By: Kelly Byrnes
All-Star voting opens up usually the last week in April every year. Think about that, teams play for about three or four weeks and fans are already starting to decide who is going to be the starters in the All-Star Game that decides who the home team will be in the World Series. That’s just plain crazy to me. I will probably start casting votes around June 1st. So it being in the middle of May now is still way too early for me to vote, but if I were to vote this is who I would go with. Side note: I miss not being able to fill out ballots at the stadium.
First Base: Not a very strong group this year. Goldschmidt and Votto are struggling. Freeman has gotten hot lately but I imagine he won’t see very many pitches this season. I will go with Anthony Rizzo, (.279, 11 HR’s, 33 RBI’s, 1.039 OPS) because the Cubs are this year’s darlings and will probably have at least three starters in the All-Star game.
Second Base: You can go with a number of players at this position this year. Phillips continues to shine with the Reds. Walker has surprised many with his power in New York. Segura is having a resurgence with the D-backs but this was an easy decision for me. I will go with Daniel Murphy. (.403, 5 HR’s, 23 RBI’s, 1.069 OPS). I mean come on the guy is batting .400 so far.
Shortstop: Not a lot to choose from at this position. Corey Seager has really started to heat up so far in May, hitting 4 HR’s in his last five games. However, I will go with Trevor Story, (.281, 11 HR’s, 28 RBI’s, .962 OPS) mostly because of his scorching hot start. He has cooled off a lot and even leads the league in strikeouts.
Third Base: Not much of a decision at third this year but Kris Bryant who is off to a decent start will get a lot of votes because the Cubs are off to such a hot start. I will go with Nolan Arenado, (.315, 13 HR’s, 32 RBI’s, 1.034 OPS). Easily one of the best defenders in the game and plus bat to go with it.
Catcher: Flip a coin, you could go with Wellington Castillo, Jonathan Lucroy, Buster Posey or Wilson Ramos. As of this moment I will go with Wilson Ramos, (.354, 4 HR’s, 14 RBI’s, .944 OPS). My best reason for Ramos right now is that his team is in the best position right now but that could easily change in the next two weeks.
Outfield: In no particular order I will go with Ryan Braun (.367, 7 HR’s, 27 RBI’s, 1.020 OPS), Dexter Fowler (.331, 3 HR’s, 19 RBI’s, .988 OPS) and Bryce Harper (.273, 11 HR’s, 29 RBI’s, 1.088 OPS). This position is most likely to change before I actually vote except for Harper. He could fall flat on his face and still will likely be voted into the All-Star game by the fans.
Pitcher: I know the fans don’t get to vote for the starting pitchers in the All-Star game but it doesn’t seem like it’s that tough of a decision this year. It has to be Jake Arrieta (7-0, 1.29 ERA, 0.839 WHIP 55/18 K/BB) or Clayton Kershaw (5-1, 1.74 ERA, 0.726 WHIP, 77/7 K/BB). As a Dodgers fan I would go with Kershaw but it kind of depends on when their last start will be before the All-Star game.