Yadier Molina isn't just leading NL catchers in voting -- he's leading the entire National League. The Cardinals backstop can still be overtaken, though, at least in theory, assuming that Giants' fans spend every moment between now and the end of voting on July 4 to push their man Buster Posey past him. Whichever of these two wins (sorry, John Buck) will start at Citi Field on July 16.
Yadier Molina, 5,093,645
Molina is the best defensive catcher in the game, and has been for quite some time now. The thing is, he started to hit a few years back, eliminating the only weakness from his game. He's in the midst of his best season at the plate at age 30, mashing an NL-leading .347 while posting a .388 on-base percentage and .488 slugging. Voters have noticed, as he's one of just four players with over five million votes, joining Chris Davis, Miguel Cabrera, and teammate Carlos Beltran. He deserves every one of them as well, even though his closest competition has plenty of his own arguments as to why he should be the starter instead.
Buster Posey, 4,674,847
Said closest competition is the 2012 Most Valuable Player, Buster Posey. The Giants' backstop is once again leading the Senior Circuit in OPS+, this time courtesy a .316/.389/.532 line despite a pitcher-friendly home park. Posey's defense might not be of the same caliber as Molina's, but it's close enough in conjunction with his offense to merit a discussion about which of the two is the more valuable. While he's not far behind, he might have run out of time to earn the starting gig for the mid-summer edition of This Time It Counts, and will instead have to settle for his manager, Bruce Bochy, picking him as his first bench player for the contest.
John Buck, 1,446,565
So... real talk. Buck is likely here because there are lots of Mets fans, and the game is at Citi Field. Poor Miguel Montero and Brian McCann haven't crossed the one million vote mark as of the last update, but here's Buck, sitting in third place despite hitting .205/.271/.382, or, about 13 percent worse than your average catcher. Something tells me a dearth of talented catchers isn't the reason Buck sits where he does in the polls. It's fine, though -- he likely has less of a chance of playing at Citi Field than players with fewer votes to their name. No worries, either, Mets fans, as you'll have your share of Mets on the field for this game.