Major League Baseball: AL All-Star Update, Are the Fans Right?
Earlier this week, the voting for the National League squad for the 2017 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was updated. Now, we have the numbers on the American League team. When rosters are finalized, the two will square off in the 88th Midsummer Classic at Marlins Park on July 11.
The fans get to decide who makes the team, which often leads to some snubs and surprises. With less than a month until the final votes are tallied, let’s take a look at who is leading the way at each position, and if they belong there.
- Salvador Perez – Royals: 692,867 votes
- Welington Castillo – Orioles: 543,146 votes
- Brian McCann – Astros: 512,077
This one’s tough, as no one has really blown anyone away this year. Out in front is Royals’ Salvador Perez, who’s slashing .254/.289/.462 with 11 homers and 31 RBI. Not the greatest numbers, much like the rest of the Royals, but Perez has much more to offer than most catchers. He’s a perennial Gold Glove contender, a team leader, and a fan favorite. Welington Castillo (.317/.339/.467, 4 HR, 17 RBI) isn’t far behind, as he continues to perform well for his new team. McCann and Gary Sanchez are putting together respectable seasons of their own, but currently, the right man is in the lead at catcher.
- Miguel Cabrera – Tigers: 465,826 votes
- Yonder Alonso – Athletics: 433,570 votes
- Carlos Santana – Indians: 420,336 votes
It’s hard to ever vote against Miggy, one of the best hitters of our time, but currently, he’s not the most deserving player to start at first for the AL. That honor should go to Yonder Alonso, who is having a breakout year with the A’s. He’s slashing .303/.398/.678 with 16 homers and 34 RBI, compared to Cabrera’s .274/.378/.433, five homers, and 26 RBI. Will Miggy finish the season with better numbers? Probably, but the All-Star game is called the Midsummer Classic for a reason. The best player at first base two months into the season is Yonder Alonso.
- Jose Altuve – Astros: 998,107 votes
- Starlin Castro – Yankees: 778,699 votes
- Jason Kipnis – Indians: 402,228 votes
Starlin Castro is putting up All-Star numbers, but unfortunately, he has to compete with one of the best all-around players in the game, Jose Altuve. Castro led the way after the last update, but this time around it’s Altuve on top. The Astros have been absolutely on fire, and Altuve has been a huge reason why. He’s hitting .326 with eight homers, 28 RBI, and 11 stolen bases, while playing his usual Gold Glove defense at second. Like the Astros, Altuve is going to be hard to catch, and should deservingly start at second for the AL.
- Miguel Sano – Twins: 638,952 votes
- Jose Ramirez – Indians: 541,040 votes
- Manny Machado – Orioles: 520,116 votes.
Manny Machado is great, but he hasn’t shown it so far this season. The fact that he was the leader at third in last week’s update was head scratching, but nonetheless, the right man is at the top. The baseball world is finally waking up to the Twins’ Miguel Sano, who has been crushing the ball the past two months. He’s hit 14 bombs, knocked in 43 RBI and has an impressive 1.016 OPS. Sano has always had All-Star talent, and he’s off to the start he needed to get that first All-Star selection.
- Francisco Lindor – Indians: 842,166 votes
- Carlos Correa – Astros: 662,124 votes
- Didi Gregorius – Yankees: 397,326 votes
Shortstop is arguably the position with the most talent in the AL, making it hard to choose a favorite. Francisco Lindor has a sizeable lead over Carlos Correa, but it’s actually the latter who is off to the better start. Correa is slashing .310/.388/.532 with 11 homers and 39 RBI for the first-place Astros. He’s doing it somewhat under the radar, as his entire team is performing out of their minds. Lindor’s average is a bit down, .268, but his 12 homers lead the position. Lindor is one of the game’s best all-around players, but the starting shortstop spot should go to Carlos Correa.
- Nelson Cruz – Mariners: 615,955 votes
- Matt Holliday – Yankees: 460,355 votes
- Edwin Encarnacion – Indians: 447,275 votes
Nelson Cruz holds a sizeable lead over his competition. He’s hitting .297 with 14 homers and his 45 RBI lead the league. Cruz has hit when it mattered and has been a powerful force in the Mariners’ offense. That’s not to say there’s not a lot to like about the other candidates. Matt Holliday is putting together a great comeback season. In third place is Edwin Encarnacion, but Corey Dickerson is about a thousand votes away from the Indian’s slugger. Cruz is the right choice at DH, but I expect Dickerson to make a push towards the top before voting concludes.
- Aaron Judge – Yankees: 1,251,543 votes
- Mike Trout – Angels: 1,155,356 votes
- Michael Brantley – Indians: 554,620 votes
- Mookie Betts – Red Sox: 519,146 votes
- Avisail Garcia – White Sox: 479,349 votes
Injured or not, it takes a lot to collect more votes than the game’s best player, Mike Trout. But that’s exactly what Aaron Judge has done and with good reason. Judge is hitting .324, leading the league in homers, 18, and runs, 44, has knocked in 41 RBI, and has a 1.110 OPS. Needless to say, Judge has been incredible. There’s no surprise that he has the most votes out of everyone. Before hurting his thumb, Trout was doing Trout things and is well deserving of a vote. He’s said that he wants to make it back and play in the All-Star Game. While that’s yet to be seen, he’ll earn another All-Star selection for sure. Michael Brantley is picking up where he left off before the injury, and Mookie Betts is starting to catch fire in Boston.
Fans can, and should, keep voting until the ballot closes on Thursday, June 29 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Stay tuned for more updates until then!