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MLB All-Star Game voting: Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Shohei Ohtani, Fernando Tatis Jr. among early leaders

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Even as Major League Baseball contends with stultifying games, offensive ineptitude and a looming reckoning with pitchers' use of banned substances, its gaggle of young stars often find a way to paper over the game's warts.

And the first batch of fan voting for the July 13 All-Star Game certainly reflects that.

Toronto Blue Jays slugger Vladimir Guerrero – likely the American League MVP frontrunner – received more votes than any player in balloting returns announced Monday.

Guerrero, the 22-year-old son of a Hall of Famer, tops the entire AL slash line, ranking first in batting average (.344), on-base percentage (.450) and slugging (.688), for a major league-best OPS of 1.137. He also leads the majors with 21 home runs and 55 RBI, and has received nearly 858,000 votes in early All-Star balloting.

Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. received the most votes in the initial tally.
Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. received the most votes in the initial tally.

Meanwhile, fans have an avenue to vote two-way star Shohei Ohtani into the game – he's the leading vote-getter at designated hitter; he's slugged 17 home runs with a .961 OPS and has nine stolen bases.

(For good measure, he's also struck out 68 batters in 47⅓ innings with a 2.85 ERA as a pitcher).

In the National League, Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr.'s 804,000 votes lead the pack and ensure he'll receive his second career All-Star nod.

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This year, Fernando Tatis Jr. should join him.

The wildly talented Padre with the $340 million contract leads an impressive group at shortstop, tallying 701,000 votes. They are well-earned: He leads the NL with 19 home runs and a .654 slugging percentage.

All-Star starters will be announced July 1 and the remainder of the squad revealed July 4. MLB moved the game from Atlanta to Denver after a series of voter-restriction laws were passed in Georgia.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: MLB All-Star Game 2021: Young baseball stars lead early voting results