AL All-Star update: Enter Jose Bautista
Here's the latest update on All-Star voting in the American League. In the outfield, there's been a changing of the guard.
The big change in American League All-Star balloting this time around is that Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays has advanced into a starting position. You certainly can make the case that he belongs; the established slugger is batting .254/.350/.502 this season and ranks sixth in the AL with 19 homers.
Here's the latest AL update in full, as of July 1, from MLB.com:
Mike Trout, Angels: 4,822,983
Adam Jones, Orioles: 4,766,256
Jose Bautista, Blue Jays: 2,679,230
Nick Markakis, Orioles: 2,536,864
Torii Hunter, Tigers: 2,390,336
Nelson Cruz, Rangers: 2,258,797
Nate McLouth, Orioles: 2,169,772
Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox: 1,751,022
Yoenis Cespedes, Athletics: 1,556,700
Coco Crisp, Athletics: 1,421,277
Alex Gordon, Royals: 1,416,887
Austin Jackson, Tigers: 1,306,330
Josh Hamilton, Angels: 1,138,518
Shane Victorino, Red Sox: 1,059,429
Ichiro Suzuki, Yankees: 1,003,198
Rank injustices? At second base, Jason Kipnis of the Indians certainly deserves more voter affection than he's getting, as does Howie Kendrick of the Angels. To be fair, though, that's a fairly loaded position in the AL this season.
Catcher Jason Castro of the Astros merits a mention, and the same goes for Salvador Perez of the Royals, especially once his defensive skills are taken into account. In the outfield, the most glaring absence is that of Brett Gardner of the Yankees, who's batting .286/.346/.450 and, of course, providing Gold Glove-caliber fielding.
Markakis, while a useful player, isn't performing up to All-Star standards this season, and he shoudn't be that close to a starting role. And, no, Hamilton and Ichiro have no business having that many votes to their credits.
On the whole, though, not a bad job by American League voters.
By way of reminder, full All-Star rosters will be announced Saturday evening, and we'll be here to break it all down for you. The game itself goes down on July 16 at Citi Field.
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