As I begin writing this post, we’re sitting right around the 50-game mark for most teams. And, we’re just a little more than a month away from the Mid-Summer Classic. So, I expect a lot has changed since I last cast my All-Star ballot. For comparison’s sake, let’s look at what my ballot looked like on May 7th:
Now, here’s my updated ballot:
AL – Paul Konerko (CHW) – he’s still leading all first basemen in practically every offensive category. And, really, it isn’t even close. He has nearly triple the WAR of the 2nd place guy, an 80-point lead in batting average, and nearly a 300-point lead in OPS!!
NL – Joey Votto (CIN) – he hasn’t caught up with LaHair in home runs, but has surpassed him in almost everything else. He leads all NL first basemen in WAR (nearly double the second best), batting average (.325), OBP (.463), SLG (.598), OPS (1.061), wRC+ (184), and is only 6 rbi behind the league leader.
Contenders: Bryan LaHair (CHC) – .308/.396/.582, 10 HR, 22 RBI; Adam LaRoche (WAS) – .287/.381/.527, 8 HR, 35 RBI
AL – Robinson Cano (NYY) – yikes! There are 5 guys within 0.6 WAR of each other at the moment, and they all appear among the leaders in various categories at second base. But, Cano currently appears at the top more often, leading all AL second basemen in WAR (2.1), ISO (.211), SLG (.497), and OPS (.838). He’s also second in wRC+ (124 – Kipnis leads), average (.286 – Pedroia), home runs (8 – Johnson), 4th in RBI (22 – Kipnis), and 6th in OBP (.341 – Kinsler & Johnson). His fielding isn’t up there with Pedroia or Johnson, but it isn’t miserable enough to move someone else into this spot.
NL – Jose Altuve (HOU) – another tough choice, but with fewer choices than in the AL. It comes down to Altuve or Uggla. In the end, I chose Altuve because the offense he plays in is worse, and he’s relied on more to spark Houston’s scoring. Altuve has the better average, better slugging, better speed, and better wRC+. Their OPS is almost identical.
Contender: Dan Uggla (ATL) – .267/.379/.455, 8 HR, 31 RBI
AL – Asdrubal Cabrera (CLE) – leads all AL shortstops in OBP, SLG, OPS, wRC+, and is tied for 2nd in WAR. The rest of the contenders are so spread out in the categories they lead – Hardy in home runs, Jeter in average, Andrus in WAR and stolen bases, Aviles in RBI – it’s tough to pick any of them over Cabrera at this point.
Contenders: Elvis Andrus (TEX) – best contender, considering how much higher his WAR is than everyone else – .308/.385/.421; Derek Jeter (NYY) – .336/.382/.455
NL – Rafael Furcal (STL) – leads NL shortstops in batting, OBP, OPS, wRC+ and WAR. It’s another instance where the other leaders are too spread out to jump ahead of Furcal – Lowrie in WAR, ISO, and home runs, Castro in RBI and stolen bases, Tulowitzki tied for ISO and home runs.
AL – Adrian Beltre (TEX) – leads AL third basemen in batting, home runs, SLG, OPS and ISO. He’s also second in RBI, and wRC+. He’s nearly a full run behind the leader in WAR (Moustakas), but is ahead of him in almost everything else.
NL – David Wright (NYM) – leads NL third basemen in batting, OBP, SLG, OPS, wRC+, and WAR. He’s also 2nd in ISO, and trails the leader in RBI by just 3. At the moment, Wright is having just too spectacular of a season to seriously consider anyone else.
AL – A.J. Pierzynski (CHW) – leads all AL catchers in RBI, batting, SLG, OPS and WAR. He trails the home run leaders by just one, and is 2nd in wRC+.
Contenders: Joe Mauer (MIN) – .296/.408/.408, 2 HR, 21 RBI; Matt Wieters (BAL) – .226/.316/.427, 8 HR, 22 RBI
NL – Carlos Ruiz (PHI) – this is a little bit of a tight race, but Ruiz is still the leader in batting (leads entire NL at .381), SLG, OPS, ISO, wRC+, HR, and WAR. He trails the RBI leader (Molina) by one, and the OBP leader (Ellis) by .007.
AL – David Ortiz (BOS) – we’re basically in the same place we were a month ago with this position. Ortiz leads all DH’s in batting, OBP, SLG, OPS, wRC+ and WAR. He’s 3rd in HR, RBI, and ISO. The difference now is that Dunn has moved into position as the closest contender, and the gap between Ortiz and the rest has decreased.
AL – 1) Josh Hamilton (TEX) – the guy’s just having an amazing year. Were it not for Konerko’s ridiculous batting average, Hamilton would be heading toward a triple crown – and he may yet. Let’s just say Hamilton has a comfortable lead in pretty much every other category – .366/.417/.758, 21 HR, 57 RBI. 2) Adam Jones (BAL) – the only other outfielder in the AL with a WAR above 3 besides Hamilton – .317/.367/.615, 16 HR, 34 RBI. 3) Mark Trumbo (LAA) – second only to Hamilton in wRC+ (177), which is especially impressive since he’s played about 8-10 fewer games than everyone else – .340/.387/.616, 10 HR, 26 RBI.
Contenders: Josh Willingham (MIN) – .277/.403/.560, 10 HR, 35 RBI; Matt Joyce (TB) – .295/.409/.545, 9 HR, 28 RBI; Alejandro De Aza (CHW) – .290/.373/.425, 4 HR, 24 RBI, 12 SB (leads AL); Josh Reddick (OAK) – .265/.332/.541, 14 HR, 27 RBI; Curtis Granderson (NYY) – .263/.360/.561, 17 HR, 33 RBI.
NL – The National League is a little more difficult to navigate. I had to set some boundaries for who to consider. And they were: at least a .900 OPS, 150 wRC+, and 2.0 WAR. This allowed me to narrow the field to guys that are swinging the bat well, and creating runs and wins for their team. This narrowed the list down to 8 candidates. And, my choices were … 1) Carlos Gonzalez (COL) – .335/.403/.649, 14 HR, 45 RBI – leads all NL OF’ers in OPS, wRC+, ISO, SLG and RBI. 2) Ryan Braun (MIL) – .310/.394/.603, 14 HR, 36 RBI – tied for lead in WAR, and is second only to Gonzalez in OPS, SLG, ISO, and wRC+. 3) Melky Cabrera (SF) – .376/.418/.559, 4 HR, 26 RBI – leads all NL OF’ers in batting and OBP, and is 3rd in OPS and wRC+, and is 4th in WAR.
Contenders: Carlos Beltran (STL) – .287/.386/.580, 15 HR, 42 RBI; Giancarlo Stanton (MIA) – .303/.377/.595, 13 HR, 40 RBI; Andrew McCutchen (PIT) – .335/.394/.557, 8 HR, 28 RBI; Andre Ethier (LAD) – .323/.379/.563, 9 HR, 44 RBI; Martin Prado (ATL) – .332/.408/.495, 3 HR, 22 RBI.
That’s my updated all-star ballot – 10 changed, 7 stayed the same. I’ll publish one more update, hopefully, a couple weeks before the deadline for submission.