HOUSTON -- Who will be the first Astros player chosen to the American League All-Star team?
Fans have the opportunity to help decide which Astros player will represent his team in the All-Star Game on July 16 at Citi Field in New York. With the Astros having switched leagues in 2013, they will be sending players to the AL squad for the first time.
Second baseman Jose Altuve made the All-Star team last year at 22 years old, and he's off to a quick start in 2013. Entering Monday's game against the Mariners, Altuve was hitting .370 with a homer and nine RBIs and was tied for second in the Majors with 27 hits.
"Altuve's been great," Astros manager Bo Porter said. "You're talking about one of the best hitters in baseball. He's confident, he understands what he's capable of doing and he doesn't try to do too much. He takes what the pitcher gives him and he uses the whole field."
Altuve would become the first Astros player to make consecutive All-Star Games since Miguel Tejada in 2008-09.
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- online or via your mobile device -- using the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot until July 4 at 10:59 p.m. CT.
Fans may submit 25 online ballots during the voting period, but can also earn a one-time bonus of 10 additional online ballots. To access these additional online ballots, you must be logged into your MLB.com account when you submit any online ballot. If you do not have an MLB.com account, visit mlb.com and register in accordance with the enrollment instructions for a free MLB.com account.
Fans can also once again participate in the Home Run Derby Fan Poll. Fans will have the opportunity to select three players in each league whom they would most like to see participate in the Home Run Derby. The 2013 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 7 p.m. CT on July 15.
The 2013 American League and National League All-Star teams will be unveiled on July 7 on the 2013 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 All-Star Game Final Vote sponsored by freecreditscore.com 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 2013 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.
Come to MLB.com for extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.
The 84th 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 SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.
Fans can vote at Minute Maid Park beginning May 2 and through June 17.
The other Astros players on the AL ballot are first baseman Brett Wallace, third baseman Matt Dominguez, shortstop Ronny Cedeno, catcher Jason Castro and outfielders Rick Ankiel, Justin Maxwell and Chris Carter.
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.