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Josh Hamilton, Matt Kemp pace early All-Star voting

By Dayn Perry | Baseball Writer
The 83rd annual MLB All-Star Game goes down on July 10 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, and voting is already underway. You have until June 8 to cast online ballots, but the early returns are already in. Here's who's leading at the first turn ...

AL votes

As you can see, Josh Hamilton has more than 2.5 million votes, which -- expert analysis forthcoming -- is a lot.

If performance trends hold, then Paul Konerko should be the AL starter at first base, and in the outfield Nelson Cruz has no business starting ahead of, well, almost anyone, least of all Adam Jones. While there are marginally better choices at catcher (Joe Mauer, for instance), Mike Napoli is hardly an outrage. Same goes for Ian Kinsler at second. And, no, Rangers fans, I don't hate your favorite team.

Now the senior circuit ...

NL votes
Remember how Ryan Braun, as part of the fallout from his tossed-out drug suspension, was going to be forced to the margins of the game and perhaps society as a whole? That's clearly not happening. He's deserving of starting spot, too.

You can make a case for Jose Altuve over Dan Uggla at second, since he's roughly Uggla's equal in terms of value produced this season and since he's also a more enjoyable player to watch (the All-Star Game is, of course, for purposes of entertainment with a light glazing of merit). And while Giancarlo Stanton might not quite warrant one of the top three outfield spots, it's pretty silly that he's nowhere to be found on what's a pretty deep leaderboard.

As of this juncture, give NL voters a slight nod over their AL counterparts. Seriously, Nelson Cruz?

UPDATE: Our own Danny Knobler discovered an error in the MLB release captured above. Oakland's Yoenis Cespedes instead of Tampa Bay's B.J. Upton is presently 15th in the AL-outfielder balloting.


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