The latest round of all-star voting came out and features a few Reds. We’re only a few weeks away from the end of all-star voting, so if you haven’t voted, go vote now. And often. Make up some new emails and vote again. And again. And again. AND AGAIN.
In good news, voters have clearly recognized the superlativity of Joey Votto, as he’s leading the NL 1B ballot, with over twice the votes of the next highest candidate (Cardinal Lance Berkman).
You’d be ridiculous to vote for anyone else – his latest ‘hot streak’ has brought him to the top of the leaderboard in a lot of categories. He leads the NL in walks, and OPS, and all of MLB in OBP and doubles. The only area in which Votto isn’t beating the NL’s pitchers like red-headed step-children in is home runs – but that clearly hasn’t slowed him down very much. Votto also has a solid defensive reputation from his gold glove, so you pretty much have an ironclad case for all-star-ism.
The rest of the all-star situation looks from “slightly less” to “entirely un-” rosy. For instance, Brandon Phillips is currently in second place in 2B voting, but trails the Braves’ Dan Uggla significantly.
That’s not totally unjustified:
Brandon Phillips has a lot of defensive prowess to fall back on – which is probably why he’s sitting in second place, but even though fangraph’s UZR is rating his defense really highly this year, they still don’t place him anywhere close to Uggla in overall value. I mean, BP would have to be a pretty revelationary defender to bridge a .050 gap in wOBA.
There is really no plausible argument that the Reds should get an all-star spot at C, SS, 3B, in that order of least qualification. I mean, Cozart seems to be impressing with his defense at shortstop, but it takes awhile to build up a defensive reputation, and for all-star inclusion, he’s still going to have to hit a little better. And of course, Ryan Hanigan is the best around, but for some reason, people don’t see that.
Then, of course, there’s the stuff with the outfielders, where Jay Bruce is holding his own, but it’s not a clear situation, as all the outfielders are voted in one big category. Right now, Bruce is sitting at 9th, and well-behind the more high-profile candidates like Matt Kemp and Ryan Braun.
Really, it looks like Bruce may be getting an advantage in the voting by having strong home runs numbers. Carlos Beltran is a bit of an eye-roll-inducing candidate among the top three vote-getters, but I guess he is playing for a reigning world champion team, is a big name, and is having a pretty good year.
Anyway. Go vote. Votto is probably fine, but Bruce and Phillips are going to need a lot of hope, and maybe to hit a dozen grand slams or so to make the ASG.