Kemp keeps NL voting lead; Ethier in tight race

Kemp keeps NL voting lead; Ethier in tight race

Kemp keeps NL voting lead; Ethier in tight race
Though he remains on the disabled list and hasn't played in a game since last week's first All-Star Game balloting update, Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp remained the National League's top overall vote-getter in the second update, released Tuesday by MLB.

Kemp is one of two National Leaguers -- the Reds' Joey Votto being the other -- who have already eclipsed the 2 million vote plateau. The Dodgers slugger leads the way with 2,589,464 votes, giving him a sizable lead over the Cardinals' Carlos Beltran, whose 1,782,831 votes are second-most among NL outfielders.

The news wasn't so good this time around for Kemp's teammate, Andre Ethier, who fell one spot in the outfield rankings. Ethier fell to fifth place among NL outfielders after he was leapfrogged by Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera.

Ethier, who signed a five-year extension worth $85 million Tuesday, entered the day hitting .287 with 10 homers. Though he is now in fifth in the outfield voting, he sits just more than 400,000 votes behind the Brewers' Ryan Braun for the third and final starting spot, and about 200,000 behind Cabrera for fourth.

Kemp and Ethier are the only Dodgers who appear anywhere in the top five at any position in the voting.

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 8:59 p.m. PT.

Fans can also once again 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 5 p.m. PT on Monday, July 9.

The 2012 American League and NL 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.

And the voting doesn't end there. 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 in Kansas City 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.

Though Kemp continues to nurse a left hamstring strain and hasn't seen any game action since May 30, he has said that he does plan to play in this year's Midsummer Classic if his health permits. He's also the NL captain for the Home Run Derby and has said that he already invited Ethier to join him for the contest.

"Andre would be really good in that," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said of Ethier's swing. "Matt is not good in a home run contest. He doesn't pull. Try winning that contest going to right-center. All the guys who win pull everything."

With the Home Run Derby situation seemingly set, Kemp's focus will be on returning to the field this month, while Ethier will continue to battle for one of the league's three starting outfield positions.

Paul Casella is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @paul_casella. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.