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Cabrera seeking second All-Star nod

Cabrera seeking second All-Star appearance

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MIAMI -- From the moment he was called up from Double-A in late June 2003, Miguel Cabrera has made it clear that he belongs in the Major Leagues.

Now in his second full season, Cabrera is showing why many believe he will be a fixture in the All-Star Game.

The 22-year-old Venezuelan native is primed to make the Midsummer Classic for the second straight season. Cabrera stands fifth among National League outfielders with 336,634 votes, and he's again putting up All-Star worthy numbers.

Two other Marlins also are in the top five of the fan voting. Carlos Delgado, a two-time All-Star with Toronto, is the No. 5 fans' choice at first base with 138,557 votes, while catcher Paul Lo Duca is second among catchers with 378,213 votes.

Lo Duca also has been an All-Star twice, including last season when Jack McKeon managed the National League squad and selected him as a reserve.

Voting is ongoing at floridamarlins.com and MLB.com, as well as Dolphins Stadium.

This year's game will be played in Detroit.

Cabrera continues to flourish at the plate, where a week ago he was leading the NL in batting average. The young slugger and Delgado have challenged each other for the Marlins' lead in home runs and RBIs. Based on a strong month of May, Delgado now tops the team in both categories.

Lo Duca has cooled off of late, in part because he was hampered by a bruised left elbow.

All eight of the Marlins' regular position players are on the All-Star ballot. Shortstop Alex Gonzalez has played defense at a Gold Glove level all season, and his batting average drastically picked up in May. Juan Encarnacion in right field has been a steady run producer who plays strong defense.

Two-time All-Star Luis Castillo missed three weeks because of a left quadriceps strain, but he's back in the lineup and hitting over .300. A two-time Gold Glove winner, the switch-hitting second baseman appears to be a favorite once again for his third top defensive award.

While fans don't vote on the All-Star pitchers, chances are strong that Dontrelle Willis will make the Midsummer Classic for the second time. As a rookie in 2003, the D-Train was an All-Star choice. Josh Beckett has been solid this season, and with a few more wins in June he will enhance his chances. An argument can be made that Todd Jones, who inherited the closer role after Guillermo Mota was injured, has put up numbers worthy of consideration.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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