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Hamilton, Kemp getting support in Derby poll

Hamilton, Kemp getting support in Derby poll

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Hamilton, Kemp getting support in Derby poll
The straw slugging poll has spoken. The first early returns have come in on who fans would like to see in the State Farm Home Run Derby, and there aren't many surprises on the list.

Robinson Cano and Matt Kemp -- the respective captains for the American and National League -- will be able to choose their own teammates, but they'd do well to heed the fan vote. In this case, the fans definitely want to see Kemp, who's currently sidelined by an ailing left hamstring.

Kemp, who hit 12 home runs before going to the disabled list in mid-May, leads all NL players in balloting for the Home Run Derby. The Dodgers are just hoping to have their slugger back healthy soon, as he returned once from the injury but had to go back to the disabled list.

Texas star Josh Hamilton, second in the American League with 22 home runs, was tabbed as the favorite among all AL players. The four-time All-Star and former Most Valuable Player is off to another award-worthy start this season, and he already has a four-homer game to his credit.

American League fans have also decided that they want to see a quartet of dangerous sluggers that includes two heralded transplants from the other league. Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols have both registered some fan support, as have holdover stars like Jose Bautista and David Ortiz.

And if you recall Home Run Derbys of the past, you might understand those choices. Ortiz won the 2010 Home Run Derby, and Fielder was the champion in 2009 while playing for the Brewers. Hamilton has never won, but he set a record for a single round with 28 homers in 2008.

The NL list also includes some star power, boasting the likes of reigning MVP Ryan Braun and Cincinnati slugger Joey Votto. The NL fans have also flocked to the candidacy of Matt Holliday and Giancarlo Stanton, who has 70 career homers before his 23rd birthday.

Perhaps the most notable omission on the list is Adam Dunn of the White Sox, who has followed an off-year by leading all Major League players with 23 home runs in his first 69 games. Last year, Dunn -- who has hit 388 homers in his distinguished career -- went deep just 11 times.

Both Cano -- the Derby's defending champion -- and Kemp will get to choose players at their own discretion, and they still have a few weeks before they have to make a call. The Home Run Derby will be held on July 9 in Kansas City, and the All-Star Game will be played the following day.

Fan voting for the All-Star rosters is still under way. Fans can submit up to 25 ballots per email address with the All-Star Game Online Ballot, through June 28 exclusively at MLB.com and all 30 club sites, wired or mobile. Once that voting ends, then comes the always frenetic finish with the All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote from July 1-5 and the annual MVP vote during the All-Star Game to help decide who wins the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award.

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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