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Arenado has had another All-Star-worthy year

MLB.com @harding_at_mlb

DENVER -- The ball dribbled toward third base, and in many cases those scoring in the stands or at home would have been ready to mark the Giants' Mac Williamson with an infield hit Wednesday night.

VOTE: 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot

DENVER -- The ball dribbled toward third base, and in many cases those scoring in the stands or at home would have been ready to mark the Giants' Mac Williamson with an infield hit Wednesday night.

VOTE: 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot

But the ball was hit to the Rockies' Nolan Arenado. It's easy to automatically mark "5-3." But if you truly appreciate the game's premiere player at his position, you keep your eyes on the field and not on the scorebook.

Arenado dashed from the outfield edge of the infield cutout, barehanded the ball and zipped a strike to first baseman Ian Desmond. In Arenado's case, the plays are expected. But they are never ho-hum.

Video: SF@COL: Arenado charges to make great barehanded play

"Any ball hit in that direction you expect that it's probably going to be an out," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "I don't want to say take for granted, but we know the talent he has. He expects it. He practices it and he expects to make it."

Now is the time for fans to show that the don't merely shrug at the excellence and production of Arenado, with his five Rawlings Gold Glove Awards in as many Major League seasons and with three straight years of at least 130 RBIs. Arenado's start to this year -- .319 with 11 home runs and 34 RBIs, plus a trove of defensive plays before Friday's game against the Dodgers -- presents a good argument for his second straight All-Star Game start for the National League, and his fourth consecutive appearance.

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 9:59 p.m. MT (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.

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter and like his Facebook page.

Colorado Rockies