Breaking Down a 2019 MLB All-Star Ballot

Fan voting for the 2019 All-Star Game opened on May 28 and early voting for the July 9 exhibition will have a significant impact due to some changes made to the selection process. The early portion of the voting process will now be known as the “Primary,” a phase that will narrow down the field to the top vote-getters at each position. This phase will conclude on June 21 at 4pm ET.

Beginning at noon ET on June 26, fans will vote for the starter among the finalists at each position. This phase will last for 28 hours. Therefore, in order to ensure your favorites make it to the finals, it is important to vote the Chicago way: early and often.

Voting Approach

There are generally two methods fans might take to vote for their favorites: voting a straight ticket for their team or selecting a few members of their favorite team(s) and other worthy players around the league. I take the second approach and tend to change up which non-Cubs players I vote for on a daily basis.

Below, I will take you through my ballot and decision-making process. I don’t expect all readers will agree with my choices, so please feel free to comment with your personal preferences at the various positions.

Sample Ballot

Here is my ballot from today. Stats discussed are as of June 3.

1B: José Abreu – CWS; Anthony Rizzo – CHC

2B: Tommy La Stella – LAA; Ketel Marte – ARI

3B: Yoan Moncada – CWS; Kris Bryant – CHC

SS: Tim Anderson – CWS; Javy Báez – CHC

OF: Shin-Soo Choo – TEX; Joey Gallo – TEX; George Springer – HOU; Ronald Acuña Jr. – ATL; Andrew McCutchen – PHI; Juan Soto – WAS

C: James McCann – CWS; Willson Contreras – CHC

DH: Rowdy Tellez – TOR

Voting Rationale

AL 1B: Abreu has been a core player on the South Side since his debut in 2014 and could equal or better his career-high HR total of 36 this year.

NL 1B: After a slow start, Rizzo is putting up similar numbers to his Silver Slugger campaign in 2016.

AL 2B: Old friend La Stella is making the most of increased playing time since the trade out West and leads the candidates at his position with 12 bombs.

NL 2B: The field has weakened since El Mago made the move to shortstop. While Eduardo Escobar leads his team in most offensive stats, Marte sits right behind him on many of the Diamondbacks leaderboards, powering their offense following Paul Goldschmidt‘s trade to St. Louis.

AL 3B: Moncada is finally living up to his billing as a top prospect, slashing .283/.337/.487 with 10 homers.

NL 3B: Bryant also got off to a slow start this year but has returned to his 2016 MVP form, slashing .275/.389/.549 with 13 homers and an OPS+ of 140.

AL SS: Anderson is also having a breakout season for the ChiSox, slashing .330/.362/.508 with 9 dingers and an OPS+ of 132.

NL SS: No question here: El Mago has been hitting bombs and making fantastic plays in his favored position. While his average has come down under .300 since suffering a heel injury, Báez should be able to heat back up once his injury calms down.

AL OF: Today was my first time voting for Choo, a veteran who is worthy of respect for his slash line of .300/.383/.541 and 10 home runs. I also voted for his teammate Gallo, who is putting up MVP-type numbers, leading the AL in slugging (.653) and OPS (1.074, OPS+ 172). Springer is not far behind Gallo in terms of OPS, with 1.032 and he also has 17 dingers. Gallo and Springer have unfortunately both been sidelined with recent injuries but hopefully will return to action soon.

NL OF: Acuña and Soto are two of the best 21-and-under players to debut in MLB in recent years and are continuing to live up to the hype this year. McCutchen is a fan favorite veteran slashing .256/.375/.457 with 10 homers in his first year in Philly, though a recent knee injury could cost him.

AL C: McCann is slashing .338/.379/.507 with an OPS+ of 138 and is among the OPS leaders out of the candidates at his position.

NL C: Contreras has regained his power stroke with 12 bombs so far this year and leads the candidates at his position with an OPS of .944 (142 OPS+).

DH: Tellez is the candidate I have decided to support from my hometown team, the Blue Jays. His production is down from the 154 OPS+ he posted last year following his call-up in September, but he is one of the top power hitters for the rebuilding Jays, slugging .492 with nine bombs and 25 RBI.

Who I’m NOT Voting For

When I decide not to vote for a player, it is for one of two reasons: he doesn’t need my help or on general principle.

Players Who Don’t Need My Vote (or yours)

Cody Bellinger, LAD (OF): Bellinger is off to a monster start and also plays for a large-market team, so he gets plenty of attention already.

Mike Trout, LAA (OF): Trout has been the best player in MLB for quite some time. Many knowledgeable folks will be voting for him.

Nolan Arenado, COL (3B): Sports media folks like to claim Arenado doesn’t get any attention in Colorado. This would be true if they weren’t constantly talking about how nobody pays attention to him.

Players I Won’t Vote for on Principle

Yadier Molina, C (STL); Kolten Wong, 2B (STL); Mike Moustakas, MIL (2B); Christian Yelich, MIL (OF)

‘Nuff said.

How to Vote

The All-Star ballot can by found here. You can cast up to five ballots per day through this method, along with an additional vote by entering “MLB vote” or a player’s name in Google search (USA and Canada only) to bring up the Google ballot in your search results. Be sure to vote for your favorite Cubs so they can advance to the final round starting on June 26.

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