The third-round voting results for the 2014 MLB All-Star Game have been released, and while the game is still over a month away, we are already starting to get a good idea 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. Having opened in 2010, it's one of the newer stadiums in baseball.
Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista is now the leading vote-getter for the American League, coming in just ahead of Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout with 2,135,223 total votes so far.
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||Jose Abreu, CWS||Albert Pujols, LAA|
|2B||Robinson Cano, SEA||Ian Kinsler, DET||Dustin Pedroia, BOS|
|3B||Josh Donaldson, OAK||Evan Longoria, TB||Manny Machado, BAL|
|SS||Derek Jeter, NYY||Alexei Ramirez, CWS||J.J. Hardy, BAL|
|OF 1||Jose Bautista, TOR||Adam Jones, BAL||Michael Brantley, CLE|
|OF 2||Mike Trout, LAA||Jacoby Ellsbury, NYY||Carlos Beltran, NYY|
|OF 3||Melky Cabrera, TOR||Yoenis Cespedes, OAK||Nick Markakis, BAL|
|DH||Nelson Cruz, BAL||David Ortiz, BOS||Victor Martinez, DET|
|MLB Public Relations|
Biggest AL All-Star voting takeaways
1. No change among the projected starters
Outside of Jose Bautista jumping Mike Trout into first place in the outfielder voting, there was no change from last week's update as far as the projected starters are concerned. That could change next week, though, as one race in particular remains very close.
2. Derek Jeter widens lead in shortstop voting, still the tightest race
In last week's voting update, New York Yankees captain Derek Jeter held a 140,812-vote lead over Alexei Ramirez of the Chicago White Sox, who, by all accounts, is having a better statistical season than Jeter.
That gap was widened to 163,692 votes in this latest update, but that still makes it the tightest race by a decent margin. The next closest battle is at second base, where a pair of players in their first seasons with their new teams are battling it out, as Robinson Cano (SEA) currently leads Ian Kinsler (DET) by 224,336 votes.
3. Jose Altuve finally among the voting leaders where he belongs
Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve currently leads the American League in hits (88) and stolen bases (24) while hitting .320/.360/.429 as the star of what has been a vastly improved Houston Astros team so far this year.
An All-Star in 2012, Altuve did not appear among the top five vote-getters at second base until this most recent update, as he jumped ahead of Howie Kendrick (LAA). He's not going to catch Robinson Cano and will be lucky if he can close the gap to fourth place, but it's nice to see Altuve get some recognition.
4. Baltimore Orioles fans are stuffing the ballot boxes
Outside of second base, every Baltimore Orioles player on the ballot currently appears among the leaders at his position. That includes third baseman Manny Machado, who has played just 35 games, and Matt Wieters, who has been sidelined since May 10 with an elbow injury.
Chris Davis, J.J. Hardy and Adam Jones were all voted in as starters by the fans last year, so the big turnout from Orioles fans is nothing new.
5. Best player not among the leading vote-getters?
With Yangervis Solarte and Lonnie Chisenhall not on the AL ballot, a pair of Kansas City Royals outfielders in Alex Gordon and Lorenzo Cain rank as the biggest oversights as far as the AL field is concerned.
Gordon (.288 BA, .822 OPS, 3.4 WAR) is tied for second in WAR among outfielders, while Cain (.331 BA, .811 OPS, 2.0 WAR) is tied for sixth. There are actually no Royals players among the leaders at any position, as Kansas City's offense has been among the worst in the AL this year.
Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki remains the leading vote-getter for the National League. With 2,007,202 votes, he has a wide lead over St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina, who has 1,621,944.
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||Jonathan Lucroy, MIL|
|1B||Adrian Gonzalez, LAD||Paul Goldschmidt, ARI||Freddie Freeman, ATL|
|2B||Chase Utley, PHI||Dee Gordon, LAD||Neil Walker, PIT|
|3B||David Wright, NYM||Nolan Arenado, COL||Pablo Sandoval, SF|
|SS||Troy Tulowitzki, COL||Brandon Crawford, SF||Jean Segura, MIL|
|OF 1||Yasiel Puig, LAD||Andrew McCutchen, PIT||Angel Pagan, SF|
|OF 2||Giancarlo Stanton, MIA||Charlie Blackmon, COL||Justin Upton, ATL|
|OF 3||Carlos Gomez, MIL||Ryan Braun, MIL||Mike Morse, SF|
|MLB Public Relations|
Biggest NL All-Star voting takeaways
1. David Wright and Carlos Gomez take over as starters
Unlike the American League, there was some change to the potential NL starting lineup since the last update.
New York Mets third baseman David Wright passed the injured Nolan Arenado of the Colorado Rockies in voting at the hot corner, while another Rockies player in outfielder Charlie Blackmon also lost his starting spot to Carlos Gomez of the Milwaukee Brewers.
2. Three different races separated by less than 200,000 votes
While Wright has finally passed Arenado at third base, he is by no means running away with the spot just yet, as his lead is just 92,718 votes.
First base is also very close, as Los Angeles Dodgers slugger Adrian Gonzalez leads Paul Goldschmidt of the Arizona Diamondbacks by just 104,880 votes and Freddie Freeman of the Atlanta Braves by 178,128 votes.
Finally, while Gomez is in the third outfield slot for now, he has a tenuous hold on the spot at best. Andrew McCutchen (1,658 votes back), Blackmon (62,861) and teammate Ryan Braun (133,494) are all within striking distance.
3. Still no Padres or Cubs among the leading vote-getters
Of the 40 players who make up the leading vote-getters in the National League, only the Chicago Cubs and San Diego Padres are without representation.
A case can be made for Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo (.887 OPS, 12 HR) being among the first base candidates—and ahead of both Justin Morneau and Brandon Belt. Shortstop Starlin Castro (.773 OPS, 8 HR) is also having a solid season.
For the Padres, outfielder Seth Smith (.934 OPS, 14 2B) has been one of the best hitters in the National League, yet he ranks outside the top 15 in voting. He has his work cut out for him making it as a reserve, too, as the Padres' representative will likely come on the pitching side of things in the form of Huston Street and/or Andrew Cashner.
4. No starters for the San Francisco Giants, baseball's best team
With a 42-22 record, the San Francisco Giants currently hold an 8.5-game lead in the NL West and sport the best record in all of baseball.
While six of their eight everyday players rank among the leading vote-getters at their respective positions, none is currently on pace to start. Third baseman Pablo Sandoval is the closest to a starting spot, trailing David Wright by 144,534 votes, and he's probably the least deserving of the six included among the leaders.
5. Best player not among the leading vote-getters?
Not only does Cincinnati Reds third baseman Todd Frazier belong among the top five vote-getters at his position, but he also deserves the starting nod with Nolan Arenado sidelined in the midst of a breakout season.
After a disappointing sophomore campaign, Frazier is currently hitting .276/.347/.511 with 14 doubles, 13 home runs and 32 RBI, and he leads all NL third basemen with a 2.4 WAR. With Joey Votto and Jay Bruce both missing significant time this year, he has been the Reds' best hitter.
All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted.
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