Kurt started the All-Star ball rolling today with a post on the selection of the pitchers. While the managers of last year's pennant winners pick the pitchers, the fans have a voice in the selection of position players. Let's see how well Detroit fans are promoting their team.
Each teams' roster is 34 players. The fans vote for the starting position players. So how are our nine doing?
Miguel Cabrera is leading all American League players with over 2.3 million votes. As he should. Manny Machado is in second place among third basemen, and his time will come. Vote for Cabrera once a day because he deserves some kind of all-time record for "votes over replacement player".
Torii Hunter is third in the outfield voting with just over a million votes, but only a few percent ahead of Nick Markakis, Jose Bautista, and Nelson Cruz. The top three go, regardless of position. For you old-school folks, Torii is first in batting average among all outfielders over the past calendar year. If that is too basic for you, how about wins? The Angels are nine games under .500 and 10.5 games out of first place this year. Last year they were 16 games over .500 and finished only five games out of first. Last year they had Torii Hunter, this year they have Josh Hamilton. So Torii is worth 25 games more than a guy signed for $26 million a year. Now get voting!
Prince Fielder is second among first basemen, trailing Chris Davis by over 600,000 votes or about 30%. Voters are giving the the first two months of the season far too much weight. Yes Chris Davis has started the season hotter than a toasted cheeser. But his previous seven seasons suggest he will be cooling off any day. Among first basemen over the last calendar year Prince is first in runs batted in, batting average, wOBA, wRC+, and fWAR. So whether you are a traditionalist or favor the new numbers, you can be at peace voting for him.
Jhonny Peralta is third in voting among shortstops. Erick Aybar of the Angels is first in wOBA and RC+ for the past calendar year but does not even crack the top five. His fielding is sub-par, while Peralta may be average. Peralta is first in fWAR, so if you want a mostly Detroit infield, you can justify your selection.
Joe Mauer is leading the voting for catcher. Baseball has brought creativity to the all star selection process. Fans now can vote for the last player after first 33 are selected. How about allowing a vote against a player, if you do not want to vote for one? That could make the process more exciting.
But you want our boys to rest you say? Remember that this is for home field advantage in the World Series. That is one more potential game to attend, and one more game's worth of revenue to pay Cabrera or Scherzer when his contract is extended.
You can vote 25 times here, like an election for office in Chicago. So get to work.