"It's cool," Fielder said of his neck-and-neck race with Pujols. "Since I've been drafted, he's been the man. I'm just honored to be in the same category as him, to even have people consider me at all."
The humility was typical Fielder. But his statistical resume shows Fielder belongs up there with the NL elite. Entering play Monday, the 23-year-old led all NL hitters with 25 home runs and a .637 slugging percentage and leads NL first baseman in runs scored (49), RBIs (54) and total bases (167).
Fielder, who tallied an improbable inside-the-park home run in Minnesota on Sunday, has been a big part of the Brewers' resurgence this season. After winning consecutive Interleague series last week at Detroit and Minnesota, the team extended its lead in the NL Central. Fielder believes the team's performance has helped him climb the list of All-Star vote-getters.
"It's a good thing," Fielder said. "That's why it's always important to win, because when you do, it means you and a lot of your teammates are having good years. That's what you want."
Fielder was a fan of Major League All-Star festivities growing up, but admitted he paid much more attention to the Home Run Derby than the game itself. If asked, he would be a willing participant in this year's derby, Fielder said.
He was not the only Brewer high on the list of vote-getters. J.J. Hardy was running second among NL shortstops with 761,471 votes, 256,422 behind the Mets' Jose Reyes. Second baseman Rickie Weeks and catcher Johnny Estrada ranked fourth at their respective positions.
Fans can vote at Miller Park via paper ballots through Tuesday, but online balloting continues. 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 June 28, at 10:59 p.m. CT.
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 to 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. 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.
The All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports and televised around the world by Major League Baseball International. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio coverage, while MLB.com will offer extensive online coverage and MLB Radio will have exclusive play-by-play coverage of the game on the Internet.