CINCINNATI -- The first batch of All-star ballots are in, and Reds right fielder Ken Griffey Jr. has received the fifth-highest vote total among National League outfielders. After moving from the cleanup spot to third in the Cincinnati lineup this season, Griffey has excelled at the plate. His .291 batting average this season is higher than his final averages in eight of the past nine seasons, and his 11 home runs to this point are the eighth-highest total in the NL. This season has also brought yet another career milestone to the slugger's resume. On May 25, Griffey hit the 574th home run of his career, moving him past Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew into eighth place on the all-time home run list. Griffey is now only nine home runs behind Mark McGwire's career mark of 583.
Griffey began the season in 10th place on the all-time home run list. He passed Rafael Palmeiro's 569 career home run mark on May 13. On May 14, Griffey was named the NL's Player of the Week after hitting three homers and recording nine RBIs the previous week. Fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times with the Monster 2007 All-Star Online Ballot at MLB.com and all 30 club sites until 11:59 p.m. ET Thursday, June 28th. Fans will again be given the opportunity to cast an All-Star vote immediately following the 2007 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show Presented by Chevrolet, which will be televised by Turner Sports on Sunday, July 1. Baseball fans around the world will be able select the final player on each All-Star team via the Monster.com 2007 All-Star Final Vote. Selecting the rosters isn't the end of the fun in 2007, either. Concluding the All-Star balloting process, fans will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player presented by Chevrolet at the All-Star Game via the Monster.com 2007 All-Star Game MVP Vote at MLB.com.
Patrick Allegri is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.