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Hinch thinks three D-backs are All-Stars

Hinch thinks three D-backs are All-Stars

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SEATTLE -- A.J. Hinch knows that a team that has struggled as much as his D-backs have is not likely to get three players on the National League All-Star team.

Yet, the D-backs' skipper feels outfielder Justin Upton, third baseman Mark Reynolds and starter Dan Haren deserve to be in St. Louis for the game.

"It's difficult, with the position our team is in, it's hard to argue we should get three guys," Hinch said. "But I think they are three guys that are worthy and should get strong consideration. There are a lot of worthy candidates, but I'll fight hard for us to be represented by more than one player."

Unless Haren becomes a Sprint Final Vote candidate, there is nothing fans can do to help get him to St. Louis. There is, however, plenty fans can do to help Upton and Reynolds make the trip. But both players need a strong stretch at the ballot box because neither is ranked among the leaders at his position.

Reynolds is not in the top five among third basemen and Upton is not in the top 10 in the outfield.

Fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times with the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Online Ballot at MLB.com and all 30 club sites until July 2 at 8:59 p.m. MST. Balloting will run at Chase Field through June 25.

Starting rosters will be announced during the 2009 All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Chevrolet on TBS on July 5. Baseball fans around the world will then be able to select the final player on each team via the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Final Vote at MLB.com.

And the voting doesn't end there. Fans will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet at the Midsummer Classic via the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint MVP Vote at MLB.com.

The All-Star Game, hosted by St. Louis' Busch Stadium on July 14, will be televised nationally by FOX and around the world by Major League Baseball International. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio play-by-play, while MLB.com will offer extensive online coverage.

Both players certainly have the numbers to justify a selection.

As of Sunday, Upton ranked third among NL outfielders in slugging percentage with a .586 mark. He was fourth in OPS (on-base plus slugging) at .986.

"He's becoming a tough out," Hinch said. "You can drop as many superlatives on him as you have, but the bottom line is he competes he plays with some aggression towards our opponent and he's fun to watch. He's a guy I would pay to come see play."

Reynolds gets a lot of attention for his high strikeout total, but his production at the plate has been impressive.

Among NL third basemen, Reynolds is first in homers (18), RBIs (47) and slugging percentage and third in OPS (.904).

Reynolds came up with a pivotal home run last week in Kansas City with a seventh-inning long ball off Zack Greinke. The homer, which spelled the end of the night for the Royals' right-hander, came after Reynolds had fanned in each of his first three at-bats.

"He's one swing away from having a great night every time," Hinch said. "I don't want to put too much on the strikeouts. He won in the long run. He can hurt you in multiple ways. Doing damage late in games after a rough couple of AB's is showing maturity."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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