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McCutchen needs All-Star vote boost

McCutchen needs All-Star vote boost

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PITTSBURGH -- The third week of All-Star Game ballot updates saw a third change among the top three National League outfielders, but Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen remains nowhere near the top.

Despite the NL's ninth-highest batting average, fourth-most hits and tied for the third-most steals, McCutchen is not among the top-15 vote-getting outfielders for the 2010 All-Star Game, which will be played on Tuesday, July 13, at Angel Stadium in Anaheim.

Atlanta rookie Jason Heyward (1,008,451 votes) moved from fifth to second among NL outfielders, behind Milwaukee's Ryan Braun (1,017,266). The Dodgers' Andre Ethier (985,305) is third.

Fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times at MLB.com and all 30 club sites using the 2010 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot sponsored by Sprint until July 1 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Starting rosters will be announced during the 2010 All-Star Game Selection Show on TBS on July 4. Baseball fans around the world will then be able to select the final player on each team via the 2010 All-Star Game Final Vote sponsored by Sprint.

And the voting doesn't end there. Fans will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet at the Midsummer Classic via the 2010 All-Star Game MVP Vote sponsored by Sprint.

The All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX and around the world by Major League Baseball International. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio play-by-play, while MLB.com will offer extensive online coverage.

McCutchen, the Pirates' leadoff hitter, is hitting .312 with 67 hits and 13 steals. He trails Braun and the Cubs' Marlon Byrd among NL outfielders in batting average and hits, while Houston's Michael Bourn is the only NL outfielder with more steals than him.

On Friday, in his 162nd career game, the 23-year-old went 4-for-5 with a home run, two doubles and three runs scored in a 6-3 win over the Giants.

Pirates manager John Russell said although he doesn't like to have expectations too high for newcomers to the big leagues, he is not too surprised by the impact McCutchen has had in just more than a year.

"I was pretty optimistic, I would say, just because of the athlete he is," Russell said. "And the way he handles himself, I think, is the biggest thing. He handles himself very well, so it was no surprise to me that he's been able to maintain and continue to improve, so he's a special player. Being a level-headed kid, and the intensity and drive, and being able to not get too high and too low, I think, has been a big key for him."

In-stadium balloting at PNC Park began May 4 and will run through June 17.

Matt Fortuna is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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