Who I am Voting for the MLB All-Star Game (and why)

It is getting closer and closer to baseball’s midsummer’s classic, the MLB All-Star Game.  Now that the league that wins the all-star game does not determine who has home-field advantage in the World Series, the voting from fans does not mean as much.  But this should not stop baseball fans from voting on who they believe is the best player at their respective position in their respective league to play in a game that celebrates baseball’s best players.  With that, I will reveal my all-star picks at each position in each league.

1st Base

  • AL- Jose Abreu, Chicago White Sox
  • NL- Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves

With these picks, I felt they were pretty obvious.  Starting with Abreu, he has a good balance of power, average, and runs batted in.  He is second among qualifying AL first baseman in batting average, and has the most RBIs.  For Freeman, the choice was even more obvious.  The Braves first baseman leads NL first basemen in batting average and RBIs, all while being just 2 homers shy of tying Paul Goldschmidt for first in homers.

2nd Base

  • AL- Jose Altuve, Houston Astros
  • NL- Scooter Gennett, Cincinnati Reds

Altuve may not have the power numbers or the RBI totals that in-division rival Jed Lowrie of Oakland has, but he leads the league in batting average.  He is third among AL second basemen in RBIs, and 7 homers is not anything to be ashamed of either.  He is the perfect overall balance that anyone would want playing second base for them.  For the NL, it was a very close choice between Chicago’s Javier Baez and Cincinnati’s Scooter Gennett.  I ended up choosing Gennett because he is only has 3 less homers than Baez and 4 less RBIs, while having a batting average about 60 points higher than Baez.  Baez’s defensive ability also almost made me pick him over Gennett, but the key difference here was the difference in batting averages.

3rd Base

  • AL- Jose Ramirez, Cleveland Indians
  • NL- Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies

Ramirez was an extremely easy choice, as he is third among AL third basemen in batting average, as well as being 8 home runs ahead of the next closest players.  He also leads AL third basemen in RBIs. Nolan Arenado just beat out Eugenio Suarez of the Reds.  Arenado edged out Suarez in homers and batting average, while Suarez leads the NL in RBIs, with 3 more than Arenado.  You truly could not go wrong with voting for either.

Catcher

  • AL- Wilson Ramos, Tampa Bay Rays
  • NL- J.T. Realmuto, Miami Marlins

I went with an all-Florida all-star catching tangent for this year.  Both catcher lead their respective leagues in batting average for catchers.  Ramos is second among AL catchers in RBIs, while  Realmuto is tied for second among NL catchers in RBIs.  Realmuto is also just one homer shy of tying for first among NL catchers with Yadier Molina and Yasmani Grandal.

Shortstop

  • AL- Jean Segura, Seattle Mariners
  • NL- Brandon Crawford, San Francisco Giants

I went with an outside choice of picking Jean Segura over Manny Machado for this spot.  Both are very deserving, but I picked Jean Segura for his batting average that is competing with Jose Altuve and Mookie Betts for the best in the entire league. But Segura’s batting average isn’t the only thing competing with something Astros-related; the Mariners as a team are hanging tough with the Astros in the AL West, and currently hold a wild card spot. The Orioles are in dead last in the entire league; now, this is NOT Manny Machado’s fault at all, but Segura’s presence is felt a lot more in Seattle, and it reflects in the standings.  In the NL, Trevor Story gets my pick due to his huge lead among RBIs and homers among NL shortstops. His batting average is- well, average- but serviceable due to his power numbers.  Story is only one RBI behind Scooter Gennett for tying the NL lead in RBIs as well.  Lastly, his 10 stolen bases has him as third among NL shortstops.

Designated Hitter

  • J.D. MartinezBoston Red Sox

J.D. Martinez is a clear runaway for this spot.  Best batting average, most homers, most RBIs, and is a huge offensive contributor to the best team when it comes to win percentage (as of Friday morning).  Obviously, there is no DH in the NL.

Outfield (listed in no particular order)

  • AL- Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox; Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels; Eddie Rosario, Minnesota Twins
  • NL- Matt Kemp, Los Angeles DodgersNick Markakis, Atlanta Braves; Obduel Herrera, Philadelphia Phillies

Betts is second in the entire league in batting average, behind only the reigning MVP Jose Altuve.  Mookie also is second among AL outfielders in homers. He is another big reason for Boston’s first half success.  Mike Trout continues to do Mike Trout things, as leads outfielders in homers, as well as being tied for second in the whole league in long balls.  Trout also has a .320 batting average.  Lastly on the AL side, Eddie Rosario has quietly had a solid season for the struggling Minnesota Twins. He has a solid batting average that is over .300 in over 300 at bats, while being tied for fourth among AL outfielders in home runs with 17.

In the NL, Matt Kemp has had one of his best seasons so far in his return to the Dodgers.  Although he has cooled off in the past couple weeks, he is tied for second among NL outfielders in batting average.  He has good power numbers as well, with 13 homers, and is second among NL outfielders in RBIs with 47. Nick Markakis has the best average by 20 points among NL outfielders, and his 50 RBIs also leads NL outfielders.  Odubel Herrera has put together a solid 2018 campaign, owning a .294 batting average, with 13 homers and 45 RBIs.

 

So these are my picks and reasons as of Friday morning.  One thing to note is that I do not have a single Yankee, Cub, Brewer, or Diamondback on my list for position players.  All four teams are currently playoff teams, with the Yankees having the second-best winning percentage as going into Friday.  I did not purposely do this, I just felt that often times these teams had the second or third best player in multiple positions.  One more note; the fans cannot vote for pitchers, so I did not include them on this list.  I will make a different article based just on pitchers alone.

Do you agree? Disagree?  Comment who you think should make the MLB All-Star Game in July.

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