From the moment Miguel Cabrera was moving up through the Minor League ranks, he was compared to such greats as Albert Pujols. Now the Marlins 21-year-old left fielder is trying to emulate the likes of Pujols by becoming a perennial All-Star. Cabrera was selected by his peers to be a reserve on the 2004 All-Star squad. Now in his second full season, the Venezuelan native is within striking distance of being voted in by the fans as a starting outfielder.
Online voting for the All-Star Game position players continues on MLB.com. According to the latest numbers, Cabrera is fourth among National League outfielders. The top three vote-getters thus far, in order, are Carlos Beltran, Jim Edmonds and Bobby Abreu. After Cabrera, Ken Griffey Jr. rounds out the top five. Cabrera is on pace to hit better than .300 with more than 15 home runs and 50 RBIs by the All-Star break. A natural hitter with power to all fields, Cabrera has been consistent against left-handed and right-handed pitchers, as well as with runners in scoring position. He is batting well over .300 in each of those categories. All eight Marlins regular position players are on the ballot. Also ranked in the top five of the fan vote is catcher Paul Lo Duca, who is second to Mike Piazza. Not in the top five are second baseman Luis Castillo, who has raised his average well above .300, and first baseman Carlos Delgado. Castillo has been an All-Star twice, in 2002-2003, and he has won successive Gold Gloves. The only Marlin ever voted into the starting lineup for the All-Star Game is Gary Sheffield, who was elected as a third baseman in 1993. That season, however, most of Sheffield's support came while he was with the Padres. He was traded to the Marlins shortly before the All-Star Game. Along with several position players, pitcher Dontrelle Willis, who is 11-2 with a 1.92 ERA, seems a lock to be selected for the National League squad. The All-Star Game is slated for July 12 at Detroit.
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.