FanPost

My All-Star Game Ballot

I couldn't decide which way to structure this post, so I decided to just write this as if it was my running thought process as I filled out a ballot as honestly as I possibly could (very difficult not to write-in Blake Swihart for LF) using the structure that MLB.com uses, position by position as opposed to league by league.

FIRST BASE:

AMERICAN LEAGUE: Yonder Alonso, OAK

The Athletics and Rays have had very little to cheer about this season. Wait...the Rays are still in it? Meh, it's still early, they'll figure out the whole losing thing. Ultimately this pick came down to Logan Morrison, who is smacking the ball all over the yard with 21 home runs in Tampa, and Yonder Alonso, who is doing much the same in Oakland. I give the edge to Alonso for having a higher batting average (.302 to .245) and for doing it on a team with little-to-no hope. He carries a slim lead over fan favorite Miguel Cabrera.

NATIONAL LEAGUE: Paul Goldschmidt, ARI

For me this was a 3 horse race between Goldschmidt, Ryan Zimmerman, and Joey Votto. Any of the first three would be fair selections, as they are all playing well. The main difference? Goldschmidt has 13 stolen bases. Zimmerman and Votto have 3 combined. This is my criterion.

SECOND BASE:

AL: Jose Altuve, HOU

Hard to argue with a .331 batting average, stellar defense, and a significant height disadvantage. If he was 6' tall he'd probably be batting .400. Okay, fine I apologize, his height wouldn't affect his average that much...maybe .395.

NL: Daniel Murphy, WAS

Hard to argue with a .345 batting average, good defense, and no height disadvantage. If he was 6' tall he'd probably be batting...well, .345. Shout-out to Dee Gordon here, hitting nearly .300 with 25 stolen bases, great season down in Miami.

SHORTSTOP:

AL: Carlos Correa, HOU

This is the first place I gave a Red Sock (Red Sox? Red Sox player?) very serious consideration. Xander deserves to be an All-Star, and I would love to see him start the game. But Correa has been the better player everywhere except for batting average, and even then he's only .014 lower than X-man. It'll be fun to see him and Altuve turning double plays against the game's best.

NL: Trea Turner, WAS

No runaway candidate in the National League, at least not figuratively. In a literal sense, Trea Turner has stolen the position. 25 steals are 17 more than the next best shortstop, and with no other standouts I give him the nod. Runner up to Seager in Los Angeles.

THIRD BASE:

AL: Miguel Sano, MIN

Minnesota is giving Cleveland a run for their money in the central, and Sano has been a key player in their run. His numbers are very similar to Moustakas in KC, but edge to Sano for team performance and inhuman power.

NL: Nolan Arenado, COL

Colorado finds themselves at the top of their division, and Arenado has been nothing short of his excellent self. Special consideration given to Travis Shaw for old-times-sake, but Arenado has been too good to keep him from starting. Also worth mentioning Eduardo Nunez, who could be having one of the most impressive seasons in baseball despite playing for one of baseball's worst teams.

CATCHER:

AL: Salvador Perez, KC

Ho hum. He's great and things. Gary Sanchez is a solid candidate, but his return to earth gives the edge to the battle-tested veteran.

NL: Buster Posey, SF

.352 through 210 AB. Not too shabby. Yadi Molina is honestly my preference, but Posey has earned it on a team that can't seem to buy wins. Plus, he's a fan favorite.

DESIGNATED HITTER:

AL: Albert Pujols, LAA

There are many worthy candidates, including Corey Dickerson, Nelson Cruz, Ryon Healy, and Encarnacion, among others. But this season from Pujols has been fun to follow, including his grand slam to reach 600 career home runs. Edge to the man, er...machine, with history in the books.

OUTFIELD:

AL: Aaron Judge, NYY; Mike Trout, LAA; George Springer, HOU; Mookie Betts(Fill-in for Trout), BOS

For me, the top three are pretty clear. Judge has been ridiculous, Trout is the best player in baseball, and Springer has been crushing the ball in Houston. With Trout on the shelf, I fill in my first (and only) Red Sock, our good friend Mookie Betts. Betts leads the second-tier of outfielders this season, and has been improving of late. With a healthy Trout Mookie is 4th best, but because Trout is sidelined Mookie fills in.

NL: Charlie Blackmon, COL; Marcell Ozuna, MIA; Bryce Harper, WAS

Blackmon should be squarely in the MVP debate in the NL, leading Colorado to one of the more surprising starts in MLB. Ozuna is having a solid season in Miami, hitting .324 with 18 dingers as of this writing. Harper should really be on the ballot as an auto-fill candidate, he's the second best player in baseball and is playing like it. Honorable mention to Billy Hamilton, 29 stolen bases to lead the planet. All three find themselves in the top 6 in voting.

Summary:

American National
First Base: Y. Alonso, OAK P. Goldschmidt, ARI
Second Base: J. Altuve, HOU D. Murphy, WAS
Shortstop: C. Correa, HOU T. Turner, WAS
Third Base: M. Sano, MIN N. Arenado, COL
Catcher: S. Perez, KC B. Posey, SF
Designated Hitter: A. Pujols, LAA
Outfield: A. Judge, NYY C. Blackmon, COL
G. Springer, HOU M. Ozuna, MIA
M. Betts, BOS B. Harper, WAS

The Red Sox have other candidates for the team, mainly two pitchers in Sale and Kimbrel, but that decision comes down to the league and fellow players. Bogaerts could also make the team, but won't be the starting shortstop.

BONUS: I will also include who I'd like to see in the Home Run Derby, because OOLF didn't ask and he simply must have meant to (or he's saving it for another Friday, who knows).

HOME RUN DERBY:

AL: Aaron Judge, NYY; Miguel Sano, MIN; Joey Gallo, TEX; Albert Pujols, LAA

These guys can rake. Pujols as a nostalgia pick, much like his selection as my DH.

NL: Eric Thames, MIL; Cody Bellinger, LAD; Giancarlo Stanton, MIA; Nolan Arenado, COL

Thames will be drug tested after the event, win-lose-or-draw. The other three represent young, exciting players with serious power.

For what it's worth (not much), Sano over Thames in the final.