There is always a good deal of popularity factors in All-Star voting. That doesn't mean we have to like it. Knowing how something happens doesn't make it better.
Derek Jeter is loved. What's more, he's loved by a fan base that dwarfs most, that of the New York Yankees. So this is the answer to the question, "Why is Derek Jeter 100,000 points ahead of Marco Scutaro in the All-Star balloting?" Here's why that answer doesn't cut the mustard.
If there are still folks who look at performance or statistics when they fill out a ballot for the midsummer classic, here's what they will find in the case of Jeter and Scutaro.
Jeter is minimally ahead of Scutaro in several areas. Jeter has more home runs (nine to scutaro's five) and more stolen bases (14-7). Jeter also has one less strike out (35-35) and one more RBI (30-29). Their batting average are almost identical—Jeter is batting .301; .300 for Scutaro.
Scutaro leads in every other offensive stat. He has been in more games and has had more plate appearances. He has more official at-bats, more runs, more hits, more triples. He has almost twice as many walks (48-28). Scutaro's OBP is 29 points higher than that of Jeter and his OPS is 12 points higher.
Defensively, Jeter is having a decent first half. He has only three errors. This puts him on pace for about eight for the season, which would be his lowest ever.
Scutaro has zero errors.
Both players are on similarly placed teams. They are in the same division (AL East) and have remarkably similar records. The Yankees are four games out of first at 38-31. Toronto is five games out of first at 38-33.
Not only is Scutaro not first in the balloting where he should be, he's actually fourth! Jason Bartlett and Elvis Andrus are in third and fourth, respectively. I thought about including Bartlett's and Andrus's stats, too. Instead, go here and look them up.
Maybe while you're there you could look up some others and make the All-Star game a little less of a popularity contest.
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