MLB All-Star Game 2013: Players Who Can Still Earn Call-Up with Late Surge
The 2013 MLB All-Star Game is less than a month away and the race for those final roster spots is heating up.
Each team's stars are competing not just for their teams but also for votes.
According to MLB.com, the leading vote-getter between the National and American League is Miguel Cabrera. Cabrera had 3,277,890 votes as of June 15.
While Cabrera runs away with a third-base spot in the AL, there are plenty of players fighting to make their respective rosters.
Oakland Athletics SS Jed Lowrie
According to MLB.com, Lowrie is sitting fourth in AL shortstop voting with 1,019,861 votes.
Lowrie is currently 338,551 votes behind Elvis Andrus, who is currently the second shortstop in voting.
The 29-year-old is a career .258 hitter who is hitting just a shade under .300 this season. He has also driven in 26 RBI.
His 26 RBI is fifth best for an AL shortstop and three more than Andrus has.
Lowrie has also scored 29 runs this year. That is third best among AL shortstops.
Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com thinks that Lowrie is an elite shortstop, saying, "If you're filling out your American League All-Star ballot, you should take a good, long look at Jed Lowrie for starting shortstop."
Kansas City Royals OF Alex Gordon
Ballot results as of June 15 have Gordon receiving 1,040,685 votes. That puts him as the eighth most-voted-for outfielder in the AL.
The left fielder currently ranks first in batting average, triples and hits and second in runs at his position.
Numbers like that would lead many to believe Gordon would rank higher than eighth in outfield voting.
Royals manager Ned Yost believes his outfielder should make the All-Star team:
I think he's, if not the best left fielder in the game, definitely in the top one or two and I can't even think who would be in his class. He's just a good player, an All-Star-type-caliber player. And I think players get into that level just by being consistently good.
Cleveland Indians C Carlos Santana
As of June 15, Santana received 864,779 votes. That is fourth most for an American League catcher.
Santana ranks second in home runs, hits and third in batting average among AL catchers.
Santana started off the season on a torrid pace but has since cooled off. This has hurt his chances of making it to the Big Apple for the Midsummer Classic.
The Indians will have a long road stretch from June 24 to July 4.
This will help Santana, as he has seen his slugging percentage rise by .094 on the road this year. He has also has hit 15 of his 18 doubles on the road and has collected 21 RBI away from Cleveland.
The way the Indians' schedule is shaping up might help Santana make a late push to make the All-Star team.
St. Louis Cardinals 2B Matt Carpenter
According MLB.com, Carpenter has received 1,508,314 votes. He is just 209,561 behind Marco Scutaro for second place.
Brandon Phillips is currently the leader among NL second baseman.
Josh Bresser of Fansided.com thinks Carpenter should be up there at No. 1:
However, Carpenter has been a hitting machine. He’s hit an incredible .324/.408/.473 on the season with 52 runs scored. He’s only struck out 37 times, while walking 31 times. Compare this to Brandon Phillips, who has struck out 39 times while only walking 18 times. He’s netted an impressive 2.4 offensive WAR over the course of the season, nearly double that of Phillips.
Carpenter's offensive production has slowed recently. The 27-year-old is hitting only .208 over the past seven days.
If Carpenter can get hot, however, in the next few weeks, it will be hard for fans to not vote for him.
Philadelphia Phillies OF Domonic Brown
As of June 15, Brown was sitting 14th among NL outfielders with 837,748 votes.
Brown is currently second in the National League in home runs.
Among NL left fielders, Brown ranks second in RBI and is in the top five in runs, hits and stolen bases.
Stephen Pianovich of MLB.com thinks Brown's stats speak for themselves:
The Phillies left fielder currently sits 14th among National League outfielders in a fan vote that will decide who is in the starting lineup for the Midsummer Classic on July 16 at Citi Field. Brown, who has 837,748 votes, won back-to-back National League Player of the Week awards recently and clubbed 11 homers in a 16-game span.
While Brown's stats have garnered him attention, he still needs more fan support in the way of votes to make it to New York.
Atlanta Braves 3B Chris Johnson
Recent ballot results show Johnson currently ranks fourth among NL third baseman having received 829,420 votes.
Johnson's All-Star chances have decreased because he had to split time at the beginning of the season, thus limiting his plate appearances.
Anthony Schreiber of Yahoo! Sports believes Johnson's lack of playing time shouldn't hurt him:
Despite the fact that Johnson has 52 fewer ABs than Wright, and Sandoval has dug his toes in the batter's box a whopping 69 more times, what Atlanta's third baseman has done so far this season is no less impressive. Given the giant disparity in at-bats, why is it that Johnson has just five fewer hits than Wright? Considering that Johnson also has more extra base hits than Sandoval, the two should feel lucky Johnson hasn't gotten the same requisite number of plate appearances or this race might be very one-sided.
Johnson has a lot of catching up to do, but if he can continue to play well, he might find himself in New York for the All-Star game.
The National and American League All-Star rosters will be announced on July 6 at 6:30 p.m. ET on Fox. Voting ends on July 4.
All stats, unless otherwise indicated, are from ESPN.com.
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