Rookie phenom Yasiel Puig won't be an MLB All-Star in 2013 — unless he's named a last-minute injury replacement.
Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman topped Puig in the All-Star Final Vote, a fan vote to name the 34th member of both the American League and National League All-Star teams. Freeman received a record 19.7 million votes via online voting, text messages, and Twitter.
Puig — the Cuban rookie who has energized the Los Angeles Dodgers and taken baseball by storm — finished second, despite a flurry of #VotePuig Twitter endorsements on Thursday. Puig reportedly finished with more than 15 million votes.
Freeman led the voting all week, despite many people thinking the Final Vote would clear a pathway through which Puig's controversial All-Star candidacy could come to fruition. But diehard Braves fans — who teamed up with Toronto Blue Jays fans — made sure that didn't happen. The rest of the NL Final Vote standings: Hunter Pence, Ian Desmond and Adrian Gonzalez.
On the other side of the Final Vote: Blue Jays relief pitcher Steve Delabar won the final American League spot with 9.6 million votes. He was followed by (in order): David Robertson, Joaquin Benoit, Koji Uehara and Tanner Scheppers, all five of them relief pitchers.
The Final Vote campaign registered a record 79.2 million total votes with an average of 4,200 tweets per minute during Thursday's Twitter vote. For a cool look at the races, be sure to see MLB's cool map showing where the votes were distributed.
Delabar led AL voting all week. He owns a 1.74 ERA and has given up only 29 hits and eight earned runs in 41.1 innings. Getting elected to the All-Star Game is an exclamation mark on a revived career that, at one point, looked overafter a broken arm in 2009.
But back to the National League race, which was hotly contested and attracted tons of attention — most of which centered around whether Puig "deserved" to be an All-Star because he's only been in the big leagues since June 3. While his numbers are great and his play is exciting, coaches and players alike have said Puig hasn't done enough in that short time to prove he's worthy of an All-Star nod. Here's a comparison of Puig and Freeman's stats:
Puig: .394/.428/.634, 27 R, 56 H, 8 HR, 19 RBIs in 152 plate appearances
Freeman: .307/.388/.470, 49 R, 92 H, 9 HR, 56 RBIs in 340 plate appearances
Puig could still be named to all the All-Star team as a late injury replacement, should another NL All-Star back out. He'd have to be selected either by fellow players or Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who already said he didn't think Puig deserved to be an All-Star.