All stats are at the time Phase 1 ended on Thursday.
The Midsummer Classic is just two and a half weeks away, and five Rangers are one step closer to heading to Seattle. On Thursday, Major League Baseball announced second baseman Marcus Semien, shortstop Corey Seager, third baseman Josh Jung, catcher Jonah Heim and outfielder Adolis García as finalists at their respective positions.
All five will advance to Phase 2 of the voting process, which runs from 11 a.m. CT on June 26 through 11 a.m. CT on June 29. Fans are allowed to vote for the finalists once per day during the four-day window, but votes from Phase 1 will not carry over. The top vote-getter at each position and the top three outfielders will be starters for the 2023 MLB All-Star Game. Winners will be announced June 29 on ESPN at 6:00 p.m. CT.
In Phase 1, Semien was the leading vote-getter among American League second basemen, and Jung jumped Toronto’s Matt Chapman for the top spot among AL third basemen. Seager remained at second among shortstops, while Heim jumped back up to second, passing Kansas City’s Salvador Perez among AL catchers. García was sixth among AL outfielders.
The last time the Rangers had a starter at any position was 2012, when they had three: catcher Mike Napoli, third baseman Adrián Beltré and outfielder Josh Hamilton. Hunter Pence was voted as a starter in ‘19 but got hurt prior to the Midsummer Classic.
Semien collected the fourth-highest amount of votes overall in the AL (1,943,085). The Rangers’ leadoff hitter closed out Phase 1 ranking among the AL leaders in runs scored (1st, 61), hits (T-2nd, 86), doubles (3rd, 22), total bases (5th, 142), extra-base hits (T-5th, 34) and RBIs (T-6th, 54). His six outs above average were leading all qualified AL second basemen. This would be Semien’s second career All-Star appearance.
Seager finished Phase 1 trailing only Toronto’s Bo Bichette in votes among AL shortstops (1,287,023). Though he missed a month with a left hamstring injury, Seager is enjoying one of the best seasons of his career, and when Phase 1 voting closed he ranked among AL leaders in total bases (1st, 90), doubles (1st, 15), RBIs (1st, 41), batting average (2nd, .358), home runs (2nd, nine), OPS (2nd, 1.073) and runs scored (T-6th, 22).
“It’s incredible isn’t it? The numbers that he’s put up,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “It’s really amazing how fast he came back after rehab. I think when you look at the numbers, no doubt this guy should definitely be considered to make it, that’s how good he is.”
This would be Seager's fourth career All-Star Game and his second in Texas.
Jung, the Rangers’ rookie third baseman, jumped into the lead at his position after trailing Chapman for almost all of the voting process, ultimately receiving 1,243,366 votes in Phase 1.
The AL Rookie of the Month in April and May, Jung finished Phase 1 among AL leaders in runs scored (T-3rd, 51), total bases (6th, 138), home runs (T-8th, 15), slugging (10th, .493), and RBIs (T-13th, 44). His 15 homers lead all AL rookies.
Jung would be the first Rangers rookie to earn an All-Star start.
A 2021 All-Star for Texas, García finished sixth among AL outfielders with 880,711 votes in Phase 1 and was leading the Majors in RBIs (58). He also ranked among league leaders in runs scored (2nd, 54), home runs (T-6th, 16), total bases (7th, 136), extra-base hits (T-9th, 31), and slugging (12th, .489). García leads all MLB outfielders with 10 outfield assists.
Heim finished second among AL catchers (969,250 votes), trailing only Baltimore’s Adley Rutschman. Among all AL catchers at the end of Phase 1, Heim ranked first or second in batting average (1st, .276), runs scored (1st, 38), RBI (1st, 54), doubles (1st, 16), slugging (2nd, .465), OPS (2nd, .792), extra-base hits (2nd, 26) and home runs (T-2nd, 10).
“I think the numbers speak for themselves,” Bochy added of Heim’s All-Star candidacy when the club was in Chicago earlier this week. “That's pretty strong evidence that this man should be considered to start the All-Star Game. He's leading a staff and doing a very good job. I think you look at the defensive metrics and where he's hitting in the order, the damage he's done, yeah, of course, I'm gonna say that. That’s not being biased, it’s just looking at the numbers.”