NEW YORK -- When Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter decided against participating in the All-Star Game last summer, that opened the door for Asdrubal Cabrera to take the field as the starting shortstop for the American League.
Cabrera would likely need similar circumstances to develop this year in order to repeat that honor, but what he does not need is to prove that he is worthy. Once again, Cabrera has provided Cleveland with leadership in the batter's box and in the field, and he continues to rank among the game's elite shortstops.
On Monday, the final AL All-Star balloting update had Cabrera fourth at his position, trailing top-ranked Jeter by 3.3 million votes. Second baseman Jason Kipnis, who is in his first full season with the Tribe, also ranked fourth at his respective position in the fan voting for the AL's All-Star starters.
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 at 11:59 p.m. ET.
Heading into Monday's action, Cabrera was hitting .296 with nine home runs and 33 RBIs in 62 games for the Indians.
"This is the type of player he's going to be," Indians manager Manny Acta said this past weekend. "He's going to hit double digits in home runs, whether it's going to be in the 10s or the 20s depends on the year. He's going to drive in runs, and he should be able to have a .360 on-base percentage. He's even better than that right now and solid defensively."
Among AL shortstops, Cabrera entered Monday ranked first in on-base percentage (.384), slugging percentage (.486) and on-base plus slugging percentage (.869), and he was tied for first in extra-base hits (27). He ranked second in RBIs and walks (31) and was tied for second in homers and doubles (17).
Jeter led the voting for AL shortstops with 4,407,982 votes, and was followed by Texas' Elvis Andrus (2,764,888), Baltimore's J.J. Hardy (1,331,927) and Cabrera (1,063,137).
Beyond voting for the starters, 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 they would most like to see participate in the State Farm Home Run Derby. The 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 AL and National League All-Star teams will be unveiled on Sunday 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.
Among AL second basemen, Kipnis (852,325 votes) trailed New York's Robinson Cano (3,559,290), Texas' Ian Kinsler (3,462, 367) and Boston's Dustin Pedroia (1,666,282).
Through 70 games for Cleveland, Kipnis was hitting .276 with 11 homers and 41 RBIs. Among his positional peers in the AL, the second baseman ranked first in RBIs and stolen bases (17), and second in average, home runs, slugging percentage (.435) and OPS (.765). Kipnis ranked third in OBP (.330), hits (78), runs (46) and total bases (123).