2012 MLB All-Star Game Voting: 12 Biggest Snubs from the First Ballot Update
The first balloting updates for the 2012 MLB All-Star Game were released on Tuesday, and while the usual fan favorites figured prominently in the voting, others who are off to spectacular starts were barely recognized by fans.
The fans vote in the starters, while the players and managers have a say in the reserves and the pitching staff. And of course, the frenetic fan voting that goes on for the final roster spot in early July makes up the final rosters for both leagues.
Fortunately for some players, the reserve selections by players and managers can make up for a snub at the voting polls by fans. We will identify 12 current players who are seriously lagging in the balloting despite their stellar seasons thus far.
Jonathan Lucroy: Milwaukee Brewers
It's really a shame that Jonathan Lucroy's wife dropped a suitcase on his hand—he absolutely would have/should have earned his first All-Star berth.
At the time of his bizarre accident, Lucroy was on fire, hitting .345 with five HR and 30 RBI for the Milwaukee Brewers, who have been completely hamstrung by season-ending injuries to Mat Gamel, Alex Gonzalez and Chris Narveson.
Lucroy was lagging way behind in voting for NL catchers, ranking fifth with 457,590 votes, a full 600,000-plus votes behind pacesetter Yadier Molina.
Carlos Ruiz: Philadelphia Phillies
Another National League catcher is having a pretty special year as well, yet lagging far behind in early voting for the NL All-Star team—Carlos Ruiz.
Chooch is hitting .358 with eight HR and 32 RBI, yet trails far behind Yadier Molina, who has the same home run and RBI totals but is hitting 30 points less than Ruiz (.328).
Jose Altuve: Houston Astros
There is an awful lot to like about 22-year-old Venezuelan second baseman Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros, yet fans aren't turning that admiration into All-Star votes as of yet.
Altuve leads all second basemen in the majors with a .327 average, yet only placed fifth in balloting, lagging behind both Rickie Weeks and Brandon Phillips, neither of whom are playing anywhere close to their capabilities.
In fact, Weeks is hitting a paltry .167, yet has about 40,000 more votes than Altuve.
I get that fans vote for their favorite players, but come on folks—really?
Austin Jackson: Detroit Tigers
Detroit Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson has been biding his time over the past few weeks, chomping at the bit to return to the lineup after suffering a left abdominal strain that landed him on the disabled list on May 17.
At that point, Jackson was enjoying a breakout campaign, hitting .331 with five HR and 17 RBI and a .414 on-base percentage, exactly what manager Jim Leyland was looking for at the top of his lineup.
However, fans weren't acknowledging the fast start by Jackson, who wasn't even in the top 10 in American League All-Star balloting for outfielders, placing 11th with 389,664 votes.
Michael Bourn: Atlanta Braves
Center fielder Michael Bourn has been everything the Atlanta Braves have asked for and more, yet fans have yet to signal their support.
Bourn is hitting .299 with five HR and 17 RBI with 15 stolen bases, giving the Braves a presence at the top of the lineup that has been missing for several years. However, Bourn is lagging behind in voting for the NL All-Star team, placing eighth thus far with 498,070 votes.
Giancarlo Stanton: Miami Marlins
Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton is an absolute pleasure to watch—thus far at the brand new Marlins Park, Stanton has hit some majestic bombs, including one that temporarily knocked out a bay of lights on the scoreboard above the left field fence.
Stanton is tied for third in the National League in home runs (13) and fourth in RBI (40), yet appears nowhere in the balloting for All-Star outfielders.
Paul Konerko: Chicago White Sox
Okay, let's see—Chicago White Sox first baseman Paul Konkero leads the American League in batting (.366) and on-base percentage (.445), with 11 HR and 33 RBI and he's only placing third in voting for first basemen?
Konerko sits behind New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira, who's hitting .247 with just nine HR thus far.
What's wrong with that picture?
Andrew McCutchen: Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pittsburgh Pirates are easily the worst offensive team in the National League, dead last in most major offensive categories, including batting average, runs scored, on-base percentage and total bases.
Just think of how bad they'd really be without center fielder Andrew McCutchen.
Thus far in 2012, McCutchen is hitting .333 with nine HR and 30 RBI, easily on pace to shatter last year's numbers.
However, McCutchen has only placed 10th thus far in voting for NL All-Star outfielders.
Edwin Encarnacion: Toronto Blue Jays
For the majority of the 2012 season thus far, first baseman/designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion has carried the offense for the Toronto Blue Jays.
With slugger Jose Bautista getting off to a very slow start, Encarnacion was brilliant for the Jays, currently hitting .279 with 17 HR and 43 RBI, already nearly matching last year's full season numbers.
However, Encarnacion is lagging far behind in All-Star balloting, placing fifth in DH balloting with 391,131 votes, about a third of the votes received by frontrunner David Ortiz.
Carlos Gonzalez: Colorado Rockies
After a somewhat down year offensively in 2011, Colorado Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez has picked it up once again in 2012, hitting .324 with 14 HR and 45 RBI, placing second in the NL in the last two categories and ninth in batting average.
However, thus far in fan voting for NL All-Star outfielders, Gonzalez is lagging far behind, placing 13th with 386,860 votes.
Mark Trumbo: Los Angeles Angels
After placing second last year in balloting for American League Rookie of the Year, Los Angeles Angels slugger Mark Trumbo has taken his game to a new level.
Trumbo is third in the American League in batting with a .337 batting average to go with 12 HR and 31 RBI.
However, Trumbo's name is nowhere to be seen in voting for American League All-Stars. If anyone on this list deserves a nod to the Midsummer Classic, it's Trumbo for sure.
Mike Trout: Los Angeles Angels
Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout didn't get called up from Triple-A until late April, however, what he has done in the six weeks since has been pretty special indeed.
Trout is hitting .331 with five HR and 22 RBI since his call-up, giving Angels manager Mike Scioscia a terrific lead-off presence that has been lacking since the days of Chone Figgins.
It's understandable that Trout's name wasn't listed among outfielders in voting for the All-Star Game, but with his performance thus far he absolutely should be getting a ticket to Kansas City for the Midsummer Classic.
Doug Mead is a featured columnist with Bleacher Report. His work has been featured on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, SF Gate, CBS Sports, the Los Angeles Times and the Houston Chronicle. Follow Doug on Twitter, @Sports_A_Holic.