I'm personally at peace with the popularity contest that is the fan vote for the Midsummer Classic. I think it's great that fans can use the Esurance MLB All-Star Ballot to make their feelings known, and I'm not one of those people who gets overly hot and bothered over the
I'm personally at peace with the popularity contest that is the fan vote for the Midsummer Classic. I think it's great that fans can use the Esurance MLB All-Star Ballot to make their feelings known, and I'm not one of those people who gets overly hot and bothered over the starting lineups.
Sure, there are moments that make you pause -- like when the Royals were on track to field every American League position last year -- but usually things stabilize. Generally speaking, the fans get it right.
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With all that said, there are always at least a handful snubs or surprises.
Here are some players who I think were curiously low (or absent) in the latest voting updates. All stats are entering Friday.
1. Wilson Ramos, Nationals, C
.339/.388/.568, 11 HR, 11 2B, 38 RBI
National League catcher is the source of two significant snubs at the moment. Jonathan Lucroy is also having a better statistical season than leading vote-getter Yadier Molina, and he just barely snuck into the top five this week after not appearing at all the week prior. We don't necessarily know if Lucroy will still be with the Brewers by the All-Star break, yet we can certainly suggest he should be at the game.
But in trailing Molina by about 130,000 votes in the latest count, Ramos probably has the better shot to actually make a run at the top spot. And there's an easy argument that he should: Ramos leads all qualified NL catchers in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, home runs and RBIs.
2. Ian Kinsler, Tigers, 2B
.312/.366/.538, 14 HR, 14 2B, 7 SB, 45 RBI
He's second among AL second baseman in average, second in homers, second in RBIs, third in slugging, second in both the Baseball Reference-calculated WAR (3.3) and FanGraphs' WAR (2.8).
I'm not saying that should vault Kinsler ahead of Jose Altuve for the AL's starting spot. But you'd think he could at least collect more votes than Omar Infante, who the Royals designated for assignment on Wednesday. At last count, Kinsler barely had more than half of Infante's vote total.
3. Ian Desmond, Rangers, OF
.314/.364/.504, 10 HR, 18 2B, 12 SB, 44 RBI
Desmond had 414,031 votes at last count, placing him 11th among AL outfielders and far behind Lorenzo Cain (1,146,885) for the third starting outfield spot.
Desmond is one of the season's great stories. Because he was attached to Draft pick compensation and was coming off a rough year, no team would touch him this offseason. He finally found opportunity with Texas, but only on the condition that he move from shortstop to the left field. Then a need arose in center, and Desmond has handled that transition with aplomb. Meanwhile, he's first among AL outfielders in batting average, sixth in OPS, third in RBI and second in fWAR (trailing only Mike Trout). The story and the stats combine to make a great All-Star case, but Desmond needs a lot of help.
4. Corey Seager, Dodgers, SS
.274/.334/.498, 15 HR, 12 2B, 36 RBI
It didn't help Seager's cause that he had a sub-.700 OPS as recently as May 4 and the voting began in late April. But what has he been up to since then?
Seager has a .290/.352/.568 slash line with 13 homers and six doubles in his last 41 games. He is building on that promise he showed when the Dodgers brought him up for the home stretch last season and proving his name belongs in the discussion about all these young, sterling shortstops in the game right now. Among NL shortstops, only Trevor Story has more homers, and nobody has a higher fWAR.
Some people have noticed, because Seager did finally crack the top five this week. But his vote total (476,525) was well behind that of the first-place Addison Russell (1,170,012).
5. Francisco Lindor, Indians, SS
.304/.362/.448, 7 HR, 13 2B, 10 SB, 33 RBI
This one's purely ceremonial. Xander Bogaerts is and should be the leading AL vote-getter at the shortstop spot. He's had a transcendent rise for the Red Sox this season.
But if the entirety of your knowledge about the current shortstop crop came from All-Star ballot updates (I sure hope that's not the case), you would have no idea Francisco Lindor exists. And Lindor is not only having a terrific sophomore season for a contending Indians club, but in his first full calendar year in the big leagues -- which was marked earlier this week -- his fWAR (7.3) trailed only that of Trout (9.4), Manny Machado (8.0), Josh Donaldson (8.0) and Bryce Harper (7.6).
6. Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies, OF
.312/.356/.559, 15 HR, 12 2B, 36 RBI
Though there's no denying he gets a boost from his home park, CarGo is fourth in average, tied for third in homers and second in OPS (trailing only Yoenis Cespedes) among NL outfielders. Yet he was eighth in the latest voting update.
7. Wil Myers, Padres, 1B
.286/.330/.521, 15 HR, 14 2B, 8 SB, 40 RBI
His Padres might be hosting this Midsummer Classic, but that hasn't helped Myers get much of a ballot boost. This category has been absolutely dominated by Anthony Rizzo, a recipient of all that Cubs voting love -- and a deserving one, at that. At last count, Rizzo had 1.16 million more votes than the next-closest competitor, Brandon Belt. Nobody's catching Rizzo, and that's totally fine.
But it's still pretty nuts that Myers hasn't even cracked the top five despite being tied for second among NL first basemen in homers, first in runs (43), fourth in average, third in slugging and first in fWAR (2.4). He has revived a career that, between injuries, poor performance and another trade, went wayward after his 2013 AL Rookie of the Year Award-winning run with the Rays.
Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince.