CHICAGO -- The Cubs' Starlin Castro may be headed to his second straight All-Star Game.
Castro was third among National League shortstops in the latest All-Star balloting, released Tuesday, and is the only Cubs player in the top five at any position.
The Cardinals' Rafael Furcal leads all NL shortstops with 2,323,486 votes, followed by the Rockies' Troy Tulowitzki, who has 2,064,021. Castro is third with 1,395,820 votes.
The Cubs shortstop has the most multihit games in the NL since 2011, with 85, and has started all 73 games this season. This year, he ranks among the top-15 batters in the NL with a .301 batting average, and was tied for third in multihit games with the Braves' Martin Prado.
Castro, 22, was the Cubs' lone All-star representative last year, and was the youngest player in franchise history to make the game.
"I want to be there," Castro said of the All-Star Game. "That's why I want to be hot this homestand and this series. It's important. That's one of my goals -- to make the All-Star Game every year."
Fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- online or via your mobile device -- using the 2012 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot until Thursday at 10:59 p.m. CT.Fans can also once again participate in the State Farm Home Run Derby Fan Poll. Fans will have the opportunity to select three players in each league who they would most like to see participate in the State Farm Home Run Derby. The 2012 State Farm Home Run Derby -- part of Gatorade All-Star Workout Day -- will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio in the United States beginning at 7 p.m. CT on Monday, July 9. The 2012 American League and National League All-Star teams will be unveiled on Sunday on the 2012 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show, televised nationally on TBS. Baseball fans around the world will then be able to select the final player on each team via the 2012 All-Star Game Final Vote on MLB.com. And the voting doesn't end there. The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again have fans participating in the official voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com via the 2012 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote, and their voice will represent 20 percent of the official vote determining the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy. The 2012 All-Star Game will be played at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City on Tuesday, July 10. Come to MLB.com for extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities. The 83rd All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and Sirius XM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com or royals.com/asg.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter@CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.