Josh Donaldson has benefitted from a huge surge of votes in the past week to put him solidly in an all-star starter’s spot. He rocketed past Mike Moustakas following a call to action initiated largely by Don Cherry. Donaldson now has the most votes any player has ever received on an all star ballot. It’s all completely deserved. Josh is the best 3rd baseman in the league. He’s quite literally twice the player Mike Moustakas is by WAR (4.4 to 2.2 respectively). But are there any other Blue Jays who deserve a starting spot and a fan voting campaign to get them there? Rhetorical question. Yes! Both Russell Martin and Jose Bautista have been the best at their respective positions and deserve to start in this year’s all star game.
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According to the most recent balloting update, Jose Bautista is in 5th place among AL outfielders. Only the top 3 start of course and Jose trails Yoenis Cespedes, Alex Gordon, Lorenzo Cain and Mike Trout. Jose needs at least 1.5 million more votes to snag a starting spot. Mike Trout is a lock, and justifiably so, as is Lorenzo Cain. It’s Alex Gordon that should be bumped for Bautista.
Bautista is 2nd among AL outfielders in wRC+, 1st in RBI (not a great individual stat but we’re trying to paint the best picture we can here!), 2nd in OBP and 2nd in OPS. Jose is 1st among right fielders in WAR. Jose is 4th among all outfielders in WAR (Kevin Kiermaier is 3rd but is not even in the top 15 of AL outfielders for votes. Be ashamed Rays fans!). Alex Gordon is 7th in WAR and Yoenis Cespedes is 10th. Jose is the 3rd most deserving outfielder. Let’s make a late push and help him get there.
The most egregious remaining omission from the starting AL all stars is Russell Martin. Salvador Perez leads AL catchers in voting. He’s 5 million votes ahead of the next highest which is Russell Martin. Perez doesn’t hold a candle to Martin this year. It’s about as baffling as when Moustakas was leading Donaldson. Why no voting campaign for Martin?
Russell Martin: 130 wRC+, 2.7 WAR*, 1.2 BsR*, .833 OPS, .352 OBP, 7.7 Def* (pitch framing is not included), 42% CS%. *Leads AL catchers
Sal Perez: 101 wRC+, 1.3 WAR, -3 BsR, .738 OPS, .279 OBP, 5.9 Def, 32% CS%. About the only category Perez leads AL catchers in is his share of 1st for home runs.
5 million votes is clearly too much for Martin to make up before voting ends tonight but he deserved to start and maybe we can help make his vote total a bit more respectable.
Of course it’s still possible and likely that Martin and Bautista will be selected to the All star team as reserves. Roberto Osuna could also be selected as a reserve. He is 2nd in WAR among AL relievers. Here’s hoping Osuna, Martin, Bautista and Donaldson all eventually represent Toronto at Great American Ballpark.
Motor City Bengals (Fansided’s Tigers site) and Climbing Tal’s Hill (Fansided’s Astros site) helped promote Josh Donaldson. Jays Journal is helping promote Jose Altuve and Miguel Cabrera in return. Cabrera is likely in but let’s keep voting Altuve! Because none of us want Omar Infante right? Strategic voting!