Cabrera Joins Outfield Leaders in Latest N.L. Balloting Update

San Francisco Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera has surpassed Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers for the third outfield spot in the National League’s latest balloting figures for the 83rd All-Star Game, to be played on Tuesday, July 10th at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.

Cabrera, who leads the Majors with 98 hits, has amassed 2,144,107 votes as he aims to become an All-Star for the first time in his eight-year career.  The 27-year-old native of the Dominican Republic, who is also tied for the Major League lead with seven triples and ranks second with a .364 batting average, could become just the fourth San Francisco outfielder to be selected to start by the fans, joining Willie Mays (1970-71), Kevin Mitchell (1989-90) and Barry Bonds (1993-96, 98, 2000-04, 07).  He is joined in the outfield by the N.L.’s leading vote-getter, Matt Kemp of the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Kemp, who is currently on the disabled list with a left hamstring strain, has received 3,322,009 votes.  The 27-year-old, who started the 2011 Midsummer Classic, could give the Dodgers a fan-elected starter in three consecutive Midsummer Classics for the first time since balloting began in 1970.  Six-time All-Star Carlos Beltran of the Cardinals completes the N.L. outfield with 2,652,980 votes.  Beltran, who collected his 300th career stolen base on Friday night, became just the eighth player and first switch-hitter to join the 300-homer/300-stolen base club.  Braun (2,118,925) is a close fourth behind Cabrera, followed by Kemp’s teammate Andre Ethier (1,517,218) and Beltran’s teammate Matt Holliday (1,374,004).

Two-time All-Star Rafael Furcal of the Cardinals, who has garnered 1,741,360 votes, has overtaken Troy Tulowitzki (1,647,235) of the Colorado Rockies at shortstop.  Furcal, who leads the N.L. with 29 RBI from the lead-off spot, would join Ozzie Smith (1983-92, 94-95), Edgar Renteria (2003-04) and David Eckstein (2005) as the only Cardinals shortstops to be elected by the fans since balloting began in 1970.  Two-time All-Star Joey Votto (3,151,032) of the Cincinnati Reds has a firm lead on the first base race, and is closing in on Kemp for the overall N.L. lead.  Votto, who ranks ahead of Freddie Freeman (1,193,455) of the Atlanta Braves, has reached base safely in 62 of his 66 games played this season.  The 2010 N.L. MVP, who leads the Majors with a .368 batting average, 29 doubles, 55 walks and a .491 on-base percentage, would become the first Reds first baseman ever to be elected to start by the fans and the first infielder since Barry Larkin in 2000.  In a crowded race at third base, five-time All-Star David Wright (1,977,388) of the New York Mets continues to outpace Pablo Sandoval (1,612,497) of the Giants, Chipper Jones (1,547,221) of the Braves and David Freese (1,540,085) of the Cardinals.  Wright, who ranks second in the Majors with a .455 on-base percentage and fifth with a .353 batting average, could join Mike Piazza (seven) and Darryl Strawberry (six) as the only Mets players to earn at least five fan-elected starts.  In addition, he would join Mike Schmidt (nine) as the only N.L. third basemen to draw five fan-elected starts.  Two-time All-Star Dan Uggla of the Braves, who has started all 67 games this season and has played all but two innings in the field, rounds out the N.L infield at second base with 2,054,920 votes.  The 32-year-old, who leads all Major League second basemen with 201 homers since 2006, is leading Votto’s teammate and two-time All-Star Brandon Phillips (1,272,389).

San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey has totaled 2,445,005 votes as he aims for his first career All-Star appearance.  The 2010 N.L. Rookie of the Year, who leads the Giants with eight home runs and 35 RBI, is trying to become the first Giants catcher to win a fan-elected start.  Posey is followed closely by Cardinals backstop Yadier Molina (2,291,567), who is seeking his fourth consecutive All-Star selection and third fan-elected start.

MLB’s All-Star Balloting Program is the largest of its kind in professional sports, and last year produced a record-shattering total of 32.5 million ballots cast.  More than 20 million Firestone All-Star ballots will be distributed at the 30 Major League ballparks, each of which will have 23 dates for balloting, and in approximately 100 Minor League ballparks.  Also, fans around the world can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times exclusively at MLB.com and all 30 Club web sites – online or via their mobile devices – with the 2012 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot.  During the voting period, the All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot will be available in English, Spanish, Japanese, Korean and Chinese versions of the online ballot and will offer audio CAPTCHA functionality for visually-impaired fans.

Every Major Club began its in-stadium balloting no later than Tuesday, May 8th.  When the in-stadium phase of balloting concludes on Friday, June 22nd, fans will have the opportunity to cast their ballots exclusively online at MLB.com, the 30 Club Web sites and their mobile devices until Thursday, June 28th at 11:59 p.m. (EDT).

Firestone, the official tire of MLB, is once again the exclusive sponsor of the 2012 In-Stadium All-Star Balloting Program.  The ballot features an All-Star sweepstakes, in which a winner will be rewarded with a trip for two to MLB All-Star Week, including airfare, hotel accommodations, tickets to the All-Star Game and other MLB All-Star Week events.

Scotts, the official lawn care company of MLB, is once again the sponsor of the retail All-Star Balloting Program, which launched on May 4th in select Lowe’s stores and Chevrolet dealerships across the country.  The Scotts ballot includes an opportunity to enter for a chance to win a baseball field makeover using Scotts products for your community.

Banco BHD sponsors All-Star Balloting in the Dominican Republic, making Spanish-language ballots available to fans in the Dominican Republic via LasMayores.com, the official Spanish-language Web site of Major League Baseball, and at All-Star Balloting terminals across more than 80 branches.  Coors Light provided offline All-Star Balloting in 60 Wal-Mart and Amigo convenience stores throughout Puerto Rico, through June 10th.
The 2012 American League and National League All-Star Teams will be unveiled on Sunday, July 1st on the 2012 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Taco Bell, televised nationally on TBS.  The A.L. All-Star Team will have nine elected starters via the fan balloting program, while the N.L. All-Star Team will have eight fan-elected starters.  The pitchers and reserves for both squads – totaling 25 for the N.L. and 24 for the A.L. – will be determined through a combination of “Player Ballot” choices and selections made by the two All-Star managers – A.L. skipper Ron Washington of the Texas Rangers and N.L. manager Tony La Russa – in conjunction with Major League Baseball.

Immediately following the announcement of the American League and National League All-Star rosters on Sunday, July 1st, fans will begin voting to select the final player for each League’s 34-man roster via the 2012 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote presented by Firestone.  Fans will cast their votes from a list of five players from each League over a four-day period and the winners will be announced after the voting concludes on Thursday, July 5th.  Now in its eighth year, fans again will be able to make their Final Vote selections on their mobile phones.

The final phase of All-Star Game voting again will 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 MLB.com All-Star Game MVP Vote, and their collective voice will represent 20 percent of the official vote determining this year’s recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.

The 2012 All-Star Game will be played at Kauffman Stadium on Tuesday, July 10th.  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.  Pregame ceremonies will begin at 7:30 p.m. (EDT)/6:30 p.m. (CDT).  ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game.  MLB Network, MLB.com and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage.  For more information, please visit allstargame.com or royals.com/asg.