MLB All-Star Voting Results 2014: Final Predictions for AL Starting Roster

Sean ODonnellContributor IIIJuly 5, 2014

Voting for the 2014 MLB All-Star Game has officially come to a close.

As the Midsummer Classic approaches, all we can do now is speculate which players will earn enough votes to make the team and a starting role in the game.

The American League featured several close positional battles from the last time MLB.com released the standings. We won't know the official results until rosters are announced on Sunday.

While we await the highly anticipated unveiling, let's take a stab at predicting the AL's starters for this year's All-Star Game.

 

Catcher

Catcher Vote Leaders
PlayerTeamVotes
Matt WietersBaltimore Orioles2,103,385
Derek NorrisOakland Athletics1,924,049
Brian McCannNew York Yankees1,624,214
Kurt SuzukiMinnesota Twins1,025,717
A.J. PierzynskiBoston Red Sox925,996
MLB.com

The last time these votes were tallied, Matt Wieters topped the list. Since then, he's unfortunately been forced to undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery.

This brings us to a two-horse race between Derek Norris and Brian McCann. The edge has to go to McCann. He's played in more games this season, has a better fielding percentage at .998—leading all AL catchers—and has been powerful at the plate, boasting 10 home runs and 37 RBI despite a .224 batting average.

McCann has been his own worst critic, according to a tweet from Bryan Hoch of MLB.com:

Perhaps a start in the Midsummer Classic would change his tune.

Prediction: McCann

 

First Base

First Base Vote Leaders
PlayerTeamVotes
Miguel CabreraDetroit Tigers3,323,380
Jose AbreuChicago White Sox1,801,592
Chris DavisBaltimore Orioles1,292,412
Albert PujolsLos Angeles Angels1,190,751
Mark TeixeiraNew York Yankees877,468
MLB.com

There's really not much of a competition at first base. Miguel Cabrera is running away with the voting, and rightfully so.

Solid on offense and defense, Cabrera has a .316 batting average with 100 hits, 32 doubles, 14 home runs, 67 RBI and a fielding percentage of .993.

He's been showing no signs of slowing down lately:

Jose Abreu has been tremendous as well, displaying some great power, but Cabrera has been more consistent.

Prediction: Cabrera 

 

Second Base

Second Base Vote Leaders
PlayerTeamVotes
Robinson CanoSeattle Mariners2,474,924
Ian KinslerDetroit Tigers1,603,185
Dustin PedroiaBoston Red Sox1,477,800
Jose AltuveHouston Astros1,312,805
Brian DozierMinnesota Twins994,447
MLB.com

Like the battle for first base, second base shouldn't be all that close. Robinson Cano is boasting an impressive .323 batting average, producing 101 hits, 19 doubles, six home runs and 51 RBI. He also holds a .991 fielding percentage with just three errors this season.

Here's a telling tweet from Bob Nightengale of USA Today regarding Cano and the Mariners' success:

Ian Kinsler and Dustin Pedroia have been solid as well, but the gap simply appears too large to close.

Prediction: Cano

 

Third Base

Third Base Vote Leaders
PlayerTeamVotes
Josh DonaldsonOakland Athletics2,943,332
Adrian BeltreTexas Rangers1,730,748
Evan LongoriaTampa Bay Rays1,457,752
Manny MachadoBaltimore Orioles1,409,804
Brett LawrieToronto Blue Jays865,684
MLB.com

It appears power will win the right to start at third base for the AL. While David Freese has the position's best fielding percentage, he was nowhere near the top of the standings the last time they were released by MLB.com.

So, we turn to hitting.

Josh Donaldson is far and away the most powerful hitter at third base for the AL this season. He holds a .245 batting average and has accumulated 80 hits, 12 doubles, 18 home runs and 61 RBI. He's hit five more balls out of the park than anyone else at the position.

He has been clutch at the plate for the A's all season long:

Prediction: Donaldson 

 

Shortstop

Shortstop Vote Leaders
PlayerTeamVotes
Derek JeterNew York Yankees2,924,686
Alexei RamirezChicago White Sox2,325,527
J.J. HardyBaltimore Orioles1,534,547
Jose ReyesToronto Blue Jays1,008,063
Jed LowrieOakland Athletics732,766
MLB.com

The last time the standings were released, Derek Jeter had a slight lead on Alexei Ramirez.

Jeter has been playing well this year, holding a .975 fielding percentage and batting .268 with 80 hits, nine doubles, two home runs and 21 RBI; however, Ramirez has simply been much better.

He's playing well defensively with a fielding percentage of .976, but his hitting has been even better. Ramirez is batting .294 with 97 hits, 14 doubles, eight home runs and 41 RBI.

Here's yet another fine reason why Ramirez should be getting the start:

It would be nice to see Jeter take the field in what appears to be his last season in the league, but Ramirez is the right choice here.

Prediction: Ramirez

 

Outfield

Outfield Vote Leaders
PlayerTeamVotes
Jose BautistaToronto Blue Jays4,460,245
Mike TroutLos Angeles Angels4,085,647
Yoenis CespedesOakland Athletics1,941,553
Melky CabreraToronto Blue Jays1,929,506
Adam JonesBaltimore Orioles1,853,268
Michael BrantleyCleveland Indians1,630,452
Jacoby EllsburyNew York Yankees1,501,306
Nick MarkakisBaltimore Orioles1,382,329
Carlos BeltranNew York Yankees1,292,920
Torii HunterDetroit Tigers1,167,642
MLB.com

With three starting spots up for grabs, the outfield becomes an intriguing race.

At center field, expect Mike Trout to get the nod. The 22-year-old phenom has continued his remarkable run this season with 95 hits, 23 doubles, five triples, 19 home runs and 62 RBI for a batting average of .314. No slouch on defense, he's also fielding .990.

He's certainly no slouch on defense at all:

At right field, Jose Bautista is running away with things. He has produced a stellar season at the plate with 86 hits, 15 doubles, 17 home runs and 51 RBI for a .303 batting average. His defense has been superb as well, as he holds a .986 fielding percentage.

So, who gets the third spot?

That would be Adam Jones. He ranks in the top 10 of AL center fielders with a .980 fielding percentage, but his prowess at the plate is what makes him stand out. With 107 hits, 18 doubles, 16 home runs, 53 RBI and a batting average of .308, he's far and away the most productive outfielder behind Trout and Bautista.

Prediction: Trout, Bautista and Jones

 

Voting results updated at MLB.com as of July 1.

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