By Michael Luker: We are now past the midpoint of June, and you know what that means baseball fans! All-Star voting is officially open. Now, some fans may ponder in the vast pool of popularity and use All-Star voting as just a convenience just to vote in players with prominent name value and immense acclaim, looking at you Bryce Harper fans. In the words of Red Sox SS Xander Bogarts, “All-Star Voting is getting kind of annoying.” Fortuitously, our very own Michael Luker is here to set the record straight by wiping out the contest of popularity and addressing who truly deserves the title of being a 2019 MLB All-Star.
*Stats as of June 23rd, 2019
1) Gary Sanchez NYY (1,357,340) .260 BA 20 HR .937 OPS
2) James McCann CHW (580,349) .324 BA 6 HR .883 OPS
3) Robinson Chirinos HOU (487,686) .241 BA 12 HR .884 OPS
My Vote: Gary Sanchez
The young MLB season has brought the Yankees nothing short of an injury bug due as guys like Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton have been limited to playing just a combined 32 games. Despite those injuries, the Yankees have stayed relevant amongst the MLB ranks as they lead the AL East, all thanks to the superlative play of Gary Sanchez. Sanchez has smashed 20 homers (2nd in AL) while hitting a solid 32 RBI’s in total.
1) Willson Contreras CHC (1,555,490) .287 BA 13 HR .916 OPS
2) Brian McCann ATL (725,484) .303 BA 7 HR .884 OPS
3) Yasmani Grandal MIL (513,412) .287 BA 15 HR .921 OPS
My Vote: Yasmani Grandal
Yasmani Grandal may never get the attention he deserves due to the fact that he plays for a small market team, but that does not sell him short of elite status. Grandal is currently batting a hyper-efficient .287 average, as well as hitting 15 home runs 40 RBI’s. Grandal has served a huge role in putting the NL Central leading Brewers in the position they are currently.
1) Luke Voit NYY (696,164) .265 BA 17 HR .887 OPS
2) CJ Cron MIN (586,303) .275 BA 15 HR .871 OPS
3) Carlos Santana CLE (530,836) .287 BA 14 HR .921 OPS
My Vote: Carlos Santana
Carlos Santana is easily the best First Basemen in the AL in my opinion. His votes may not be there, but his offensive numbers say otherwise. Santana is currently batting a staggering .287 and leads all AL First Basemen in OPS (.921). His increase in production is obviously because of how much production the Indians lost in the offseason, but boy has he made up for it with his ground-breaking efficiency.
1) Josh Bell PIT (1,106,186) .321 BA 19 HR 1.041 OPS
2) Freddie Freeman ATL (1,022,535) .313 BA 19 HR .995 OPS
3) Anthony Rizzo CHC (948,047) .283 BA 19 HR .952 OPS
My Vote: Josh Bell
This may be the tightest race in all of the votings this year. Josh Bell has had an amazing first half of 2019, but so has Freddie Freeman. Despite Freddie Freeman’s efforts, my vote goes to Josh Bell. Bell has carried the Pirates offensively and the young 26 year old is tearing up the league with his league-leading 66 RBI’s and his preposterous 0.321 BA (top 10 in MLB). Don’t be surprised to see Freeman win in the final voting stages, but Pittsburgh’s budding superstar is having an absolutely marvelous season.
1) Tommy La Stella LAA (1,020,912) .296 BA 15 HR .869 OPS
2) Jose Altuve* HOU (923,117) .243 BA 9 HR .801 OPS (*injured since May 10th)
3) DJ LeMahieu NYY (734,074) .311 BA 8 HR .814 OPS
My Vote: Tommy La Stella
For years, the LA Angels have continuously looked for supporting stars to help out Mike Trout, and all though the playoffs still seem far fetched for the Angels, Tommy La Stella has been one of the biggest surprise stars this season. His batting average has gone up nearly .03% from a year ago. He has already tripled his previous career high in HR’s (5), and he’s nearly doubled his career high in RBI’s (22). It remains questionable if La Stella can continue his stellar play, but so far, La Stella has been nothing short of an All-Star.
1) Ozzie Albies ATL (1,011,032) .286 BA 11 HR .821 OPS
2) Mike Moustakas MIL (966,391) .280 21 HR .932 OPS
3) Ketel Marte ARI (554,524) .286 BA 20 HR .906 OPS
My Vote: Mike Moustakas
This is quietly one of the hardest choices for voters this year. All three have been great, but Mike Moustakas has been phenomenal. Moustakas is on pace for 42+ home runs this year along with a .280 BA, not to mention his extremely high OPS for a second baseman.
1) Alex Bregman HOU (1,322,935) .265 BA 19 HR .927 OPS
2) Gio Urshela NYY (502,614) .306 5 HR .817 OPS
3) Hunter Dozier KCR (424,028) .314 BA 11 HR .987 OPS
My Vote: Alex Bregman
Despite the amazing season for Hunter Dozier, my vote goes to Alex Bregman for many reasons. The young 25 year old has hit an astounding 19 homers (leads all 3rd Basemen) along with a solid .265 BA. Bregman also ranks in the top 10 in the MLB in WAR with a high 3.7.
1) Nolan Arenado COL (1,475,825) .321 BA 17 HR .956 OPS
2) Kris Bryant CHC (850,758) .274 BA 15 HR .933 OPS
3) Josh Donaldson ATL (550,947) .255 12 HR .831 OPS
My Vote: Nolan Arenado
Arenado is the clear and obvious front runner here. The combination of his superb efficiency and his exceptional productivity backs that up. Arenado ranks top 10 in the MLB in Batting Average as well as top 3 in the MLB in RBI’s.
1) Jorge Polanco MIN (818,082) .332 BA 10 HR .949 OPS
2) Carlos Correa* HOU (656,995) .295 BA 11 HR .907 OPS (*Injured since 5/29)
3) Gleyber Torres NYY (565,728) .282 BA 15 HR .857 OPS
My Vote: Jorge Polanco
Polanco is quietly having an MVP caliber season. Polanco’s enormous amount of growth has been a huge explanation for the Twins surprising success. The potential first time All-Star is already one home run away from doubling his total from last year (6).
1) Javier Baez CHC (1,672,062) .286 BA 17 HR .868 OPS
2) Dansby Swanson ATL (764,663) .261 BA 13 HR .795 OPS
3) Corey Seager LAD (494,546) .278 BA 8 HR .828 OPS
My Vote: Javier Baez
Baez typically gets thrown into the label of being called overrated, but his favorable statistics will prove those naysayers wrong. After leading the league in RBI’s a year ago, the young star has continued his solid production. Baez sits in the top 20 in WAR and top 25 in Home runs.
1) Mike Trout LAA (1,904,273) .296 BA 20 HR 1.096 OPS
2) George Springer HOU (1,495,817) .308 BA 17 HR 1.032 OPS
3) Michael Brantley HOU (924,173) .309 BA 10 HR .872 OPS
4) Austin Meadows TBR (887,946) .314 BA 12 HR .961 OPS
5) Mookie Betts BOS (777,642) .266 BA 11 HR .838 OPS
6) Eddie Rosario MIN (687,515) .258 19 HR .802 OPS
7) Aaron Judge NYY (577,640) .288 BA 5 HR .925 OPS
8) Joey Gallo TEX (537,934) .276 BA 17 HR 1.074 OPS
9) Josh Reddick HOU (511,903) .300 8 HR .785 OPS
My Votes: Mike Trout, George Springer and Austin Meadows.
The first vote here is far from rocket science, Mike Trout has had yet another spectacular season. The seven time All-Star places top 3 in WAR along with his top 10 total in RBI’s and top 15 total in Home Runs. George Springer has also had himself another strong first half of the season. The former World Series MVP holds a quality 0.308 BA along with hitting a solid 17 home runs. Another Houston Astro Michael Brantley has also been nothing short of elite as his 0.309 BA and his 0.872 OPS prove that label right.
1) Cody Bellinger LAD (2,184,251) .355 BA 23 HR 1.153 OPS
2) Christian Yelich MIL (2,065,382) .342 BA 26 HR 1.183 OPS
3) Ronald Acuna ATL (1,229,200) .301 BA 17 HR .899 OPS
4) Albert Almora CHC (645,291) .251 BA 7 HR .701 OPS
5) Jason Heyward CHC (614,823) .249 BA 10 HR .763 OPS
6) Nick Markakis ATL (614,358) .275 BA 6 HR .784 OPS
7) Joc Pederson LAD (598,909) .234 BA 18 HR .892 OPS
8) Kyle Schwarber CHC (585,997) .233 BA 15 HR .797 OPS
9) Charlie Blackmon COL (530,342) .336 BA 16 HR 1.037 OPS
My Votes: Cody Bellinger, Christian Yelich and Ronald Acuna.
These three stars seem like the overt front runners. The young Cody Bellinger has taken a massive leap of development and has had an MVP caliber season. Bellinger leads the MLB in Batting Average by a landslide as well as landing in the top 5 in RBI’s. The former MVP Yelich has clearly continued his superstar production. He ranks second in the MLB in Batting Average and ranks top 5 in OPS. Ronald Acuna has changed his label from a budding superstar to a solidified superstar in 2019. His Batting Average has spiked up to .301 with 17 home runs to show for.
1) J.D. Martinez BOS (893,689) .292 BA 16 HR .912 OPS
2) Hunter Pence TEX (602,766) .294 BA 15 HR .962 OPS
3) Nelson Cruz MIN (506,211) .278 BA 13 HR .926 OPS
My Vote: Hunter Pence
Hunter Pence’s unforeseen comeback to prominence has been one of the best stories in baseball this year. After guiding the San Francisco Giants to three world series titles in the early 2010’s, the former star somewhat disappeared. But this season, he has seemed to gain his confidence back. His batting average has risen greatly from 0.226 on 0.294. He has hit 15 home runs which is already the most he ever hit since 2014.