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Votto highlights cast of Reds on All-Star ballot

Votto highlights cast of Reds on All-Star ballot

Votto highlights cast of Reds on All-Star ballot
When superstar first basemen Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder moved to the American League as free agents, it was reasonable to think it will help the Reds' chances in the National League Central.

For Cincinnati's budding superstar first baseman, Joey Votto, it clears the way to make the 2010 NL Most Valuable Player a prime candidate to start an All-Star Game.

Major League Baseball released the All-Star ballots on Friday. As usual, Votto and seven Reds teammates are on it.

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

Once again, fans can also 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.

Votto, who is a two-time All-Star, could be a fixture in the game representing the Reds after he signed a 10-year, $225 million contract extension earlier this month. It will keep him in Cincinnati through the 2023 season.

Other Reds on the ballot include second baseman and two-time All-Star Brandon Phillips, third baseman and seven-time All-Star Scott Rolen and right fielder Jay Bruce, who played in his first All-Star Game in 2011. The rest of the candidates are catcher Ryan Hanigan, shortstop Zack Cozart, left fielder Ryan Ludwick and center fielder Drew Stubbs.

In-stadium ballots at Great American Ball Park will be available from April 27-June 12. The last time a Reds position player was elected to the Midsummer Classic via popular voting was Ken Griffey Jr. in 2007.

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.

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