MLB All-Star Game 2016 Voting: 4th Update for AL and NL Starters Released

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJune 21, 2016

Kansas City Royals' Salvador Perez hits a solo home run off Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Michael Fulmer during the sixth inning of a baseball game at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Friday, June 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
Orlin Wagner/Associated Press

Major League Baseball released the fourth All-Star voting update for the American and National Leagues on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez is the leading vote-getter in the AL. With 2,744,293 votes, he owns a commanding lead over Baltimore Orioles catcher Matt Wieters. First baseman Anthony Rizzo of the Chicago Cubs leads the NL voting with 2,202,494 votes.

Below are the leading AL vote-getters at each position:

2016 All-Star Voting—American League
PositionPlayerTeamVotes
CSalvador PerezKansas City Royals2,744,293
1BEric HosmerKansas City Royals2,054,642
2BJose AltuveHouston Astros1,606,705
SSXander BogaertsBoston Red Sox2,116,020
3BManny MachadoBaltimore Orioles1,626,064
OFMike TroutLos Angeles Angels2,324,597
OFJackie Bradley Jr.Boston Red Sox1,725,672
OFMookie BettsBoston Red Sox1,435,218
DHDavid OrtizBoston Red Sox2,612,215
Source: MLB.com

And the NL leaders:

2016 All-Star Voting - National League
PositionPlayerTeamVotes
CYadier MolinaSt. Louis Cardinals1,205,497
1BAnthony RizzoChicago Cubs2,202,494
2BBen ZobristChicago Cubs2,057,122
SSAddison RussellChicago Cubs1,489,998
3BKris BryantChicago Cubs2,070,738
OFDexter FowlerChicago Cubs2,003,115
OFBryce HarperWashington Nationals1,824,808
OFYoenis CespedesNew York Mets1,759,302
Source: MLB.com

Only one position has changed since the third update for AL All-Star voting. Mookie Betts surged ahead of Lorenzo Cain and Mark Trumbo to occupy the third outfield position in the American League. He gained a little over 365,000 votes in a week, though he has the slimmest advantage for any starter (27,023 votes).

For the most part, the fans have done a good job of rewarding the best players in the AL. Omar Infante is still the biggest outlier. The Royals designated the veteran second baseman for assignment on June 15, and he has the fourth-most votes (807,443) at his position.

Kansas City third baseman Mike Moustakas is still among the highest vote-getters despite the fact that he's going to miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL. The 27-year-old appears to be slipping, though. He dropped from second to third in the voting behind Toronto Blue Jays star Josh Donaldson.

Texas Rangers outfielder Ian Desmond is arguably the biggest snub so far. He ranks seventh in the American League in WAR (3.1) on FanGraphs. The 30-year-old has rebounded in a big way following his disappointing 2015 season. Through 70 games, Desmond is batting a career-high .312 with 11 home runs and 46 runs batted in.

Desmond is making up some ground. Whereas he sat 11th in the third round of voting, he has moved up to ninth. He needs to close a gap of 746,754 in order to overtake Betts in third place.

The National League isn't nearly as diverse as the junior circuit, with five Chicago Cubs currently leading their respective positions, and all five have sizable leads.

Dexter Fowler, who is currently on the disabled list with a hamstring injury, has the smallest lead with just under 180,000 more votes than Washington's Bryce Harper. Even if Harper closes the gap, Fowler will need a monumental collapse to drop out of the top three spots to start the game. 

The only argument against any of the Cubs currently leading is shortstop Addison Russell, who is hitting just .237/.331/.375 and ranks seventh among qualified NL shortstops in FanGraphs' wins above replacement. 

Los Angeles Dodgers rookie Corey Seager leads all NL shortstops in FanGraphs' WAR (2.9) and is hitting a robust .283/.343/.505 with 15 home runs. He's currently in third place behind Russell and Colorado's Trevor Story, but Russell has more than twice the votes Seager does at this stage of the voting. 

Anthony Rizzo, Ben Zobrist and Kris Bryant are all having terrific seasons and are deserving of their spots on the team. 

The best race in the NL is at catcher between Yadier Molina of the St. Louis Cardinals and Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants with just over 75,000 votes separating them. Based on the strength of those two fanbases, that margin figures to get tighter before the voting ends at the end of this month. 

The next round of voting results will be released on June 28, which is the final look fans will get before starting lineups are announced. Voting will close on June 30.

The 2016 MLB All-Star Game will take place in San Diego on July 12.

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