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Espinosa fighting for an All-Star spot

Espinosa fighting for an All-Star spot

Espinosa fighting for an All-Star spot
WASHINGTON -- Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa still needs fans' help to get voted into the 2011 All-Star Game. As the most productive hitter on the team, he's deserving of a trip to the Midsummer Classic.

Espinosa entered Monday leading Washington in RBIs (47) and home runs (14). Even more importantly, he produces when men are on base. Espinosa entered the final week of voting 36-for-103 (.350) with nine home runs and 42 RBIs with runners on base, and he was hitting .321 with runners in scoring position.

"I feel good up there -- I feel confident," Espinosa said recently. "There have been some balls that I've hit hard that haven't [dropped in], but I feel great up there. I think for most people, [hits] just come in bunches."

Let's not forget that Espinosa is one of the best defensive second basemen in baseball. He seems to make a spectacular play at the position on a regular basis.

"He has made adjustments on his swing -- this guy's batting average is going way up," said John McLaren after managing his last game for the Nationals on Sunday. "To me, he has got to be considered a Gold Glove second baseman."

If Espinosa makes the All-Star team, it will mark his third consecutive year of participation in All-Star festivities; he played in the XM All-Star Futures Game in 2009 and '10.

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 2011 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Sprint until Thursday at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Rosters will be announced during the 2011 All-Star Game Selection Show on TBS on July 3. Baseball fans around the world will then be able to select the final player on each team via the 2011 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 2011 All-Star Game MVP Vote Sponsored by Sprint.

The All-Star Game, to be played in Phoenix on July 12, 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 Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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