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Cozart rises to 2nd among NL SS on ballot

Seeking first All-Star appearance, Reds shortstop passes Cubs' Russell
MLB.com @m_sheldon

CINCINNATI -- With the big season he's having, Reds shortstop Zack Cozart wasn't too stunned to be recognized by the fans. What shocked Cozart in the latest Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot update on Monday was that he pulled ahead of the Cubs' Addison Russell among National League shortstops.

Seeking his first All-Star appearance, Cozart had 547,750 votes, which ranked second behind the Dodgers' Corey Seager (604,783) and was more than 10,000 votes ahead of Russell (537,688).

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CINCINNATI -- With the big season he's having, Reds shortstop Zack Cozart wasn't too stunned to be recognized by the fans. What shocked Cozart in the latest Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot update on Monday was that he pulled ahead of the Cubs' Addison Russell among National League shortstops.

Seeking his first All-Star appearance, Cozart had 547,750 votes, which ranked second behind the Dodgers' Corey Seager (604,783) and was more than 10,000 votes ahead of Russell (537,688).

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"That market, you know they are voting non-stop. There are a lot of people there, compared to Cincinnati," Cozart said of Chicago. "It was cool."

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Cozart, who ranked third behind Russell in last week's voting, entered play on Monday batting .344/.432/.622 with nine home runs and 33 RBIs. Not only is he second in the NL in hitting overall, the 31-year-old leads NL shortstops in batting average, hits, triples, homers, extra-base hits, total bases, RBIs, slugging and on-base percentage.

Rounding out the balloting for shortstops was the D-backs' Chris Owings (328,217) and the Nationals' Trea Turner (323,751).

"Getting recognized outside of Cincinnati is always a cool thing," Cozart said. "We know that Cincinnati Reds fans are probably voting, but being in a small market you know that's not going to make up a lot of ground. Having some fans outside is nice. It's definitely a cool thing to see that."

Cozart also had a strong start to his 2016 season and was often in the top five of balloting updates.

"I don't think I was having that great of a year compared to this year. I was doing OK," Cozart said. "But the shortstop position, it seemed, was a little deeper and doing a little better."

Reds left fielder Adam Duvall -- a first-time All-Star in '16 -- entered the top 15 among NL outfielders this week, ranking 13th.

Video: CIN@PHI: Duvall hits two homer, collects five RBIs

The next NL ballot update will be on June 12.

Fans may cast votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- on computers, tablets and smartphones -- exclusively online using the 2017 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot until Thursday, June 29, at 11:59 p.m. ET. On smartphones and tablets, fans can also access the ballot via the MLB.com At Bat and MLB.com Ballpark mobile apps. Vote up to five times in any 24-hour period for a maximum of 35 ballots cast.

Following the announcement of the 2017 All-Star starters, reserves and pitchers, fans should return to MLB.com and cast their 2017 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote for the final player on each league's All-Star roster. Then on Tuesday, July 11, while watching the 2017 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 2017 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote.

The 88th Midsummer Classic, at Marlins Park in Miami, will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 160 countries. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage, while MLB Network, MLB.com and SiriusXM will have comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information about MLB All-Star Week and to purchase tickets, please visit AllStarGame.com and follow @AllStarGame on social media.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Cincinnati Reds, Zack Cozart