Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper shattered the National League MLB All-Star voting record when he garnered 13,964,950 fan votes on July 5. It also ranks as the third-highest number of votes for this year's MLB All-Star Game in Cincinnati.
Bryce Harper has shattered the MLB All-Star Game voting record for National League Players.
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The Washington Nationals outfielder had garnered 13,964,950 fan votes as of July 5 to spearhead the National League team and earn his third MLB All-Star berth, per MLBlogs.com's Amanda Comak.
The 22-year-old Harper had been hitting .344 and a league-leading .719 slugging percentage prior to the Nationals' game against the San Francisco Giants on Sunday. At that point of the season, he had already hit 25 home runs and had recorded 19 doubles and a triple, per Comak.
Not only does Harper lead the majors in slugging percentage, he also shows the way in on-base percentage (.470) and on-base slugging percentage (.719). He's also second in the league in home runs, third in walks (60) and fourth in RBIs (60), per MLBlogs.com.
Comak says Harper is fourth in batting average (.344) and and fifth in batting runs scored (57).
When Harper hit his 25th home run of the season against San Francisco on Sunday, he became just the seventh player ever to hit that number of home runs in the season's first 81 games for a player aged 22 or younger, per MLBlogs.com.
Among the players who achieved that feat are Harmon Killebrew, Eddie Matthews, Joe DiMaggio, Mel Ott and Alex Rodriguez. Harper also became the 10th-youngest player ever to hit three home runs in a game when he did so against the Miami Marlins on May 6, per Comak.
The Elias Sports Bureau (via MLBlogs.com) says there have only been two players in league history to hit at least .340 and 25 home runs, 60 RBIs and 60 walks through July 4: Frank Thomas (1994, 2000) and Babe Ruth (1921, 1926-27, 1930).
Harper's two previous MLB All-Star Game stints were in 2012 and 2013 in Kansas City and New York, respectively. He was the National League's starter at center field in 2013, per Comak.
Harper also has made history by being the first three-time All-Star in Washington Nationals franchise history. Comak stresses he is the first player in team history "to claim multiple fan-elected starting assignments" dating back to the franchise being known as the Montreal Expos.
The other players who have done that were Gary Carter (1981-84), Andre Dawson (1981-83) and Tim Raines (1982-83), per Comak.
In another development, Harper told ESPN on Monday he will be skipping this year's Home Run Derby.
One reason he passed up on the invitation was due to his father Ron Harper's recent rotator cuff surgery as a result of a snowboarding accident.
"Not having my dad thowing to me is a big issue to me," Harper told ESPN. He claims his father knows where his "sweet spot" is.
The older Harper threw to his son during the 2013 Home Run Derby, where Bryce Harper finished second to then-Oakland Athletics outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, per ESPN.
Harper told ESPN he hopes to participate in the MLB Home Run Derby in the future.
His 25 homers ties him with the Cincinnati Reds' Todd Frazier and the Los Angeles Angels' Albert Pujols for second in the majors. Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton is currently atop the home run leaderboard with 27, per ESPN.
The 2015 MLB All-Star events will be from July 12-14 at the Reds' Great American Ballpark, per ESPN.
Harper has amassed 446 hits, 80 home runs and 209 RBIs in 433 career regular-season games for the Washington Nationals, per ESPN stats.
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