Voting for the 2021 MLB All-Star Game officially began on Thursday, June 3rd at 11:59 am. Representative of the cathartic nature of this season that has started to resemble normalcy, I’ve gotten into the voting season. Like way into it.
I’ll be voting the maximum allowable of five times per 24-hour period, and I’ll also be documenting my experiences. I made the first stop of my media tour this Sunday, by making an appearance on The Sports Stove Podcast with Belly Up’s own Vince Stover.
Vince has a classic sports-guy voice. A comforting, slow drawl and he doesn’t just sound good, the guy knows his stuff. Without any further ado, here is my All-Star ballot.
First Base: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. – Blue Jays, Max Muncy – Dodgers
Guerrero Jr. has blossomed into the player scouts envisioned years ago. He leads the league in OPS and his 2.9 WAR is second in the AL among position players behind teammate Marcus Semien. In other words, if he’s not on your ballot, you should probably rethink some of your life decisions.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. now leads MLB with 17 home runs this season! pic.twitter.com/5S1IXn6VtV— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) June 2, 2021
While not quite as easy a choice, Muncy was still a fairly obvious one. In a year where many of the usual suspects (Freeman, Goldschmidt, Votto) are having down seasons, Muncy has done enough to earn the nod.
Second Base: Marcus Semien – Blue Jays, Ryan McMahon – Rockies
As mentioned below Semien’s WAR made him an easy selection. His power numbers, steady defense, and baserunning prowess (8/8 in stolen bases) suggest he’s regained his 2019 form.
Marcus Semien has been on a tear. pic.twitter.com/uDsc74KO0W— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) May 30, 2021
It’s been a tough couple of years for the Rockies and their fans. They traded star third baseman Nolan Arenado in the winter. They’re expected to either trade Trevor Story or watch him sign elsewhere in the next several months. At least they’ve received a strong performance from McMahon, which gives Rox fans something to cheer about.
Third Base: Rafael Devers – Red Sox, Kris Bryant – Cubs
Devers has been a huge part of what has been arguably the best offense in baseball this season. His gaudy power numbers (15 HR, .951 OPS) negate his below-average fielding stats.
RAFAEL DEVERS INTO ORBIT. pic.twitter.com/fGdwXyqkxW— Red Sox (@RedSox) June 4, 2021
Bryant has enjoyed a nice bounceback season and leads MLB with an OPS+ of 175. He’s been a major reason why the Cubs find themselves in first place in the NL Central.
Catcher: Salvador Perez – Royals, Buster Posey – Giants
I really considered voting for Mike Zunino of the Rays. They’ve been the best team in the American League and it seems like they should have a starter on the team. In the end, I went with Perez, whose numbers are a bit better and who plays more often.
Posey has been terrific this season and has turned back the clock on a career that’s seemingly winding down. Honorable mention to Yadier Molina, who, amazingly, deserves consideration in his age-38 season. If he does make the team, it’ll be his tenth selection.
Shortstop: Xander Bogaerts – Red Sox, Fernando Tatis Jr. – Padres
At first glance, this appeared to be an easy selection. Bogaerts is the choice but Joey Wendle may find himself on my ballot in the near future. The two players have identical WAR’s (2.2), Bogaerts has superior offensive numbers, and Wendle has been better defensively.
Fernando Tatis Jr. has been on fire all season. He’s also missed 21 games and committed an MLB-high 15 errors. Trea Turner is deserving of some consideration but I’d rather see Tatis Jr., the most exciting player in the sport.
Outfield: AL – Mitch Haniger, Adolis García, Aaron Judge
Another position group that I don’t feel strongly about. García’s start to his career not only has him in line for Rookie of the Year honors, but he’s also on track to start this game. A return to health for both Judge and Haniger has been key to their revitalized play.
I feel like I missed out on Adolis García with 16 HR, 27 R, 41 RBI, 6 SB, .286 BA, .911 OPS— Corbin (@corbin_young21) June 1, 2021
-97 mph EV on FB/LD (No. 14)
-18.9% Barrel% (98th-percentile)
Though it comes with a
-69.7% Contact%#FantasyBaseball pic.twitter.com/qNo3nDUeNV
Outfield: NL – Ronald Acuña, Nick Castellanos, Jesse Winker
Acuña has continued to add to the sublime start to his career. He leads the NL in both home runs and runs scored. It’s rare to have two players on a sub-.500 team (Reds) start in the All-Star game but I couldn’t leave either player off my ballot.
Jomboy’s All Star starting outfielder Jesse Winker hits another home run! pic.twitter.com/S8QTeo6r0X— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) June 4, 2021
The next stop on the All-Star Game voting train will be Thursday night. I’m honored to be a guest on The Pesky Report, a Red Sox-centric pod.
I’m really happy to share my thoughts and collaborate with other members of the Belly Up Sports teams. Make sure to check out all the podcasts we have to offer on the website. Have a great week everyone!