MLB All-Star Voting Results 2014: Leaders, Predictions for Midsummer Classic

Kenny DeJohn@@kennydejohnAnalyst IIIJuly 4, 2014

Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve reacts after he was unable to knock down a two-run single to right center hit by Tampa Bay Rays' James Loney during the eighth inning of a baseball game on Saturday, June 21, 2014, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)
Steve Nesius/Associated Press

The Midsummer Classic is nearly around the corner, and the MLB's top performers in the first half of the 2014 season will be invited (thanks to the fans) to compete for home-field advantage in the World Series.

Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota, will be the host for an exciting several days of events, but it all culminates on July 15 when the American League representatives clash against the best of the National League.

Things can get crazy with fan voting, however, and the right decisions aren't always made. The voting has gone well (for the most part) up until now, and with voting officially in the books, it's time to look forward to the All-Star Game Selection Show on Sunday, July 5.

For now, we only know the leaders as of July 1. You'll find those leaders below, along with some predictions regarding several players on the cusp of the game.

*Note: All American League and National League vote totals are courtesy of ESPN.com on July 1.

Current ASG 2014 Leaderboard
PositionPlayerVotes
American League
CatcherMatt Wieters2,103,385
First BaseMiguel Cabrera3,323,380
Second BaseRobinson Cano2,474,924
ShortstopDerek Jeter2,924,686
Third BaseJosh Donaldson2,943,332
OutfieldJose Bautista4,460,245
OutfieldMike Trout4,085,647
OutfieldYoenis Cespedes1,941,553
DHNelson Cruz2,944,267
National League
CatcherYadier Molina3,100,939
First BasePaul Goldschmidt2,582,955
Second BaseChase Utley2,436,143
ShortstopTroy Tulowitzki3,997,477
Third BaseAramis Ramirez1,790,777
OutfieldAndrew McCutchen3,173,810
OutfieldCarlos Gomez3,169,748
OutfieldYasiel Puig2,468,376
ESPN.com as of July 1

 

Jose Altuve Will (Wrongfully) be Snubbed

Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

Jose Altuve has been one of the top hitters in all of baseball this year. Yet, as of the current ballot, he's buried in the rankings behind Robinson Cano, Ian Kinsler and Dustin Pedroia.

That's just not right.

Altuve has been incredible this year. The diminutive second baseman boasts a slash line of .343/.383/.445. The .343 average leads the league, as do his 118 hits and 37 stolen bases. Not generally thought of as a speedster, Altuve has picked his spots well this season.

His two homers and 26 RBI aren't flashy (especially when compared to the aforementioned guys ahead of him), but there's no better candidate to hit atop the AL's lineup in Minneapolis.

Mike Trout could feasibly hit No. 1, but do you want arguably your team's best hitter hitting leadoff? No. You want him in a spot to drive in runs. With Altuve hitting first, this gives the AL the optimal chance of scoring runs and winning the game.

You know, because the game matters.

Houston Astros manager Bo Porter and catcher Jason Castro think that Altuve deserves more than the All-Star Game. He told Howard Chen of CSN Houston that Altuve needs to be put in the AL MVP discussion:

'I may be biased, but I think it's warranted,' Porter said. 'If you give me a vote and the season ended today, he's the MVP of the American League.'

'I mean, if he keeps playing like he has so far, I don't see why not,' Castro said. 'He's a pretty special player and to have someone like that, he's been an integral part of our success this year. I definitely don't see why he wouldn't at least be in the conversation, for sure.'

A player in the MVP discussion certainly deserves a nod to the Midsummer Classic, no? Unfortunately, he'll be snubbed because of the overwhelming popularity of the guys ahead of him.

 

Jonathan Lucroy Will Also Get Snubbed

David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Jonathan Lucroy deserves to be the starting catcher for the NL at Target Field. Instead, Yadier Molina will likely be behind the dish.

Molina hasn't been bad this season, but Lucroy has just been that much better. He owns a slash line of .331/.399/.511 with eight homers, 43 RBI and a league-leading 29 doubles. Couple that with his work behind the dish, and you've got yourself an MVP-candidate catcher.

Unfortunately, the popularity of Molina will win out.

Lucroy deserves just as much praise, however, as he's a huge reason why the Milwaukee Brewers are still dominating the rest of the National League. The Brewers currently sit at 51-35, the best record in the Senior Circuit.

It's a close vote as it stands now, with Lucroy about 500,000 votes behind last year's third-place finisher in the NL MVP. It's a total that could have easily been made up by the close of voting, but we won't know for certain until the results are announced on Sunday.

 

Yasiel Puig Will Lose to Giancarlo Stanton for OF3, but DH Instead

Chris Carlson/Associated Press

The NL really can't go wrong with its outfield. The three current leaders—Andrew McCutchen, Carlos Gomez and Yasiel Puig—are three of the top outfielders in the game today.

Lurking behind Puig is Giancarlo Stanton, and because chicks dig the long ball, I'm giving the nod to the Miami Marlins' slugger. Let's compare the stats of the two below:

Stanton vs. Puig
PlayerSlash LineOther Numbers
Giancarlo Stanton.313/.412/.58521 HR, 61 RBI, 21 2B, 99 H, 59 R
Yasiel Puig.314/.401/.51811 HR, 46 RBI, 21 2B, 95 H, 45 R
baseball-reference.com

As you can see, Stanton has been the more powerful hitter. But has he been the better one? Probably not.

Puig has been stellar in the field and at the plate, and he's already a fan favorite despite just over a full year of service time. Fans won't be disappointed, though, as the NL is lucky this year to have the ability to throw a DH into its lineup.

That's what an American League park can do for you.

Puig is certainly deserving of a spot in the starting lineup, and he'll get the opportunity to wreak havoc on the likes of Masahiro Tanaka, Felix Hernandez and the other star pitchers of the AL. Look for him to do some damage as the DH.

 

*Note: All statistics courtesy of baseball-reference.com prior to play on July 3.

Follow Kenny DeJohn on Twitter: @KennyDeJohn_BR