Over the weekend, MLB.com released the most recent tallies for MLB All-Star fan voting. Many positions look to be locked up, but a number of players are still making their cases for why they should get the nod.
In the National League—the results for which were released on Sunday—St. Louis’ Matt Carpenter overtook Chase Utley for third place among second basemen. Fellow Cardinal David Freese is also surging late in the game.
Carpenter is having a breakout season, but isn't a sure thing to make the All-Star team. San Francisco's fanbase practically gives all the Giants a shot. Brandon Phillips being Mr. Personality is also a fan favorite. A career .304 hitter, Carpenter is currently batting .332 and has only been heating up more in June: He boasts a .439/.500/.610 line this month.
Carpenter is currently on an 18-game hitting streak and is among great company in the MLB, as shown by MLB Stat of the Day's tweet yesterday:
Unlike Carpenter, 2011 World Series MVP David Freese did not start 2013 out too well, but is having a comparable June to Carpenter. April was painfully bad, as Freese batted .163 for the month, but has now brought is average up to .282 after batting .299 in May and hitting for a .405/.463/..541 line thus far in June. Think Carpenter's hitting streak is impressive? Freese does him one better:
David Freese (STL): 1-5 extends hit streak to 19 games (tied for longest in NL this season). #STLvsCIN— Baseball Tonight (@BBTN) June 10, 2013
In the American League—the results for which were released on Saturday—Baltimore’s JJ Hardy took the lead at shortstop as a result of his torrid June, while Oakland’s Josh Donaldson entered the ranks at third base.
Hardy received 717,103 votes by the first release of ballot voting, but he’s now at 1,231,843 votes due to improvement in play. Orioles 101 highlighted the shift:
It is pretty under-publicized, but JJ hardy has really turned it around since a horrid April— Orioles 101 (@Orioles_101) June 11, 2013
It’s true. Hardy's jump is especially of note seeing as he finished April with a .202/.243/.327 line. He is batting .485 with three homers and a slugging percentage that would be a great OPS (.879) in the month of June. Overall he’s now batting a respectable .271 with 13 homers.
Donaldson should make the All-Star team but has been overshadowed by the star power of Miggy and Manny Machado. This season he sports an impressive .324/.393/.521 line with a .914 OPS, and is batting .333 in June. After his first career grand slam on June 7, ESPN Stats & Information posted an article about Donaldson’s love for pitches in the middle of the strike zone, which included this graphic:
Out of the AL third basemen, Donaldson is second in batting average, OBP, and OPS (to Miggy, naturally), but still trails Cabrera, Machado, Adrian Beltre and Evan Longoria in fan voting.