Longoria leads third-base pack in balloting

Longoria leads third-base pack in balloting

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays are off to the hottest start in baseball and fans have taken notice, as evidenced by the first returns for this year's All-Star Game ballots.

The 2010 All-Star Game will be played July 13 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim.

Every starter on the Rays, save for a right-fielder, ranked among the top players at their given positions.

Fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times at MLB.com and all 30 club sites using the 2010 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Sprint until July 1 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Sprint subscribers can now vote on the go with select Sprint devices. They can learn more about how to vote on their smart phones at MLB.com/Sprint.

Evan Longoria leads American League third basemen for the starting spot at his position with 541,253 votes to Alex Rodriguez's 411,655. In just his third season, Longoria is having an exemplary year, leading the Rays in home runs, average and RBIs.

Carl Crawford, who was the Most Valuable Player of the 2009 Midsummer Classic, is the second-leading vote getter among AL outfielders behind Ichiro Suzuki after igniting the Rays' offense during their hot start. Suzuki leads 366,903 votes to Crawford's 319,953. The top three vote-getters at outfield will be the elected starters.

Carlos Pena, first base; Ben Zobrist, second base; Jason Bartlett, shortstop; and Dioner Navarro, catcher are all ranked among the top five vote-getters at their respective positions, while center fielder B.J. Upton ranks among the top 15 outfielders.

Starting rosters will be announced during the 2010 All-Star Game Selection Show on TBS on July 4. Baseball fans around the world will then be able to select the final player on each team via the 2010 All-Star Game Final Vote Sponsored by Sprint.

And the voting doesn't end there. Fans will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet at the Midsummer Classic via the 2010 All-Star Game MVP Vote Sponsored by Sprint.

The All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX and around the world by Major League Baseball International. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio play-by-play, while MLB.com will offer extensive online coverage.

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