Kris Bryant's 2015 has already been a whirlwind; why not include an All-Star nod in there as well?
Bryant missed the first couple weeks of the season while biding his time down in Triple-A, but the Cubs rookie sensation is still second among vote-getters for National League third basemen with 583,583 votes, Major League Baseball released Wednesday in the first All-Star voting update. St. Louis Cardinals sparkplug Matt Carpenter is first with 1,113,060 votes.
The day after Bryant crushed a home run off the image of his face high atop the left-field video board, the 23-year-old rookie seemed in awe that fans had voted for him that many times.
"It never crossed my mind that [I'd be included in All-Star voting]," Bryant said. "I didn't know how it works - I still don't know how it works. It's just cool to see that.
"My goals are never really associated with those types of things. I'll continue to go out there and play as hard as I can."
Bryant is tied for seventh in the NL with 25 walks, an indicator of his advanced approach at the plate as well as how pitchers are working around him like he's already an established power hitter.
Bryant leads the Cubs in RBI with 31 and is third among NL third basemen with an .883 OPS (Carpenter sports a .972 OPS). Bryant is nearly 160,000 votes ahead of Reds third baseman Todd Frazier, who is also enjoying a solid season with a .922 OPS and 14 homers.
The Cubs slugger attributes that to the Cubs fanbase and their enthusiasm this season.
"Cubs fans are the best in baseball, so I think anybody that's on the Cubs has a great support system around them," he said. "I can't say enough about [the fans]. They've treated me great.
"Everything has always been positive, just interacting with them, signing autographs with them. It's been one of the best experiences of my life."
Bryant may have a point. The Cubs have representatives among the top vote-getters at just about every position.
Anthony Rizzo is second among first basemen behind Los Angeles' Adrian Gonzalez. Starlin Castro is second among shortstops behind St. Louis' Jhonny Peralta. Miguel Montero is the No. 3 catcher after Yadier Molina (Cardinals) and Buster Posey (Giants).
Then Dexter Fowler and Jorge Soler are 14 and 15, respectively, among NL outfielders. Bryce Harper leads all NL vote-getters with 1,116,582 votes, while Matt Holliday (Cardinals) and Giancarlo Stanton (Marlins) are 2-3 among outfielders.
"It's kinda nice," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "I heard about that today. Obviously people are paying attention to us. I think it's deserved. A lot of young guys who had a lot of advanced publicity and they're living up to it.
"We talked about expectations in the beginning of the year and about how people like to run away from them and I like to run toward them. I'm really pleased and proud of our guys.
"Again, it is validation of how well we've been playing and they've been playing individually. It's nice. It's good to have recognition come our way."
Entering play Wednesday, the Cubs had the sixth best record in the NL at 25-20, 4.5 games behind the Cardinals in the Central.
As All-Star voting heats up, don't expect Bryant to start campaigning for himself to start the Midsummer Classic in Cincinnati in July. That's just not who he is.
"I just think it's the way I was raised," he said. "I've never been one to go out there and toot my own horn or show up an opponent or show up anybody.
"I think if you treat the game the right way, it treats you back the right way."