Abreu again a Final Vote candidate

Abreu aims to win Final Vote spot once again

TORONTO -- Fans who want to see Bobby Abreu possibly defend his Home Run Derby title better step forward and send the Phillies right fielder to Pittsburgh.

Abreu was selected for the Monster 2006 All-Star Final Vote to name the last member of the National League squad.

"We'll see what happens," Abreu said. "I think I'm having a good season so far. I'll have a couple of days to see if I make it."

Abreu is no stranger to this process, having beaten out Steve Finley, Jason Kendall, Juan Pierre and Aramis Ramirez to earn his way there in 2004. This year, he'll be up against Milwaukee's Chris Capuano, Los Angeles' Nomar Garciaparra, New York's Billy Wagner and San Diego's Chris Young.

Abreu and Garciaparra, who's batting .361, are the only hitters.

Few have forgotten Abreu's historic performance last year in Detroit, when the slugger belted a Derby record 41 homers to win the title, representing Venezuela. The competition might also be interesting if it includes Phillies' teammate Ryan Howard, who earlier was named to his first All-Star squad, though that's an unlikely scenario.

Abreu leads the league in on-base percentage (.441), though his eight homers suggest a power outage this season. Despite that, Abreu still in on pace to drive in about 115 runs. It's going to be tough to beat out Garciaparra, the favorite.

Now in its fifth year, the Monster.com 2006 All-Star Final Vote gives baseball fans around the world the chance to choose the final player on each All-Star team. Balloting began immediately following Sunday's Major League All-Star Selection Show presented by Chevrolet, and continues until 6 p.m. ET Thursday. The winners will be announced on ESPN and MLB.com shortly thereafter.

Fans can vote in two ways -- online now at MLB.com, or on-the-go from their cell phones. Fans can also text the word "VOTE" to 36197 to receive the All-Star Final Vote Candidates sent to your phone. To vote for a specific player, simply reply with your choice. For $.30 per text message vote, fans will have the freedom to vote from wherever they are. Fans can get the mobile ballot now.

The fun doesn't end there. Fans, having already decided the starters and final position player on each team, once again will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player presented by Chevrolet at the 77th All-Star Game via the Monster 2006 All-Star Game MVP Vote on MLB.com.

The All-Star Game, to be held at Pittsburgh's PNC Park on Tuesday, July 11, at 8 p.m. ET, will be televised nationally by FOX Sports and televised around the world by Major League Baseball International. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio coverage, while MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage and MLB Radio will provide exclusive play-by-play coverage of the game on the Internet.

The Phillies had Brett Myers and Billy Wagner on the Final Vote Ballot last season, and both lost to Roy Oswalt. It was Abreu's route in 2004, and the Phillies didn't have any in 2003 or 2002.

Even if elected, Abreu said he put his home run swing away.

"I already did that," he said. "Somebody else can put on that show."

Does he have any tips for Howard?

"No," Abreu said. "He knows how to do it."

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