Logan Morrison's career arc was written by a lot of people shortly after he made his debut for the Marlins in 2010. He was going to be a star.Only thing is, very few players have a straight line from debut to stardom. That's how it has been for Morrison. Scouting
Logan Morrison's career arc was written by a lot of people shortly after he made his debut for the Marlins in 2010. He was going to be a star.
Only thing is, very few players have a straight line from debut to stardom. That's how it has been for Morrison. Scouting reports get around. Injuries happen. But the really good players -- that is, those with talent and drive and a little bit of luck -- eventually figure it out.
Morrison has done just that in his eighth season. Check out his numbers entering Tuesday: 21 home runs, 12 doubles, 47 RBIs, .924 OPS. Among all American League first basemen, he's first in WAR, home runs and RBIs -- and a big reason the Rays have scored the third-most runs in the AL.
Morrison is third in OPS (.924), trailing Oakland's Yonder Alonso (1.016) and Toronto's Justin Smoak (.961). But he has yet to crack the top 5 in AL All-Star voting at first base.
If you're looking at your Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot, would you take a second and third look at Morrison? To make his first All-Star team in the very city where he began his Major League career would be special.
In that spirit, let's look at five other players who could use a boost at the ballot box for the MLB All-Star Game presented by MasterCard on July 11 at Marlins Park:
1. Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox SS
This is the AL's superman position, with Carlos Correa of the Astros, Francisco Lindor of the Indians and others competing for the spotlight. Bogaerts is running fourth in the latest voting, trailing Correa, Lindor and Didi Gregorius of the Yankees. Bogaerts leads AL shortstops in WAR (2.6) and is second to Correa in OPS (.835). He just doesn't have the power of the others, trailing six other AL shortstops with his four home runs.
2. Corey Dickerson, Rays DH
Dickerson is trailing Nelson Cruz and Matthew Holliday in the latest balloting despite having a huge lead in WAR (2.6 to 1.2 for three other players). He's also first in OPS (.941) and doubles, and third in home runs.
3. Aaron Hicks, Yankees OF
He hasn't scratched the top 15 in AL outfield voting despite being second to teammate Aaron Judge in WAR, OPS (.968) and OBP (.413). Similar to Morrison, Hicks had success forecast for him that did not happen overnight, which would make this trip to South Florida even sweeter.
4. Mookie Betts, Red Sox, OF
It's unusual to be plugging a guy who finished second in the AL MVP voting and was an All-Star last season and is widely recognized as one of the best players in the game. Betts' sixth-place standing among AL outfielders in the latest balloting is low. He trails only Judge in Hicks in WAR, but his .843 OPS trails six other AL outfielders, which might be the deciding point. But there probably isn't a better defensive outfielder in the AL, and while he may win games in ways that are hard to measure, his teammates and coaches understand his value.
5. Lorenzo Cain, Royals OF
We don't usually have to campaign for Royals, but Cain isn't in the top 15 despite having one of his best seasons. He's one of baseball's better defensive outfielders and does everything well offensively: 12 doubles, two triples, 10 home runs, 14 stolen bases and an .832 OPS entering Tuesday.
Richard Justice has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2011. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @RichardJustice