthy of All-Star consideration, with a .302 batting average, 12 home runs and 51 RBIs going into Monday night's game against the Cardinals.
Morneau, however, is not in the top five among first basemen in the voting, so he'd have to end up on the team through other means. In fact, Tulowitzki, at 3,287,460 votes that make him a shoe-in, is the only Rockies player with much of a chance.
Outfielder Charlie Blackmon, who led that position in the early voting, is sixth, with the top three being starters. Third baseman Nolan Arenado, who dropped from first to sixth after suffering a left middle finger injury on May 23 that still keeps him off the field, is fifth at that position.
Tulowitzki said he would be allowed to select an NL player not on the team, although he was leaning toward limiting it to players who are chosen.
"I think Morneau is another guy, obviously, if he makes the team," Tulowitzki said. "Going back to Minnesota, that would be neat for him. Obviously, he's a guy I have a relationship with. He's on my team.
"I have to talk to Justin and see if he's interested in doing that. He might not be. For him to be in Minnesota, that would be great for him, for what he's done for that town."
The last time Tulowitzki was in a home run contest, he was an amateur player for Team USA at a wood-bat event. He said there were three Americans -- he was joined by Alex Gordon and Jeff Clement -- but a player from the opposing team won.
Tulowitzki, who has 18 home runs his season, considers himself a power hitter even though he doesn't put on shows with tape-measure shots.
"I probably won't be able to hit it as far as some of the guys I pick," he said. "That's not necessarily my game. But I'm looking forward to it. That doesn't mean I can't go out there and do a good job."
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 9:59 p.m. MT. 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 6 p.m. MT 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.