Red-hot Stanton set to star in 2014 Home Run Derby

PHOENIX -- Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton was officially named to the National League lineup for the Gillette Home Run Derby lineup on Tuesday.

The announcement came as no surprise, as Stanton confirmed he would participate on June 29. The Home Run Derby is Monday at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Now the question remains: Is Stanton the favorite? The Marlins' 24-year-old right fielder leads the National League with 21 homers entering Tuesday's game, and he is known for hitting the ball harder and farther than anyone else.

Home Run Derby participants
American League
RF Jose Bautista, TOR (Captain)
3B Josh Donaldson, OAK
2B Brian Dozier, MIN
CF Adam Jones, BAL
LF Yoenis Cespedes, OAK*
National League
SS Troy Tulowitzki, COL (Captain)
3B Todd Frazier, CIN
1B Justin Morneau, COL
RF Yasiel Puig, LAD
RF Giancarlo Stanton, MIA
*Defending champ

"I like his chances," said Marlins manager Mike Redmond, who will throw to Stanton at Target Field on on Monday.

Stanton is one of the premier sluggers in the game. According to ESPN's home run tracker, Stanton leads the Major Leagues in average true distance on his homers, averaging a whopping 423.8 feet per home run. Second place on the list goes to Giants outfielder Michael Morse at 420.5 feet.

Stanton said the only home run contest he has participated in was in the South Atlantic League in 2008. He didn't make it to the finals.

"[There is] no strategy," Stanton said Monday. "Just swing as hard as you can."

One of the common complaints about the Home Run Derby is that players alter their swings for the competition, and when they return to action, they have trouble readjusting to regular pitching.

But Redmond said he wasn't worried about that happening to his biggest home-run threat.

"This is a guy who's very controlled with his batting practices," Redmond said. "He has the ability to hit the ball out to right field and to left field with very easy swings.

A new format has been installed for this year's Derby, as the five players from each league will receive seven outs instead of the usual 10 in each round. In the first round, the player who hits the most homers in each league will receive an automatic bye to the third round (semifinals). The next two players from each league with the most homers will square off against one another in a head-to-head matchup in the second round, with the two winners advancing to the semifinals against the league's top performer from the first round.

The final round will be a showdown between the AL and NL's best. If necessary, the first tiebreaker would allow the finalists three swings apiece.

If you can't wait for the actual Derby, the MLB.com Home Run Derby mobile game is a good way to immerse yourself in the action immediately, with Target Field serving as the setting. The game is available for download on the Apple App Store and Google Play. New for 2014 is Multiplayer Derby Mode, Achievements and Objectives.

McGehee not letting Final Vote faze him

Frisaro on McGehee's Final Vote credintials

PHOENIX -- Casey McGehee may be two days from being named an All Star for the first time and is in the midst of a career-best hitting streak, but he's not trying to let those things faze him.

"I'm kind of at peace with the fact that this whole All-Star thing -- that it is what it is," he said. "It's going to play out the way it's going to play out, and that's OK. But I'm not going to let that change how I approach [the game]."

McGehee was in fifth place in the first tally of Final Vote results. The voting runs through Thursday afternoon.

McGehee is hitting as well as he has all season. He has a hit in 14 straight games and has gotten on base in 31 consecutive contests. In the first of three games against the D-backs at Chase Field, he went 2-for-4 and scored the Marlins' lone run. He extended his lead in the National League hits column to three over Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy.

"It's something I feel good about, but at the same time, I would trade all that for some wins here," McGehee said.

The veteran third baseman attributed his success this season to staying consistent with his preparation before the game and keeping his approach the same.

"I just feel like I've been doing a good job with sticking with my approach," McGehee said. "I feel like I've been doing a good job of swinging at good pitches for the most part, and trying to make sure I do the same thing every day as far as preparation."

On Monday, McGehee said that his lack of power numbers this season might be one of the detractions from his All-Star campaign, but that wasn't something he let affect him at the plate.

I think there's times where maybe the home runs do creep into your mind, but I think I've done a pretty good job of putting that aside and just trying to stick to my approach and my game plan," McGehee said.

"Maybe there's times here or there that maybe I could have taken a shot, but I truly believe if I went up there and tried to do that, we wouldn't be having these conversations right now."

The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again allow fans to help choose 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 and via Twitter in the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote Sponsored by Pepsi, and their collective voice will represent 20 percent of the overall vote that determines the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.

MLB.TV Premium subscribers, for the first time, will be able to live stream the All-Star Game via MLB.TV through FOX's participating video providers. Access will be available across more than 400 platforms that support MLB.TV, including the award-winning MLB.com At Bat app. 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.

Marlins select All-Star Teacher contest winner

PHOENIX -- David Voytek of Lake Worth, Fla., was named the Marlins winner of Major League Baseball, Target and Time Inc.'s All-Star Teachers program Tuesday.

Voytek, a media specialist at North Grade Elementary School in Lake Worth, will join representatives from the 29 other teams at the All-Star Game at Target Field in Minneapolis on July 15. He and the other teachers will be recognized in a pregame ceremony.

At North Grade Elementary, Voytek helps organize fundraising activities and an annual trip to Washington, D.C., according to the release.

Voytek was one of three finalists for the Marlins. The other two were Claudia Perez of Miami Dr. Ronaldo Espinosa K-8 Center and Keri Porter of Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Wingate Oaks Center.

Several celebrities and current players serve as ambassadors to the All-Star Teachers program, including Yankees outfielder Carlos Beltran and Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. In addition, Eric Stonestreet, who plays a teacher on the television show "Modern Family"; Matthew Morrison, who plays a teacher on "Glee"; and Extra TV's AJ Calloway participate in the program.

Worth noting

• Redmond said reliever A.J. Ramos played catch on Monday and will throw bullpen sessions on July 15 and July 17. Ramos has been on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation since July 1.

• Redmond said shortstop Rafael Furcal started light jogging recently. Furcal is on the 15-day disabled list with a left hamstring strain.