MLB All-Star Election Day: What You Need to Know
Image courtesy of © Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY SportsVoting Changes
Major League Baseball altered their voting process for the 2019 All-Star Game. Two phases of voting are being held, “The Primary” and “The Starters Election.” Fans remain in charge of selecting the All-Star starters, but this new process allows for more fan involvement in an Election Day (that’s today). All the pitchers and reserve position players will continue to be chosen through Player Ballots and selections from the Commissioner’s Office.
The Primary Round concluded last Friday to narrow the ballot to the top three vote-getters at each position (including nine outfielders). “The Starters Election” will take the top vote getters from “The Primary” and open an all-out voting war. Starting at 11 am CST today (June 26), fans will have 28-hours to vote for the starters. There is only ONE vote per platform - http://www.twinsbaseball.com/vote and Google.
Possible Twins Starters
CJ Cron finished in the top-3 in a tightly contested vote at first base. According to FanGraphs WAR, he doesn’t rank in the top-5 among AL first baseman. New York’s Luke Voit was leading all first basemen, so it could be another case of a Twins player losing to a Yankee. When it comes to the top candidate, Carlos Santana has put together some strong numbers and the game is being played in his home stadium. It would make sense for him to represent his club at the event. Cron has been swinging a very hot bat over the last week and this could help him in the voting.
Who Should Win? Santana
Who Will Win? Voit
Shortstop might be Minnesota’s best chance to land a starter at the All-Star Game. Jorge Polanco lead all American League shortstops in the Primary Vote, and he is having an MVP caliber first half. He leads the AL in batting average, and he’s been one of the best hitters in a potent Twins line-up. Francisco Lindor is one of the ambassadors for the All-Star Game, but he couldn’t sneak onto the ballot. Polanco is going to have some tough competition from Houston’s Carlos Correa and New York’s Gleyber Torres. Correa is on the injured list so that might take him out of the running. Fans might be more attracted to Torres and his 18 home runs than Polanco and his overall numbers.
Who Should Win? Polanco
Who Will Win? Polanco
Minnesota fell just 138 votes short of placing two outfielders into the top-9 for the Starters Election. An argument could be made for all three outfielders to be on the ballot. Among AL outfielders, Max Kepler only trails Mike Trout in FanGraphs WAR. Eddie Rosario has some more popular numbers on the ballot with his high home run total and high OPS. This still probably won’t be enough to get him into the top-3. Last year’s AL MVP Mookie Betts and George Springer, the 2017 World Series MVP, will also do well in the Final Vote. New York’s Aaron Judge just came back from injury, but his superstar status in the biggest MLB market could help his final vote total.
Who Should Win? Trout, Betts, Kepler (even though he’s not on the ballot)
Who Will Win? Trout, Betts, Springer
Nelson Cruz might also have a shot at winnings a starters spot since there is not clear-cut favorite for the DH role. It be elected Cruz is going to have to beat out Boston’s J.D. Martinez and Texas’ Hunter Pence. Recently, Pence was placed on the DL with a groin strain, so it might come down to Martinez versus Cruz. Martinez has his lowest OPS since 2015 with Detroit. Ironically, that was the only time he was named to the All-Star Game. Cruz is a six-time All-Star and he has been elected in five of the last six seasons. As a Twins fan, it’s hard not to consider the impact Cruz has had on the Twins line-up. He and Martinez have almost identical OPS totals so it will be interesting to see who the fans eventually select.
Who Should Win? Cruz
Who Will Win? Martinez
Minnesota has been having a great first half. Make sure to get out and vote for the Twins players above to be All-Star starters.