2014 MLB All-Star Game's Latest Voting Update, Biggest Takeaways

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2014 MLB All-Star Game's Latest Voting Update, Biggest Takeaways
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You've seen the voting for the 2014 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. Now prepare to see it in an entirely new way...

Updated!

After providing an initial look at the voting last week, MLB has refreshed the totals. The American League voting was updated on Monday, and the National League voting has been updated on Tuesday.

B/R's Joel Reuter provided a rundown of the first voting reveal last week, complete with key takeaways. It's time to do the same thing with the latest round.

 

American League

Straight from MLB Public Relations, here's the latest look at the American League voting:

Or, if you prefer things in table form, here's a better look at the top three vote-getters at each position:

American League All-Star Voting, Wave 2
Position Leader Second Third
C Matt Wieters Brian McCann Derek Norris
1B Miguel Cabrera Jose Abreu Albert Pujols
2B Robinson Cano Ian Kinsler Dustin Pedroia
3B Josh Donaldson Evan Longoria Adrian Beltre
SS Derek Jeter Alexei Ramirez J.J. Hardy
OF Mike Trout Jacoby Ellsbury Torii Hunter
OF Jose Bautista Carlos Beltran Yoenis Cespedes
OF Melky Cabrera Adam Jones Michael Brantley
DH Nelson Cruz David Ortiz Victor Martinez

MLB

Same as last week, it's Los Angeles Angels superstar Mike Trout leading the way. That's one thing worth noting, but some of the more interesting things are: 

 

1. It Seems Fans Don't Care About PEDs

Courtesy of MLB Advanced Media via MLB.com.

When MLB unveiled the AL voting last week, neither Baltimore Orioles DH Nelson Cruz nor Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera was in line to be in the AL's starting lineup at Target Field on July 15. 

This was somewhat surprising in light of how well both players have been performing in 2014. But because of their strong ties to performance-enhancing drugs, it wasn't overly surprising.

But suddenly, Cruz and Cabrera now are in line to start. That tells us that most fans are willing to look past their PED links and focus instead on Cruz's MLB-leading 20 homers and Cabrera's .308 average and 74 hits.

You won't get me to say this is shameful. But if nothing else, it's definitely interesting. Feel free to talk about it among yourselves.

 

2. Edwin Encarnacion Needs Some Love

I'm not going to say Cruz is a bad choice at DH. Nor is David Ortiz. Nor is Victor Martinez, who leads the AL in hitting at .335.

I will say this, though: Send some love Edwin Encarnacion's way, people. After not being in the top five of the DH voting at all last week, the Blue Jays slugger is only fourth in the voting this week. 

He deserves better. After establishing himself as one of the AL's elite power hitters in 2012 and 2013, Encarnacion has put himself on an even more deadly path of destruction lately, crushing 17 homers and slugging .795 (!) in his last 31 games.

I don't care how stacked the DH position is in the AL. Vote for the guy.

 

3. There's Not Going to Be Any Derek Jeter Pushback

USA TODAY Sports

When Derek Jeter appeared atop the voting for AL shortstops last week, it wasn't a big shocker. The New York Yankees shortstop may be having a down season, but he's still Derek Jeter, and this is his last season.

Still, you had to wonder whether there could be some pushback. Perhaps outraged voters would start stuffing the ballot box for a more deserving performer, such as Chicago's Alexei Ramirez.

Nope. Jeter still leads, and his edge over Ramirez actually got bigger. People want to see The Captain.

And that's OK. I do too. Jeter's not the best man in the AL for the starting shortstop gig, but having him out there promises to be one of those All-Star moments that will turn into a lasting memory.

 

4. Fans Haven't Forgotten Robinson Cano

When Ian Kinsler appeared in the lead over Robinson Cano at second base last week, you couldn't help but wonder how many votes Cano's move from New York to Seattle was costing him. 

But lo and behold, the votes have come. While Kinsler only gained about 300,000 votes, Cano gained close to 400,000. Thus it appears that the former Yankee still has quite a few fans out there.

Of course, it doesn't hurt that Cano is also red-hot with a .963 OPS over his last 18 games.

 

5. Josh Donaldson Isn't Under the Radar Anymore

Courtesy of MLB Advanced Media via MLB.com.

It was a pleasant surprise to see Oakland A's third baseman Josh Donaldson at the top of the hot corner voting last week. He's been the best all-around third baseman in the AL since the start of 2013, but attracting attention has been a struggle for him.

It looked like Donaldson's lead could be short-lived, though. Tampa Bay's Evan Longoria only trailed him by about 60,000 votes. That's the kind of gap a big name alone can easily make up in a week.

Instead, Donaldson's lead over Longoria is now more than 350,000 points. Nicely done, voters.

 

National League

Meanwhile in the National League, Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News has the latest on what's going on in the All-Star voting:

And here's a closer look at the top vote-getters at each position:

National League All-Star Voting, Wave 2
Position Leader Second Third
C Yadier Molina Buster Posey Jonathan Lucroy
1B Adrian Gonzalez Justin Morneau Freddie Freeman
2B Chase Utley Dee Gordon Neil Walker
3B Nolan Arenado David Wright Aramis Ramirez
SS Troy Tulowitzki Brandon Crawford Jean Segura
OF Yasiel Puig Andrew McCutchen Justin Upton
OF Charlie Blackmon Carlos Gomez Angel Pagan
OF Giancarlo Stanton Ryan Braun Mike Morse

MLB

Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is still the Senior Circuit's leading vote-getter, but there's been some changes elsewhere. Especially in the outfield, which is where we find that...

 

1. Yasiel Puig and Giancarlo Stanton Are Where They Belong

Courtesy of MLB Advanced Media via MLB.com.

Last week, neither Yasiel Puig nor Giancarlo Stanton was in line to start for the NL in the All-Star Game. That seemed...well, I'm struggling to think of a better word than "wrong."

Apparently I wasn't the only one who figured as much. Puig is now the top vote-getter among NL outfielders, and Stanton gained over 400,000 votes to also get in line for a starting nod.

Rightfully so. With his .340 average and 1.036 OPS, Puig's been the NL's most dangerous outfielder in 2014. With a 1.022 OPS and 16 homers, Stanton's right there with him.

Besides which, we should all be able to agree that Stanton's power and Puig's, well, everything are absolutely deserving of the big stage. 

 

2. But How Much Longer Can Charlie Blackmon Hold On?

Elsewhere in the National League's outfield, you have to wonder just how much longer Charlie Blackmon can hold on. He's still in line to start, but he's no longer on top of all other NL outfielders in the voting, and there's not much cushion between him and guys like Andrew McCutchen and Carlos Gomez.

And Blackmon's not helping himself. He's still a great story, but he's become considerably less of a great story with a .513 OPS since the middle of May.

If Blackmon doesn't heat up again, he may have to settle for going from role player to All-Star reserve instead of role player to All-Star starter. Shucks.

 

3. Are We Sure About Adrian Gonzalez at First Base?

USA TODAY Sports

When I saw the voting last week, I had Adrian Gonzalez pegged as a leader who could be toppled. Instead, what was about 40,000-vote lead over Atlanta's Freddie Freeman has turned into an even bigger lead over Colorado's Justin Morneau.

You'd think a hot streak would have something to do with this, but Gonzalez has actually been ice-cold with a .634 OPS over the last month and a .520 OPS over his last dozen games.

Maybe other options should be considered. There are plenty of those, as Freeman, Morneau, Paul Goldschmidt, Anthony Rizzo and Joey Votto all have higher OPS's than Gonzalez.

 

4. Still No Love for Seth Smith. Or Todd Frazier, For That Matter.

You know who's fourth in the National League in OPS? San Diego's Seth Smith, of course, at an impressive .968.

Elsewhere, you know who's first among NL third basemen in OPS? That would be Cincinnati's Todd Frazier at .827.

On a related note, do you know where they are to be found among the NL voting leaders?

Trick question. They aren't. 

Just sayin'.

 

5. What to Make of Ryan Braun?

Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

Remember how we talked about Nelson Cruz and Melky Cabrera as evidence that fans don't care so much about PEDs?

Last week, that argument applied to Ryan Braun. Despite his 65-game suspension in 2013 and all the bad noise that came before it, there he was in third place among NL outfielders.

Now he's in sixth place. And that's not because he's cooled down recently, as the Milwaukee Brewers slugger actually has a 1.212 OPS over his last nine games.

Maybe fans just stopped voting for Braun and started voting for Puig and Stanton instead. Or maybe fans who had been stuffing the box for him simply figured they'd done enough and stopped. Or maybe fans do care about PEDs. Or maybe fans just care about PEDs when Braun specifically is involved.

Damned if I know. All the numbers say is that something is up.

 

Note: Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted/linked.

 

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