Neither Castro nor Rizzo have cracked the top five in fan balloting at their respective positions for the All-Star Game, according to the latest results released Tuesday, but the two have statistics that put them among the elite in the National League.
Castro finished June with 21 RBIs, fourth-most in the NL. He is the fourth Cubs shortstop to reach at least 21 RBIs in June, joining Hall of Famer Ernie Banks (26 RBIs in June 1959; 32 in June 1960); Roy Smalley (25 in June 1950) and Shawon Dunston (21 in June 1988).
Castro, who has thrived since moving into the cleanup spot in the lineup April 25, ranks second to the Rockies' Troy Tulowitzki in batting average among NL shortstops. Castro was hitting .283, while Tulowitzki is batting .357. Castro is tied with Tulowitzki for most extra-base hits among NL shortstops with 36 each.
Rizzo leads all NL first basemen with 17 home runs, ranks fifth in RBIs (44) and sixth in batting average (.278). He is third in OBP (.389) and first in walks (49).
"Here's a young man who has significant skill set," manager Rick Renteria said of Rizzo. "He's got power. He's continued to develop his ability to grind out at-bats. He's showing this year an adjustment to lefties, so there are a lot of components to his game that are really good.
"He's actually a really good first baseman -- I think an All-Star type first baseman. As long as he continues to do and perform and adjust, we're hopeful he'll have a very, very good career."
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- online or on a mobile device -- using the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian until Thursday at 10:59 p.m. CT. The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15.
Fans may submit up to 25 online ballots, but they can also earn a one-time bonus of 10 additional online ballots. To access these additional online ballots, you must be logged into your MLB.com account when you submit any online ballot. If you do not have an MLB.com account, register on the site in accordance with the enrollment instructions for a free MLB.com account.
Fans this year once again can participate in the Home Run Derby Fan Poll. Fans will have the opportunity to select three players in each league who they would most like to see participate in the Gillette Home Run Derby. The 2014 Home Run Derby will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio in the United States beginning at 7 p.m. on Monday, July 14.
The 2014 American League and NL All-Star teams will be unveiled on the Taco Bell All-Star Selection Show on Sunday, beginning at 6 p.m. on ESPN, with further details to follow on MLB.com. Immediately following the announcement of the AL and NL All-Star rosters, fans can begin voting to select the final player for each league's 34-man roster via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Experian. Fans will cast their votes from a list of five players from each league over the balloting period.
And the voting doesn't end there. The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again have fans participating in the voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote Sponsored by Pepsi, and their voice will represent 20 percent of the overall vote that determines the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.
The 85th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less