MLB released the first American League All-Star fan voting update last week. It is very clear that Red Sox Nation is participating in the voting. Two Red Sox players are slated to be appointees in the midsummer classic if the voting were to end today. Here are my predictions:
There is no chance Mookie will be left off the All-Star team. As of June 16, Mookie is hitting .348 (leads majors), slugging .721 (leads majors), has an OPS of 1.148 (leads majors), and has scored 55 runs (second in majors). Do you see a pattern here? Mookie Betts will make his third straight All-Star game in 2018.
J.D. is also having an otherworldly season. Martinez has already hit 22 home runs (second in majors) and driven in 55 runs (leads majors). He is on pace to hit 50 homers and drive in 125 runs, which is incredible. He also is third in the majors in slugging percentage (.648) and OPS (1.040). This would be J.D.’s second All-Star appearance, as he appeared in the 2015 All-Star game as a member of the Detroit Tigers.
While Kimbrel is not having the greatest season ever, he is still putting up great numbers. He is second in the majors in saves with 22 of them, and has a 2.40 ERA with 0.90 WHIP. He will probably make the All-Star team this year because he’s been a top three closer in the American League for the last three years, and he continues to put up great numbers.
Again, Chris Sale is not having a historic season, but he is still putting up respectable numbers. So far, he has went 6-4 with a 2.75 ERA, but there is a good chance he is about to really heat up. In his last two starts, he has given up two earned runs and posted 19 strikeouts in 14 innings. As of right now, he is one strikeout behind Astros right-hander Gerrit Cole for the American League lead in strikeouts. While he may not start the All-Star game, he will probably make an appearance.
According to the first AL fan-voting update, Mitch was second place for AL first-basemen, only around 26,000 votes behind White Sox 1B Jose Abreu. Recently, Moreland has not been hitting well at all. He has three hits in his last 31 at-bats and has not recorded an RBI since June 3. Many things need to go right, for Moreland needs to get hot, Red Sox Nation needs to continue to have a huge presence in the AL fan-voting, and the other AL 1st basemen need to continue to struggle.
Benintendi ranked sixth among AL outfielders in the first fan-voting update, and with good reason. He is hitting .296/.383/.545/.928 with 12 home runs and 46 RBIs, which are great numbers at this point in the season. The problem is that many AL outfielders are having great seasons. Other than Mookie, Mike Trout (LAA), Aaron Judge (NYY), Michael Brantley (CLE), George Springer (HOU), and Mitch Haniger (SEA) are all having great seasons.
This is an intriguing case to make. Joe Kelly has pitched exceptionally well this season, posting a 2.61 ERA with 32 K’s in 31.0 innings. While non-closer relievers do not usually make the All-Star team, I felt the need to make a case for him.
Usually, the kind of season Xander is having this year would warrant an All-Star season, but this is no ordinary year. There are many great AL shortstops this year, as Manny Machado (BAL), Francisco Lindor (CLE), Carlos Correa (HOU), Jean Segura (SEA), and Andrelton Simmons (LAA) are all having exceptional seasons. There are really only two slots for American League shortstops, and those probably go to Machado and Lindor at this point. Xander Bogaerts still deserves some credit.