SAN FRANCISCO -- Brandon Belt's most consistent stretch in the big leagues has landed him in the All-Star Game. Belt won the Final Vote on Friday afternoon, beating out four other National League position players to earn his first All-Star selection.
Belt, 28, has long shown flashes of All-Star form, but in his sixth year in the big leagues he has found a new level of consistency, turning into one of the best hitters in the NL. He entered the final series of the first half with a .300 batting average, .399 OBP, 10 homers, 46 RBI and a league-leading 27 doubles. Belt is on pace for 50 doubles, which would break Jeff Kent's franchise record.
The Giants had hoped that Belt would make the All-Star team through the original process, but the first baseman took the announcements in stride. He came to the park Tuesday and saw a graphic that said #VoteBelt, so he figured he was in the Final Vote even before it was announced. The team's online campaign had Belt neck and neck with Pirates outfielder Starling Marte over the past three days, but Belt -- who said he was very, very confident in Giants fans -- prevailed.
Belt joins Buster Posey, Madison Bumgarner and Johnny Cueto as Giants representatives. Bumgarner will be ineligible to pitch because he is starting for the Giants on Sunday. Earlier Friday, MLB named Bartolo Colon as Bumgarner's replacement.