As June arrives in full force, Major League Baseball revealed the first returns on balloting for the 2013 MLB All-Star Game at Citi Field in New York.
There were very few surprises among the leading vote-getters (we’ll come back to this), but there are also multiple “races” to keep an eye on as the voting pushes toward the July 4th deadline. Here’s a quick look at the leading contenders at each position (with number of votes):
NL – 1) Buster Posey, Giants (1,275,956), 2) Yadier Molina, Cardinals (938,911)
AL – 1) Joe Mauer, Twins (863,450), Matt Wieters, Orioles (715,055)
NL – 1) Joey Votto, Reds (1,044,742), 2) Brandon Belt, Giants (513,371)
AL – 1) Chris Davis, Orioles (1,176,016), 2) Prince Fielder, Tigers (1,059,300)
NL – 1) Brandon Phillips, Reds (1,019,240), 2) Marcu Scutaro (801,754)
AL – 1) Robinson Cano, Yankees (1,235,230), 2) Ian Kinsler, Rangers (656,827)
NL – 1) Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies (1,025,844), 2) Brandon Crawford, Giants (668,140)
AL – 1) Elvis Andrus, Rangers (727,555), 2) JJ Hardy, Orioles (717,103)
NL – 1) Pablo Sandoval, Giants (1,094,475), 2) David Wright, Mets (967,299)
AL – 1) Miguel Cabrera (1,500,165), 2) Manny Machado, Orioles (723,943)
Outfield (Total of 3)
NL – 1) Justin Upton, Braves (1,184,249), 2) Bryce Harper, Nationals (1,182,532), Ryan Braun, Brewers (945,665), Carlos Beltran, Cardinals (847,924), 5) Shin-Soo Choo, Reds (743,755)
AL – 1) Mike Trout, Angels (1,190,676), 2) Adam Jones, Orioles (1,181,875), 3) Torii Hunter, Tigers (761,937), 4) Nelson Cruz, Rangers (712,320), 5) Jose Bautista, Blue Jays (653,475)
Designated Hitter (AL Only)
1) David Ortiz (1,045,283), 2) Lance Berkman, Rangers (672,547)
The leading vote-getters in each each league come with little surprise, as Miguel Cabrera (arguably the game’s best player) leads all players with over 1.5 million votes. In the National league, San Francisco’s Buster Posey takes the early crown with over 1.2 million votes of his own.
Voting trends are always interesting to follow in the MLB All-Star Game, as giant fan bases (see: San Francisco Giants) often pose a threat to the “integrity” of the process. For instance, SS Brandon Crawford currently lands in 2nd place among NL shortstops despite his career .672 OPS and 4th best 2013 WAR. In addition, big name veterans are always prone to grabbing additional votes, which can be illustrated with Torii Hunter (currently 40th among MLB outfielders in WAR) set to start in the American League outfield.
In the end, however, the big names rule the day, as Cabrera, Posey, Mike Trout, Joey Votto, Ryan Braun, Bryce Harper, and Joe Mauer are each slated to start the game. It is important to note that the public doesn’t vote on pitchers, as the first 8 are selected by players, coaches, and managers, before the game’s actual manager selects additional participants.
The “races” to watch include NL 3rd base (between David Wright and the far-less-deserving Pablo Sandoval), AL shortstop (Andrus and Hardy), and AL 1st Base (between breakout stud Chris Davis and Prince Fielder).
Of course, things can change in a hurry with this voting process, but on June 4th, this is where we are. Get out and vote.