The summer has finally arrived in Boston, and with it comes the final month of lead up to the 88th Midsummer Classic, AKA the All-Star Game. Boston fans surely tuned in last season when the Red Sox sent 6(!) players to Petco Park last July. It was a new experience for some of our budding superstars, with Jackie Bradley Jr, Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, and Steven Wright all being voted to their first game. Also making the trip to San Diego was Craig Kimbrel (his 5th) and David Ortiz, his 10th time being selected as an All-Star.
Unfortunately, it's not looking very likely that the Sox will be sending 6 players to Miami this season. In the most recent ballot update, the Red Sox only have 4 players represented, and none of them are leading in their respective positions. Dustin Pedroia comes in 5th, almost 785,000 votes behind first place Jose Altuve. Xander Bogaerts is a little closer to the top of the shortstop race, in 4th place trailing Francisco Lindor by 453,000 votes.
Rounding out the ballot are Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi at 4th and 6th for outfielders, respectively. Mookie has the best chance at a starter bid out of the lot because injured Angels superstar Mike Trout is above him in 2nd place. However first place is probably out of the question considering Yankees m̶i̶d̶d̶l̶e̶ ̶l̶i̶n̶e̶b̶a̶c̶k̶e̶r̶ Right Fielder, Aaron Judge, is sitting pretty at the top, with 200,000 more votes then Mookie and BennyTeddy combined.
The pitchers are selected by managers on a basis of how well they have been preforming throughout the season, so odds are we'll be seeing Chris Sale and Craig Kimbrel in Miami, even if none of the position players win the p̶o̶p̶u̶l̶a̶r̶i̶t̶y̶ ̶c̶o̶n̶t̶e̶s̶t̶ fan vote.
With the position players being selected by the fans, it can lead to these selections being less justified than they would be if the teams were selected based on who's been playing the best at each position. So let's take a look at our guys and their competition based on WAR and see whether the Sox deserve to be higher up in the rankings right now.
First up, shortstop. Here's where my boy Xander should really shine. He has been the best shortstop in the American league this season and the numbers prove it. Maybe not by a ton, but he is definitely the most valuable AL shortstop in the game right now. If he misses out on a trip to Miami, it would be a crime.
Since all the outfielders are grouped together and the top players are picked regardless of position, I did the same. Surprisingly, Mookie Betts finishes in the same place as he does on the regular ballot. Unless things change drastically in the next month, look for Mookie to be deserving of a starting spot in the outfield in Miami, but probably not in right field since he plays the same position as actual MonStar, Aaron Judge.
Despite being number 1 in our hearts, Andrew Benintendi is sporting a .5 WAR through the first 3 months of the season so he doesn't quite make the cut on the WAR All-Star team.
Like Andrew Benintendi, Dustin Pedoria is benifiting from his popularity on the All-Star roster this season. He ranks the 10th highest 2nd baseman according to WAR. These numbers might be down a bit from his usual since he's missed some time due to injury this season, but he's not a lock to make the team based on play this year.
The only position where the voting rosters are really overshadowing the active performance of a Red Sox player is over at 1st. According to WAR, Mitch Moreland is the 4th best 1st baseman in the AL right now. I know, I'm surprised too. Never in a million years would I have expected that going into 2017, but good for him! Throw him on your ballots, he deserves it.
There's still time for our guys to rise in the leaderboards before the rosters are set for the July 11th classic. Get those votes in a get our guys to Miami!
You can vote for the Red Sox (or anyone else but why would you) here.