MLB All-Star "Final Vote" 2012: Odds of All 10 Snubbed Contenders Winning Spot
The race is now on for the final slots on the All-Star teams of each league. Ending in just over 72 hours, the Final Vote promises to be close.
Five players from each league have been selected by All-Star managers Ron Washington and Tony LaRussa, and fans will have the final say as to which player will be chosen.
Washington went with a mix of right-handed pitchers, while LaRussa's selection was a bit more eclectic.
Because it's something that we just love to do here at Bleacher Report, we will handicap the chances of each player being selected by the fans to represent their team at the All-Star Game in Kansas City.
In the American League, All-Star manager Ron Washington elected to go with five pitchers as the choice for the Final Vote.
Jonathan Broxton, Yu Darvish, Ernesto Frieri, Jason Hammel and Jake Peavy are all on the ballot. Fans will no doubt be pounding their keyboards either on the cellphones, laptops, PCs, tablets, iPads and whatever other device they can use to select their choice.
Each player is certainly deserving of a spot on the team; the vote could very well come down to the wire.
Jake Peavy, Chicago White Sox: 10 Percent
Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Jake Peavy started like a house afire, after finally feeling healthy for the first time in several seasons.
The former Cy Young Award winner battled back from a devastating shoulder injury, difficult surgery and rehab to post a 6-1 record for the first two months of the season.
Peavy has lost his last four decisions, but the losses were more the result of a lack of run support—Peavy maintained an ERA of 2.70 in those four losses.
Jason Hammel, Baltimore Orioles: 10 Percent
It's clear that starting pitcher Jason Hammel has found the Baltimore Orioles to his liking.
Hammel was 7-13 with a 4.76 ERA last season for the Colorado Rockies. He was part of the trade that sent himself and reliever Matt Lindstrom to the O's for pitcher Jeremy Guthrie.
That trade has been completely one-sided thus far, as Guthrie has struggled with Colorado while both Hammel and Lindstrom have been key reasons for the resurgence in Baltimore.
Hammel has clearly found his groove; with an 8-3 record and 3.29 ERA, and his K/9 rate of 8.6 is easily the highest of his career.
Ernesto Frieri, Los Angeles Angels: 10 Percent
If there is a pitcher who is any hotter than Los Angeles Angels reliever Ernesto Freiri, I'd love to know who it is.
Since arriving in Anaheim via trade on May 3 from the San Diego Padres, Frieri has been literally lights out.
He has yet to allow an earned run in 24 appearances; allowing just seven hits and striking out 42 in 24.1 innings. He has notched 10 saves along with seven holds.
Jonathan Broxton, Kansas City Royals: 15 Percent
If there was a sentimental favorite among the five pitchers selected by American League All-Star manager Ron Washington, it might be Kansas City Royals closer Jonathan Broxton.
Not that Broxton hasn't earned a place on the Final Vote list.
However, with the game being played in Kansas City, Broxton absolutely would be a great selection. Broxton has turned things around in his first year with the Royals; notching 20 saves, a 2.05 ERA and giving the Royals a great option on the back end of the bullpen in the absence of closer Joakim Soria.
However, as good a choice as Broxton and the first three pitchers on this list would be, there might be one who the fans will clamor to see in Kansas City...
Yu Darvish, Texas Rangers: 55 Percent
Personally, I would be absolutely shocked if Texas Rangers starting pitcher Yu Darvish does not win the Final Vote.
Darvish has absolutely been as advertised in the first half since signing a record contract out of Japan.
A 10-5 record, 3.59 ERA and 117 strikeouts in 102.2 innings clearly shows that Darvish belongs, and his assortment of pitches from different arm angles has indeed been fun to watch.
In the National League, All-Star manager Tony LaRussa went with a more diversified mix of players for the Final Vote.
Michael Bourn, David Freese, Bryce Harper, Chipper Jones and Aaron Hill are all vying for the last slot on the National All-Star team. Much like the American League, each player is very deserving in their own right.
Aaron Hill, Arizona Diamondbacks: 5 Percent
Arizona Diamondbacks second baseman Aaron Hill has enjoyed a revival in Phoenix.
After posting a huge season in 2009 (.286, 36 HR, 108 RBI) for the Toronto Blue Jays, Hill literally lost his mojo; hitting just .205 the following season and finally getting traded to the D-Backs last year after the Jays seemingly gave up on him.
Hill has rewarded the D-Backs with their faith in him by hitting .300 with 11 HR and 38 RBI thus far in 2012, including becoming the first MLB player since 1931 to hit for the cycle twice in the same season.
David Freese, St. Louis Cardinals: 7 Percent
For the first time in his brief major league career, third baseman David Freese has enjoyed good health and the results for the St. Louis Cardinals has been terrific.
Freese is hitting .279 with 13 HR and 48 RBI, and is a key component in the middle of the batting order for the Cardinals, especially with injuries to Lance Berkman, Allen Craig and Matt Carpenter.
Michael Bourn, Atlanta Braves: 8 Percent
In his first full season with the Atlanta Braves, center fielder Michael Bourn is showing why the Braves coveted him last season when they executed a trade with the Houston Astros.
Bourn has given the Braves a leadoff presence in the batting order that had been lacking for years; hitting .302 with 22 stolen bases.
Bourn and Martin Prado have both been superb in providing run scoring opportunities for the middle of the Braves' batting order.
Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals: 36 Percent
The final vote in the National League for the final slot on the All-Star team is likely to come down to two players—one a rookie phenom, the other a sure Hall of Fame player making his curtain call.
Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals has clearly been exciting since being called up from Triple-A on April 28. Harper is hitting .274 with eight HR and 22 RBI in 57 games since his call-up. He has provided a number of highlight reel-type plays in the outfield, mainly with his arm which is without a doubt a cannon.
While Harper will clearly earn a lot of votes from fans over the next 72 hours, there really isn't any doubt who the final player should be...
Chipper Jones, Atlanta Braves: 44 Percent
Bryce Harper, himself, believes that Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones absolutely should be the player that fans select in the Final Vote for the All-Star team.
"It's an accomplishment I guess, but you've got Chipper up there, and I think a Hall of Famer should be able to go to the All-Star Game in his last year," Harper said. "So if I was going to make a vote, I'd vote for Chip."
The fact that Jones is even on this list is a travesty in itself—National League manager Tony LaRussa should absolutely have included Jones among his list of reserves in the first place.
Playing in his 19th and final season for the Braves, Jones is hitting .292 with six homers and 29 RBI. Yes, injuries have hampered his playing time and his stats aren't as gaudy as others on the team. But not including Jones on this team would be an absolute miscarriage of justice.
Harper himself sees that; hopefully the fans will as well.
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.
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