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Early All-Star vote leaders for AL released


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Reigning American League Most Valuable Player Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins is the top vote-getter in the first A.L. balloting figures for the 81st All-Star Game, to be played on Tuesday, July 13th at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. The first National League All-Star balloting totals will be released tomorrow, Tuesday, May 25th.

Bidding for his fourth Midsummer Classic appearance and his third consecutive start, Mauer leads all American League players with 644,533 votes. He narrowly holds the overall lead over New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, who has collected 639,227 as he vies for his 11th trip to the All-Star Game. Joining the Yankee captain among the A.L. leaders are teammates Mark Teixeira (396,034), who is ahead of Justin Morneau (258,225) of the Twins and Miguel Cabrera (242,039) of the Detroit Tigers at first base, and Robinson Cano (491,188), who is outpacing Dustin Pedroia (279,452) of the Boston Red Sox at second base. The only leading A.L. infielder who does not call Yankee Stadium home is Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria, who is looking to earn his third All-Star berth in his third Major League season, including his second straight election by fans. Longoria's 541,253 votes rank first at the hot corner, trailed by New York's Alex Rodriguez (411,655).

The A.L. outfield is led by Seattle Mariners nine-time All-Star Ichiro Suzuki, who has drawn 366,903 votes to top all A.L. outfielders. Last year's recipient of the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player presented by Chevrolet, Tampa Bay's Carl Crawford (319,953), is currently in line for his first fan-elected start and his fourth Midsummer Classic nod overall. Rounding out the A.L. outfield is Texas Rangers right fielder Nelson Cruz, whose 307,928 votes put him ahead of teammate Josh Hamilton (265,896). Cruz made his All-Star Game debut last year, while Hamilton has been a fan-elected starter in each of the last two years. Among the many outfielders in contention are Curtis Granderson (264,572) of the Yankees and Torii Hunter (230,036) of the host Angels. The designated hitter slot is currently held by Rangers eight-time All-Star Vladimir Guerrero, who has garnered 374,333 votes. Guerrero's closest competition is Angels slugger Hideki Matsui, who has received 298,487 votes.

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