The final vote winners for the 2016 MLB All-Star Game were announced on Friday. This year’s game will take place and San Diego on Tuesday, July 12.
Final Vote Winners
AL- Michael Saunders, OF, Blue Jays
.298 AVE, 16 HR, 41 RBI, 49 RUNS
The 29 year old Saunders is one of the more surprising All-Stars this year. Up until this season he had never hit more than 19 homers in a season, he already has 16 this year. Now in his eight big league season, Saunders has never been an All-Star or won any major end of season awards such as MVP, gold gloves, silver sluggers, etc. He is on pace to set career highs in every statistical category. A guy who only played 9 big league games last year for the Blue Jays, Saunders could very well be in line to win AL comeback player of the year. The Jays outfielder made the team much in part to receiving over 98% of the fan vote from Canada. Born and raised north of the boarder, Saunders has played for the Canadian team in the World Baseball Classic and the Olympics. He is the only Canadian on either All-Star roster this year.
NL- Brandon Belt, 1B, Giants
.300 AVE, 10 HR, 46 RBI, 44 RUNS
Belt, the big lefty from the Bay Area has been voting into his first All-Star game. A bigger name than Saunders, much in part to his playoff heroics with the Giants, Belt barely edged out Starling Marte of the Pirates for the final spot on the NL roster. Similar to Saunders, Belt has never led the league in any major statistical category or been the recipient of any major end of season rewards. However, this season he is leading the NL in doubles with a remarkable 27 so far. Last season Belt hit a career high 18 homers and he is on pace to narrowly eclipse that number this year. Both he and Saunders should come in hand for their respective managers as left handed bats of the bench late in the game Tuesday night.
- Bartolo Colon will replace Madison Bumgarner on the NL roster. Bumgarner is scheduled to start Sunday and is thus ineligible to pitch in the game Tuesday night. Colon, 43, will be the oldest person on either roster this year and is now a 4 time All-star. Colon has a 3.28 ERA this season and made history when he became the oldest player to hit his first career homerun when he took James Shields deep on May 7 in Petco Park. The All-Star game is being held in that same park and although it’s not going to happen, fans could only wonder what Colon would do if given an at bat.
- Max Scherzer was added to the NL roster to replace teammate Stephen Strasburg. Scherzer is in the midst of another fine season. He leads the MLB with 155 strikeouts so far this season. Since the beginning of last year Scherzer has 2 no-hitters and a 20 strikeout game. He is simply one of the most dominant forces in the game right now and should have been on the initial roster.