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A sometimes-irreverent look at Detroit's Boys of Summer, the Tigers, as they try to return to the top of the American League Central.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Cabrera, Avila among leading vote-getters for AL All-Star team

If, when the season started, you figured Alex Avila was the Tigers' best chance for to be a starter for the American League in the All-Star Game, raise your hand.

Then stop lying. Possibly also check yourself into a clinic.

Based on last year's .228 average and relative tame power numbers (seven HRs, 12 doubles, .340 slugging pct.), Avila looked to be a long way away from being a household name nationally. But coming in to Wednesday, he was hitting .280 with 10 doubles and 29 RBI — all of which lead full-time AL catchers — and eight home runs, which is tied for third. His RBI total is best among all MLB backstops.

People are noticing. When MLB released the first fan voting totals for next month's All-Star Game in Arizona, Avila was one of two Tigers among the leaders at his position. The second-year pro had only half as many votes as the Yankees' Russell Martin, who is hitting just .242.

The other Tiger among the league's leading vote-getters is Miguel Cabrera, who finished second in last year's AL MVP race. He's not far behind Boston's Adrian Gonzalez — who could make a case for being the early favorite for this year's MVP — but nearly 250,000 votes behind the Yankees' Mark Teixeira.

If the voting ended today, the Yankees would have starters at every position but DH, including an outfield starter in former Tiger Curtis Granderson. He sits second behind the overall leading vote-getter, Toronto slugger Jose Bautista.

Fans can vote online (click here) through June 30, and at the ballpark through June 12.

Here are the vote totals announced by MLB on Wednesday:
Russell Martin, Yankees: 843,459
Joe Mauer, Twins: 593,949
Alex Avila, Tigers: 407,463
Carlos Santana, Indians: 395,892
Yorvit Torrealba, Rangers: 337,737

Mark Teixeira, Yankees: 827,247
Adrian Gonzalez, Red Sox: 685,262
Miguel Cabrera, Tigers: 657,594
Mitch Moreland, Rangers: 278,055
Adam Lind, Blue Jays: 256,782

Robinson Cano, Yankees: 1,185,952
Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox: 586,361
Ian Kinsler, Rangers: 502,012
Orlando Cabrera, Indians: 384,004
Ben Zobrist, Rays: 352,904

Alex Rodriguez, Yankees: 945,127
Adrian Beltre, Rangers: 755,551
Evan Longoria, Rays: 588,463
Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox: 491,422
Maicer Izturis, Angels: 199,423

Derek Jeter, Yankees: 931,410
Asdrubal Cabrera, Indians: 672,105
Elvis Andrus, Rangers: 560,309
Yunel Escobar, Blue Jays: 320,874
Erick Aybar, Angels: 215,991

Michael Young, Rangers: 646,979
David Ortiz, Red Sox: 618,609
Jorge Posada, Yankees: 414,733
Travis Hafner, Indians: 407,334
Johnny Damon, Rays: 353,340

Jose Bautista, Blue Jays: 1,261,659
Curtis Granderson, Yankees: 994,315
Josh Hamilton, Rangers: 748,240
Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners: 674,406
Nelson Cruz, Rangers: 514,006
Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox: 494,721
Nick Swisher, Yankees: 465,984
Grady Sizemore, Indians: 457,185
Carl Crawford, Red Sox: 440,626
Jeff Francoeur, Royals: 407,517
Brett Gardner, Yankees: 370,989
Shin-Soo Choo, Indians: 366,575
Sam Fuld, Rays: 310,520
J.D. Drew, Red Sox: 307,684
B.J. Upton, Rays: 277,173

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