Six Blue Jays advance to final round of MLB All-Star starters vote

Toronto Blue Jays' Bo Bichette hugs Vladimir Guerrero Jr. after they both scored on Guerrero's two-run home run during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers. (Carlos Osorio/AP)

The first round of voting for the starters of the 2022 MLB All-Star voting closed Thursday and six Blue Jays players have advanced to the final round.

Alejandro Kirk (catcher), Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (first base), Santiago Espinal (second base) Bo Bichette (shortstop) and outfielders George Springer and Lourdes Gurriel, Jr. all remain in contention to start in the game.

The top two vote-getters at each position (five for outfielders) advanced to the final round at each position. New York Yankees star Aaron Judge has already locked in a starting spot as the top vote-getter in the American League.

Kirk has been one of the top hitters in the AL this season, hitting .320/.413/.519 with 10 homers and more walks (30) than strikeouts (23). Guerrero, who started at first base and won the MVP award at the all-star game last year, continues to dominate at the plate with 18 home runs. Espinal has become a fan favourite in Toronto with some clutch RBIs and big defensive players, ranking among the leaders at his position in outs above average.

Bichette, who led the AL in hits in 2021, has 12 home runs and .255/.299/.421. Springer has been one of the top lead-off hitters in the game, with seven home runs to open a game this season. Gurriel is coming off a career-year and has four home runs and 33 RBIs this year.

On the National League side, the defending World Series champion Atlanta Braves are well-represented with five players, including the NL's top vote getter Ronald Acuna Jr.

Voting for the second round runs from July 5 to 8. The All-Star game from Dodger Stadium will be played on July 19.

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