MLB: NL All-Star Update, Are the Fans Right?
2017’s Major League Baseball All-Star Game is just around the corner. With about a month until the gates at Miami Park open to the public, the votes to see who makes the team are rolling in. As always, there will be favorites and there will be snubs. The All-Star rosters are solely in the hands of the fans every year. While this always leads to some controversy, it also makes for some interesting storylines.
Now that the All-Star Game no longer has World Series implications, there’s really no harm in who makes the teams and who doesn’t. We all want to see our favorite players represent their teams, but it’s also important to give your vote to the most deserving players. Here’s how I think the fans are doing in terms of voting.
- Buster Posey – Giants: 917,359 votes
- Willson Contreras – Cubs: 511,029 votes
- Yadier Molina – Cardinals: 478, 406 votes
No surprise here. Buster Posey has been the best catcher in the game since his debut in 2009. The four-time All-Star is arguably off to the best start of his career. He’s slashing .343/.439/.512 with seven homers. He’s walked more times than he’s struck out, 25 to 17. Despite the Giants’ struggles, Posey is having an MVP caliber season, and there’s no surprise that he’s the top vote-getter at catcher.
- Ryan Zimmerman – Nationals: 670,671 votes
- Anthony Rizzo – Cubs: 657,702 votes
- Freddie Freeman – Braves: 401,982 votes
Probably the most surprising race on the roster, the starting spot at first is still up for grabs. Before a hand injury sidelined him, it looked to be a race between Freddie Freeman and Anthony Rizzo. Instead, it’s a race between Anthony Rizzo and Ryan Zimmerman. Zimmerman, who’s well on his way to a Comeback Player of the Year award, as well as some other hardware, is putting together the best season of his career. His .374 average ranks best in the majors, while his 16 homers and 48 RBI ranks best in the NL. He’ll have to fight off Cubs fans voting for Rizzo, but right now the right man is leading the way at first base.
- Daniel Murphy – Nationals: 1,149,130 votes
- Javier Baez – Cubs: 715,928 votes
- Brandon Phillips – Braves: 185,862 votes
So far, so good. Daniel Murphy has a huge lead over Javier Baez, and with good reason. He’s batting .340 with ten homers and 40 RBI. The two-time All-Star has been a huge piece of the National’s stacked lineup and is well on his way to a third All-Star selection. Baez is off to a decent start himself, .270/.299/.806, but has virtually no chance of catching Murphy.
- Kris Bryant – Cubs: 895,752 votes
- Nolan Arenado – Rockies: 613,571 votes
- Justin Turner – Dodgers: 362, 952 votes
Third base is where we find our first bit of controversy, rightfully so seeing as it’s arguably the position with the most talent. Leading the voting is reigning NL MVP Kris Bryant, who’s slashing .268/.387/.525 with 12 homers and 24 RBI. Arenado, who has Bryant beat in nearly every offensive category, sits more than 250k votes behind the leader. His .289/.352/.569 slash line, 14 homers and 39 RBI doesn’t blow Bryant away by any means. Bryant’s, and the Cubs’, 2016 season has helped his cause. Nonetheless, this will certainly be a race to watch as we get closer to the mid-summer classic.
- Corey Seager – Dodgers: 604,783 votes
- Zack Cozart – Reds: 547,750 votes
- Addison Russell – Cubs: 537,688 votes
Reigning Rookie of the Year, Corey Seager, leads the voting, but Zack Cozart is having the best year at shortstop in the NL. Cozart is batting .344 with nine homers and 33 RBI and is one of the biggest surprises in all of baseball this year. Playing for the last place Reds hasn’t helped Cozart’s notoriety, but he’s already made progress. He’s cut the gap between him and Seager to less than 60,000 votes in just a week and will continue to creep closer in the coming weeks. Cozart, not Seager, will start at shortstop for the NL All-Star team.
- Bryce Harper – Nationals: 1,459,235 votes
- Charlie Blackmon – Rockies: 979,961 votes
- Jason Heyward – Cubs: 498,079 votes
- Ben Zobrist – Cubs: 472,114 votes
- Matt Kemp – Braves: 457,586 votes
There’s not really much to say about Bryce Harper and Charlie Blackmon. They’re one and two in the voting, and absolutely should be. The next two are, well, all wrong. Heyward, who is slashing .258/.319/.404 and Zobrist, .233/.341/.409, have no business being in the top five. Cubs fans may have gotten a little trigger happy on this one, as there are plenty of more deserving candidates across the board. For starters, Matt Kemp is off to one of the best starts of his career. He’s batting .334 with ten homers and 30 RBI. Kemp has been more than deserving of his third All-Star selection, and hopefully he’ll get there before rosters are finalized. Next is Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton. It’s a bit surprising that Stanton hasn’t collected more votes, seeing as he would be playing in front of his home crowd. His numbers are great as well, slashing .290/.362/.570 with 15 homers and 39 RBI. We’ll undoubtedly see Stanton participate in the Home Run Derby, and hopefully his All-Star weekend doesn’t end there.
Fans can vote online until Thursday, June 29, at 11:59 p.m. ET. The 2017 MLB All-Star Game will take place at Marlins Park in Miami on July 11.