Votto leads, Phillips strong on All-Star ballot

Votto leads, Phillips strong on All-Star ballot

Votto leads, Phillips strong on All-Star ballot
CINCINNATI -- The first balloting update for the 83rd All-Star Game was extremely positive for one Reds player and optimistic for another.

Reds first baseman Joey Votto was the National League leader at his position with 1,314,516 votes. That was more than 680,000 more than second place's Lance Berkman of the Cardinals. The leading vote getter at each infield position and catcher will start in the Midsummer Classic.

Votto, currently batting .346 with nine home runs and 33 RBIs, has appeared in the last two All-Star games but never started. His 22 doubles, 45 walks and .476 on-base percentage this season are best in the NL.

The star first baseman isn't getting ahead of himself and making his plans for the All-Star Break because of the early voting.

"Not really at this point," Votto said. "I think it will mean something when the votes are finally tallied up. The last thing I want to do is get ahead of myself, but I am very appreciative of the fans thus far."

At second base, the Reds' Brandon Phillips was in second place by a margin of less than 300,000 votes. Phillips received 586,835 votes while the Braves' Dan Uggla commanded the lead with 872,136 votes. Phillips is also a two-time All-Star but seeking his first chance to start.

Phillips is focused on continuing to improve his play to earn his way into the All-Star game.

"Honestly, I must not have been doing my job if I'm not leading the All-Star voting," Phillips said. "I didn't really think it was going to be like that, but I obviously must not have been doing my job."

Phillips is batting .271 with five home runs and 29 RBIs after getting off to a slow start because of a hamstring injury. Uggla entered play on Tuesday batting .263 with eight home runs and 32 RBIs.

Among NL outfielders, Jay Bruce was listed in ninth place with 460,853 votes. The top three outfielders in the vote are selected to start. With 1,952,910 ballots cast, the Dodgers Matt Kemp leads all NL vote-getters and ranks second in the Majors, behind the Rangers' Josh Hamilton.

The Cardinals' Carlos Beltran and the Brewers' Ryan Braun are second and third, respectively, on the NL outfield vote rankings.

Cincinnati has not had a starter voted into the All-Star game since Ken Griffey Jr. in 2007. Scott Rolen, a late injury replacement, started in the 2011 game in Arizona.

Fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- online or via a mobile device -- using the 2012 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot until Thursday, June 28, at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Fans can also once again participate in the State Farm Home Run Derby Fan Poll. Fans will have the opportunity to select three players in each league who they would most like to see participate in the State Farm Home Run Derby. The 2012 State Farm Home Run Derby -- part of Gatorade All-Star Workout Day -- will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio in the United States beginning at 8 p.m. ET on Monday, July 9.

The 2012 American League and National League All-Star teams will be unveiled on Sunday, July 1, on the 2012 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show, televised nationally on TBS. Baseball fans around the world will then be able to select the final player on each team via the 2012 All-Star Game Final Vote on MLB.com.

The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again have fans participating in the official voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com via the 2012 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote, and their voice will represent 20 percent of the official vote determining the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.

The 2012 All-Star Game will be played at Kauffman Stadium on Tuesday, July 10. Come to MLB.com for extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.

The 83rd All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and Sirius XM also will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com or royals.com/asg.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.