MLB All Star Voting 2019: Predicting Biggest Snubs for Summer Showcase

Andrew Gould@AndrewGould4Featured ColumnistJune 22, 2019

Anthony Rendon did not make the final cut for MLB All-Star Game voting.
Anthony Rendon did not make the final cut for MLB All-Star Game voting.Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

MLB refined its All-Star Game voting process by adding a primary, the results of which confirmed Springfield anchorman Kent Brockman's view of democracy.

Friday night, MLB revealed the American League and National League finalists for each position. Players who won the first popularity contest will advance to the Starters Election, a 28-hour voting period that starts Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET.

Although the final outcome could yield no egregious starters, some head-scratching candidates made the cut. Jose Altuve will vie for the AL's second-base seat despite returning from the injured list Wednesday. Houston Astros teammate Carlos Correa is still sidelined, but that didn't stop him from beating out a stacked group of shortstops.

Atlanta Braves and Chicago Cubs fans clearly stuffed the ballots. While both NL playoff contenders boast plenty of star power, the less impressive likes of Brian McCann, Josh Donaldson, Nick Markakis, Kyle Schwarber, Albert Almora Jr. and Jason Heyward also tagged along for the ride.

Before working up too much fury, some of the baffling snubs highlighted below are still likely to make the All-Star squad as reserves. It's not, however, guaranteed in each instance.


2019 MLB All-Star Game: Starting Finalists


You have voted and we have our finalists. First, the top 3 in each league at first base and third base. https://t.co/yXxMLPWfnV


Here are your finalists at shortstop and second base. https://t.co/fgJYMJhl9u


9 outfielders have made the final round of voting. The group from the AL. ⬇️ https://t.co/eoKaDnTV8e


And the crop of outfielders from the NL who will battle for the 3 starting positions. https://t.co/FEvRCvweM2


Finally, the catchers from both leagues and the DHs from the AL who have moved on. Remember, voting begins for the Starters Election on June 26th! https://t.co/N73daCEzzW



Starting Snubs

Xander Bogaerts, SS, Boston Red Sox

Xander Bogaerts has been baseball's best shortstop this season.
Xander Bogaerts has been baseball's best shortstop this season.Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

Confused as to how a legitimate AL MVP candidate—albeit in a world where Mike Trout gets bored and takes a summer sabbatical—from the Boston Red Sox didn't finish among the top-three AL shortstops? So is Xander Bogaerts.

Per WEEI's Rob Bradford, the 26-year-old expressed some displeasure of getting continually overlooked in the voting process before the final tally.

"It's just so weird," Bogaerts said Tuesday. "I just miss out when, in my opinion, I should have been there. I just feel like it's a routine. Every year, the same thing. It's kind of getting annoying. But I don't know what to do."

Courtesy of Sirius XM's MLB Network Radio, Red Sox manager Alex Cora also voiced his dismay following a voting update earlier in the week:

MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM @MLBNetworkRadio

#RedSox Alex Cora is "disappointed" Xander Bogaerts is only sixth among American League shortstops in All-Star Game voting. #DirtyWater https://t.co/zS1JcujbOS

Bogaerts has continued his gradual ascent to superstardom by batting .299/.392/.535 with 14 home runs. As of Friday, he led all shortstops in WAR (3.5) while matching Jorge Polanco's position-leading .388 weighted on-base average (wOBA). 

Polanco is a deserving All-Star who will hopefully beat out Correa and Gleyber Torres, who won't have a chance to beat up on Baltimore Orioles pitching in the Midsummer Classic. While Bogaerts should have little trouble making his second All-Star appearance as a reserve, he will face steep competition for the spot. Torres, Tim Anderson, Marcus Semien, Elvis Andrus and Francisco Lindor all belong in the conversation.

Given how much the national media pays attention to the Red Sox, it's bizarre to see their best player this season not get the recognition he deserves.  


Anthony Rendon, 3B, Washington Nationals 

Rendon should at least be recognized as a reserve.
Rendon should at least be recognized as a reserve.Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Anyone who voted for Donaldson over Anthony Rendon should be banned from the Starters Election and all future All-Star voting.

As the polls closed, the Washington Nationals third baseman boasted MLB's fourth-best wOBA (.427) behind Christian Yelich, Cody Bellinger and Trout. Despite briefly sitting on the injured list with an elbow injury, his 3.2 WAR matches Nolan Arenado atop the NL hot corner in 13 fewer games. 

His team's Twitter page launched a convincing campaign on the 29-year-old's behalf:

Washington Nationals @Nationals

Anthony Rendon's rank among @MLB 3B: 1st - OBP (.407) 1st - SLG (.655) 1st - wOBA (.430) 1st - wRC+ (166) 1st - 2B (20) NOT 1st?!?! - #ASG Votes #VoteRendon // https://t.co/VTHiramBkO https://t.co/fm2RoM7l8T

This disrespect is nothing new. Two years ago, Rendon finished third in the NL's final vote despite carrying a .307/.407/.552 slash line into the intermission. While he didn't heat up until the summer of 2018, his 15 homers still went unnoticed by the fans and his peers.

Rendon's unjust All-Star drought should still end. Based on the primary voting, Arenado will run away with a starting gig he has the qualifications to fill. One can only hope those around the game appreciate Rendon as the superstar he is, making him a lock to come off the bench.

If not, this entire event is a waste of time.


Matt Chapman, 3B, Oakland Athletics

Matt Chapman does not get the proper due for his stellar defense and batting eye.
Matt Chapman does not get the proper due for his stellar defense and batting eye.Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

While Matt Chapman is also a slick-fielding third baseman with 17 home runs and a keen batting eye, he has a higher risk of getting left out of the festivities altogether.

The 26-year-old is a demonstrably above-average hitter wielding a .363 wOBA. His .264 batting average, however, won't curry as much favor.

Behind probable (and deserving) starter Alex Bregman, Rafael Devers is hitting .310 with 12 homers and eight steals. Yoan Moncada has an on-base and slugging percentage right in line with Chapman's, but he's hitting .298. Although not much of a defensive wizard, Hunter Dozier was hitting a forceful .314/.398/.589 before returning from a side issue Friday night.

This could spell trouble for the unheralded Oakland Athletics star, who derives much of his value (3.0 WAR) on the diamond.

Chapman leads all AL third basemen in Defensive Runs Saved and Ultimate Zone Rating, ranking second overall in each category. These metrics are not universally accepted among fans and players, so he can't count on the reserve selections to deliver justice.

A tough exclusion with similar numbers last season, Chapman could finish 2019 with his second top-10 placement on the AL MVP ballot but no All-Star appearance. 


Note: All advanced stats, updated as of Friday, are courtesy of FanGraphs