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Cubs quartet in thick of NL ASG voting

MLB.com @CarrieMuskat

CHICAGO -- Cubs catcher Willson Contreras and second baseman Javier Baez are both in close races in the latest National League update for the 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot, released Monday.

VOTE: 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot

CHICAGO -- Cubs catcher Willson Contreras and second baseman Javier Baez are both in close races in the latest National League update for the 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot, released Monday.

VOTE: 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot

Baez, Contreras, first baseman Anthony Rizzo and third baseman Kris Bryant are all second at their respective positions in the latest balloting. Addison Russell is third among NL shortstops.

The Giants' Buster Posey, a five-time All-Star, is the top vote-getter among NL catchers with 686,253 votes, while Contreras has received 596,111 so far. Baez has gotten 767,417 votes, second to the Braves' Ozzie Albies (915,736). Neither Contreras nor Baez has been named to an All-Star team.

"He hasn't even taken off yet," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said of Contreras. "Remember last year how hot he got in the second half? That's going to happen again. You saw the pick-offs, what he does behind the plate, how he controls the running game. He's a different cat. He's going to keep getting better. He's a great athlete and runs well. It does not surprise me that he's at that juncture now with Posey."

Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman is the top NL vote-getter, receiving 1,433,140 votes. Rizzo, a three-time All-Star, has received 566,382.

Two-time All-Star Bryant (677,185 votes) is second to the Rockies' Nolan Arenado (1,124,563) among NL third basemen.

Russell has received 475,091 votes. The Giants' Brandon Crawford (1,120,031) leads NL shortstops and is followed by the Braves' Dansby Swanson (568,400).

Among the NL outfielders, the Cubs' Jason Heyward is seventh (447,359 votes), Kyle Schwarber is eighth (442,471) and Ben Zobrist ninth (434,943). The Braves' Nick Markakis leads all outfielders with 1,173,653 votes.

Fans may cast votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- on computers, tablets and smartphones -- exclusively online using the 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot until Thursday, July 5, at 11:59 p.m. ET. On smartphones and tablets, fans can also access the ballot via the MLB At Bat and MLB Ballpark mobile apps. Each fan can vote up to five times in any 24-hour period, for a maximum of 35 ballots cast.

Following the announcement of this year's All-Star starters, reserves and pitchers, fans should return to MLB.com and cast their 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Final Vote for the final player on each league's roster. Then on Tuesday, July 17, while watching the 2018 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard live on FOX, fans may visit MLB.com to submit their choices for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet with the 2018 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote.

The 89th Midsummer Classic, at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 180 countries. FOX Deportes will provide Spanish-language coverage in the United States, while ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network, MLB.com and SiriusXM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information about MLB All-Star Week and to purchase tickets, please visit AllStarGame.com and follow @MLB and @AllStarGame on social media.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.

Chicago Cubs, Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, Willson Contreras, Anthony Rizzo