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Ramos in striking distance in 1st ASB update

MLB.com @wwchastain

ST. PETERSBURG -- "The Buffalo" needs a little help if he's going to represent the Rays at this year's Midsummer Classic.

VOTE: 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot

ST. PETERSBURG -- "The Buffalo" needs a little help if he's going to represent the Rays at this year's Midsummer Classic.

VOTE: 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot

The first update for the 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot was announced for the American League on Tuesday, and Wilson Ramos ranks second among AL catchers, though the difference is slight.

Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez is the leading vote-getter for AL catchers, with 336,280 votes. Ramos is close behind (320,969).

If Rays fans should have learned anything from last year's balloting, the team's players can capture the imagination of voters to win a spot on the team. Corey Dickerson kept making progress throughout last year's process, and he ended up getting elected as the starting AL designated hitter.

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.

Ramos is in his second season with Tampa Bay, and he has performed well. In addition to handling catching duties, he has been a solid performer on offense. After Monday night's action, Ramos was hitting .285 with seven home runs and 30 RBIs.

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.

Tampa Bay Rays, Wilson Ramos