The first voting results for the 2014 MLB All-Star Game have been released, and while the game is still roughly a month-and-a-half away, it already begins to paint a picture of what the rosters could look like on July 15.
Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis led everyone with 8,272,243 votes last season, while St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina paced the National League with 6,883,248 votes.
This year's game will be played at Target Field in Minnesota, one of the newer stadiums in baseball having opened in 2010.
With that let's dive into the initial voting for this year's rosters, starting with the American League, where Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout currently leads the way with 764,007 votes.
Take a look at the table below for a closer look at the top three vote-getters at each position in the American League:
|American League All-Star Voting|
|C||Matt Wieters, BAL||Brian McCann, NYY||Derek Norris, OAK|
|1B||Miguel Cabrera, DET||Albert Pujols, LAA||Jose Abreu, CWS|
|2B||Ian Kinsler, DET||Robinson Cano, SEA||Dustin Pedroia, BOS|
|3B||Josh Donaldson, OAK||Evan Longoria, TB||Adrian Beltre, TEX|
|SS||Derek Jeter, NYY||Alexei Ramirez, CWS||J.J. Hardy, BAL|
|OF 1||Mike Trout, LAA||Carlos Beltran, NYY||Adam Jones, BAL|
|OF 2||Jose Bautista, TOR||Melky Cabrera, TOR||Shin-Soo Choo, TEX|
|OF 3||Jacoby Ellsbury, NYY||Torii Hunter, DET||Yoenis Cespedes, OAK|
|DH||David Ortiz, BOS||Nelson Cruz, BAL||Victor Martinez, DET|
|MLB Public Relations|
A.L. All-Star Voting Takeaways
1. Derek Jeter right where he belongs atop the shortstop voting
Is he the most deserving starter right now based on statistics? No, but in his final big league season Derek Jeter has earned the right to make one last All-Star Game start. It would be his ninth career start and a fitting way for an MLB legend to wrap up his Midsummer Classic career.
2. Victor Martinez is the biggest AL snub
There are a few guys you could call the biggest snub here, but it's hard to ignore the fact that Victor Martinez currently sits third in DH voting behind David Ortiz and Nelson Cruz.
While those two are both having solid seasons in their own right, Martinez currently leads the AL with a .341 average to go along with 12 doubles, 12 home runs and a 1.001 OPS. He's stepped up huge behind Miguel Cabrera in the Tigers lineup and has picked up right where he left off after leading all of baseball in batting average in the second half last year.
3. Josh Donaldson in line for some redemption?
Speaking of snubs, Oakland Athletics third baseman Josh Donaldson was probably the biggest All-Star snub in either league last season, so it's nice to see him leading the way here in the early going.
With Miguel Cabrera sliding over to first base, both Evan Longoria and Adrian Beltre off to slow starts and Manny Machado sidelined to start the year, he is undoubtedly the most deserving candidate.
4. Zero players from the Royals, Indians or Astros.
Not a single player from those three teams appears anywhere on the first voting update, and seeing as they all rank in the bottom five in winning percentage among AL teams, it's not all that surprising. That said, a case can be made for Michael Brantley (CLE) and Jose Altuve (HOU) at their respective positions.
5. Will Matt Wieters earn the starting nod?
Baltimore Orioles catcher Matt Wieters currently has a substantial 167,089-vote lead at the catcher position, and he currently ranks fourth overall in AL voting behind Mike Trout, Jose Bautista and Derek Jeter. The trouble is he's been sidelined since May 10 with a shoulder injury and may wind up needing season-ending surgery.
With last year's starter Joe Mauer moving to first base and Salvador Perez off to a slow start, that spot is wide-open right now. Oakland backstop Derek Norris and Kurt Suzuki from the host Twins are probably the most deserving candidates right now.
Moving on to the National League, Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki currently leads the way with 745,823, leaving him fewer than 10,000 votes short of Trout to be the leading vote-getter overall.
Take a look at the table below for a closer look at the top three vote-getters at each position in the National League:
|National League All-Star Voting|
|C||Yadier Molina, STL||Buster Posey, SF||Evan Gattis, ATL|
|1B||Adrian Gonzalez, LAD||Freddie Freeman, ATL||Justin Morneau, COL|
|2B||Chase Utley, PHI||Dee Gordon, LAD||Brandon Phillips, CIN|
|3B||Nolan Arenado, COL||Aramis Ramirez, MIL||David Wright, NYM|
|SS||Troy Tulowitzki, COL||Brandon Crawford, SF||Andrelton Simmons, ATL|
|OF 1||Charlie Blackmon, COL||Giancarlo Stanton, MIA||Justin Upton, ATL|
|OF 2||Andrew McCutchen, PIT||Yasiel Puig, LAD||Angel Pagan, SF|
|OF 3||Ryan Braun, MIL||Carlos Gomez, MIL||Mike Morse, SF|
|MLB Public Relations|
N.L. All-Star Voting Takeaways
1. The NL outfield is loaded
There may be no deeper position right now than outfield in the National League, as a strong case can be made for each of the top nine vote-getters to be an All-Star. It's good to see the voters getting it right so far, as the injured Bryce Harper and big names off to slow starts like Carlos Gonzalez and Matt Kemp are outside the top 10.
For what it's worth, I'd vote for Andrew McCutchen, Giancarlo Stanton and Yasiel Puig if I were filling out a ballot right now.
2. Seth Smith is the biggest NL snub
Sure, he plays for one of the worst teams in the National League and hits in the middle of the worst offense in baseball, but that doesn't mean Seth Smith is not having a great season.
He currently ranks fifth in the NL with a .981 OPS and leads the Padres in virtually every offensive category. Does he deserve to start in the outfield over the current NL leaders? Probably not, but he certainly belongs in the top 15 in voting.
3. A return to the All-Star Game for Chase Utley
After making five straight NL All-Star teams from 2006-10, including earning the starting nod four times, Chase Utley has slipped down the ranks of the NL's top second basemen while dealing with injuries the past several years.
He's back healthy now, though, and looks poised to run away with the voting. He currently leads Dee Gordon by 205,132 votes and everyone else by more than 320,000, and he's earned it with a terrific start to the season.
4. Zero players from the Cubs and Padres
Like the AL, there are a couple teams without any players among the leading vote-getters, as the Chicago Cubs and San Diego Padres were absent on the NL side.
Given their NL-worst record, there is a good chance the Cubs wind up with just one representative, and provided he's still on the team it will almost certainly be ace Jeff Samardzija. For the Padres, the aforementioned Seth Smith is a good candidate, though it may wind up being veteran closer Huston Street who represents them.
5. Can Nolan Arenado hold on at third base while he's sidelined?
The Rockies have never had three players voted to start the All-Star Game, but they are currently in position to accomplish that with Troy Tulowitzki, Charlie Blackmon and Nolan Arenado leading at their respective positions.
However, Arenado is currently shelved with a fractured finger and will miss significant time as a result. With Aramis Ramirez, David Wright and Juan Uribe all trailing him by fewer than 50,000 votes, he could have a hard time holding on to his lead.