Nats boast strong candidates on All-Star ballot

Nats boast strong candidates on All-Star ballot

Nats boast strong candidates on All-Star ballot
WASHINGTON -- Eight members of the Nationals -- Rick Ankiel, Ian Desmond, Danny Espinosa, Adam LaRoche, Mike Morse, Wilson Ramos, Jayson Werth and Ryan Zimmerman -- have a chance to be voted onto the National League All-Star team, thanks to their inclusion on the official online ballot, released Friday. In-stadium voting at Nationals Park starts May 1 and ends June 20.

Of the eight, Desmond and Werth are off to especially strong starts. Werth, who is looking to play in his second All-Star Game, is among the team leaders in batting average, on-base percentage and walks.

Desmond has been Washington's table setter, and is among the team leaders in runs scored and doubles.

Zimmerman is off to a slow start with the bat, but is playing defense like an All-Star. It seems like he makes spectacular defensive plays at third base on a daily basis. Zimmerman is looking to make his second All-Star appearance. The first came in 2009, at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.

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 11:59 p.m. ET.

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 8 p.m. ET on Monday, July 9.

The 2012 American League and National League 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.

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.