Cozart, Suarez among potential Reds All-Stars

Voting for the 2016 Midsummer Classic is open through June 30

Cozart, Suarez among potential Reds All-Stars

CINCINNATI -- The festivities and excitement of the All-Star Game won't be in Cincinnati this year, following the big success of the 2015 event. This year, San Diego gets the honor of hosting, and now it's time to start selecting players for the 2016 All-Star Game presented by MasterCard.

Among the eight Reds players on this year's ballot, shortstop Zack Cozart is off to the hottest start with hits in 12 of his 13 games this season. Cozart entered Sunday batting .400 with a .976 OPS. Third baseman Eugenio Suarez is on the ballot for the first time and entered the day leading the club with five homers and batting .303.

Joey Votto is a four-time National League All-Star, with his last appearance coming in 2013. Votto is off to a slow start, but he finished third in NL Most Valuable Player voting in 2015. Brandon Phillips is off to a solid start and will be looking for a bid after being a veteran of three All-Star Games, his last also being in '13 at Citi Field.

Cozart's solo smash

There are also players around Major League Baseball that could earn your consideration.

Browsing the ballot
The other side: While Josh Donaldson or Jose Altuve have gotten strong attention for obvious reasons, left fielder Colby Rasmus' resurging career has continued to blossom for the Astros. Rasmus, the ex-Cardinal, is among AL leaders in home runs and RBIs and hitting over .300 and could be worth a look.

Tip of the cap: A NL player to possibly consider when filling out your ballot could be Cincinnati native and Pirates second baseman Josh Harrison. The former University of Cincinnati star and Princeton High School alum, Harrison is hitting .324/.355/.408, as he's again found an everyday position for Pittsburgh.

A rising star: Third baseman Maikel Franco, 23, is not likely to get a lot of attention on the rebuilding Phillies. Franco came into the day batting .299/.338/.552 with five homers this season for Philadelphia.

Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- on their computers, tablets and smartphones -- exclusively online using the 2016 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot until Thursday, June 30, at 11:59 p.m. ET. Vote up to five times in any 24-hour period for a maximum of 35 times.

Fans may also receive the ballot by texting VOTE to 89269 (USA) or 101010 (Canada). Or text VOTA for a ballot in Spanish. Message and data rates may apply. Up to five messages. No purchase required. Reply STOP to cancel. Reply HELP for info.

Following the announcement of the 2016 All-Stars, be sure to return to MLB.com and cast your 2016 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote for the final player on each league's All-Star roster. On Tuesday, July 12, watch the 2016 All-Star Game presented by MasterCard live on FOX, and during the game visit MLB.com to submit your choice for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet via the 2016 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote.

The 87th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 160 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB.com, MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.