Baseball fans, we are essentially at the halfway point of the 2017 season. Teams have surpassed the 81 game mark, meaning they are readying themselves for the stretch run. The MLB All-Star Game is now a week away, with rosters being announced this past Sunday.
Like every year, when the rosters are revealed, fans are also introduced to the five players from each league that will be a part of the Final Vote. Of these ten players, one of them from each league will still earn a roster spot, despite not getting the initial nod to play down in Miami.
As expected, this list certainly contains a few names of players that some will view as “snubs”. But which of these snubs is truly the most deserving of winning the vote of fans?
This year in the American League, we have five infielders. Three of these men play shortstop, while the other two man opposite corners. Three players come out of the East, while the other two call the Central and West home. So who are these five men and who should get your vote to play in the MLB All-Star Game in 2017? Let’s find out!
Elvis Andrus, Shortstop, Texas Rangers
As a fantasy baseball player who has Andrus on his teams this season, I was absolutely stunned to hear his name was on this ballet, and not already on the team. To put things simply, Elvis has been nothing short of great this season. He is hitting over .300. Add on to that double-digit homers and 20 stolen bases, and you have yourself a highly deserving All-Star. Now, even if he isn’t voted in, he could easily still get in as an injury replacement. For Starlin Castro maybe?
Statline: .302 average, 11 HRs, 50 RBIs, 50 runs, 20 SBs
Xander Bogaerts, Shortstop, Boston Red Sox
Now, I am not going to knock Bogaerts by saying he is having a poor season. But in reality, there is simply no reason to vote for him when you compare him to Elvis alone. The two play the same position on the field. Offensively, Andrus simply has better numbers, almost across the board. So when breaking down the shortstops on this list, Xander simply has no business being on top.
Statline: .314 average, 5 HRs, 39 RBIs, 49 runs, 9 SBs
Didi Gregorius, Shortstop, New York Yankees
It is not Didi’s fault that he missed some of this season with a shoulder injury. But as a result, he simply can’t be seen as a better option than Elvis either. Sure he is hitting above .300 with nearly the same homer total, but the speed is a big difference. Didi has not been the same factor as Elvis on the bases. While I would put him ahead of Bogaerts, he still does not have enough to get him the final vote nod.
Statline: .310 average, 10 HRs, 36 RBIs, 29 runs, 2 SBs
Logan Morrison, First Baseman, Tampa Bay Rays
Now, this is where things get a little more interesting. Morrison is a power hitter that plays a different position, so we can’t do a straight up comparison to Elvis. So let’s save that for the moment. As things stand, he is in a three-way tie for second in the league in homers with George Springer and Cody Bellinger, both of whom are All-Stars. So LoMo certainly is deserving of a spot at the table.
Statline: .256 average, 24 HRs, 57 RBIs, 46 runs, 1 SBs
Mike Moustakas, Third Baseman, Kansas City Royals
As deserving as Morrison may seem because of his power output, he has some competition. Given Moustakas is a power hitting corner infielder, these two can be compared side by side to eliminate one. Moose has a better average, with just two fewer homers. The other numbers are fairly comparable, making this a pretty close call. While one could argue for either man, I would say that LoMo’s edge in the majority of stats gives him that slight edge.
Statline: .270 average, 22 HRs, 49 RBIs, 40 runs, 0 SBs
So we have narrowed our field from five to two. As things stand, I would say this comes down to Elvis vs LoMo. Between the two, there is one thing that makes one stand out over the other. And that would be Andrus’ ability to be more of an all-around player. While Morrison is crushing homers, Andrus is doing a bit of it all. Not only does he steal bags, but he also has his double-digit long balls.
So when all is said and done, this vote seems pretty straightforward to me. This Final Vote deserves to go to Elvis Andrus of the Texas Rangers. Send Elvis to the 2017 MLB All-Star Game in Miami next Tuesday! Voting ends on Thursday at 4:00 pm EST. Vote here.
What do you think? How does the AL Final Vote shape up for you this season? Who should be headed to Miami? Tell us in the comments!