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All-Star Games: Finalists Moving To The Second Phase Of Voting

Ohtani, All Star, Stadium Rant

Two great sluggers have officially punched their tickets, marking the official narrowing of the field of prospective starting position players for the 2024 MLB All-Star vote after phase one.


By the time polling ended at noon on Thursday, about 11 million ballots had been cast, totaling over 155 million votes. The results were broadcast on MLB Network on Thursday night. Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees and Bryce Harper of the Philadelphia Phillies emerged as the top vote-getters in their respective leagues, as reported by the 2024 MLB All-Star Ballot presented by BuildSubmarines.com. This means that on July 16, 2024, at the MLB All-Star Game in Arlington, they will automatically start in their respective leagues' lineups.


Phase 2 of the vote will take place on Sunday, June 30. This is for the top six outfielders and the top two Phase 1 winners at every position (NL first base excluded). Only the top four outfield finishers' position progressed to battle for two berths, as Judge had already secured one AL outfield spot.


Voting in Phase 2 will conclude Wednesday, July 3, at noon. At the start of phase 2, the MLB App, the MLB Ballpark App, all 30 Club websites, MLB.com/vote, and other mobile apps will be the only places to access the All-Star Ballot. During Phase 2, fans are allowed to vote once daily. The daily voting cap is reset at midnight every day.


Catchers


Brewers William Contreras

AL- Adley Rutschman (Orioles), Salvador Perez (Royals)

In Phase 1, these two significantly surpassed the field. Rutschman hopes to improve his phase 2 performance from last season when he lost to Jonah Heim of the Texas Rangers. Since joining the Major Leagues in May 2022, the 26-year-old has been extraordinary, and the Baltimore Orioles have had a winning record ever since. The switch-hitter is still a fantastic pitch blocker behind the plate and has a .300/.351/.479 line with 15 home runs, just five short of his career-high from last season.


Meanwhile, Perez has an opportunity to join Ivan Rodriguez and Mike Piazza as the only other catchers to start seven or more All-Star Games, and he will only be the third to do so in the previous 35 years. Perez has 12 home runs and 47 RBI's, showing at age 34, he is still a dangerous hitter.


NL- Willam Contreras (Brewers), J.T. Realmuto (Phillies)

After Hall of Famer Ted Simmons (1983), Contreras is trying to become the second Milwaukee Brewers catcher to win the All-Star fan vote. The 26-year-old has played nearly every game this season and slashed .292/.352/.442, leading Milwaukee to the top spot in the NL Central. Having started at first base for the National League in 2022 in place of an injured Bryce Harper, he does have some All-Star starting experience.


Phase 2 pits Contreras against Realmuto, who is out due to surgery for a meniscectomy on his right knee earlier this month. Before his injury, Realmuto hit .261 with seven home runs and a .720 OPS in 51 games. He was voted a starter for the All-Star team in 2021.


First Base


AL- Ryan Mountcastle (Orioles), Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (Blue Jays)

According to fan voting, Guerrero, the current Home Run Derby champion, would have won phase 2 voting three times in the last four years. Guerrero has picked up his game after having a difficult start to the season. He has been hitting .330 since May 5 and has hit three home runs in his previous five games.


Will that surge overthrow Mountcastle? The 27-year-old is hoping to be selected for his first-ever All-Star team. He has contributed significantly to the Orioles offense this season, batting.278/.324/.471, which is suitable for a 129 OPS+.


NL- Bryce Harper (Phillies)

In addition to winning his seventh fan-elected starting assignment (second among active players to Mike Trout), Harper (who hobbled off the field after a game-ending groundout on Thursday night) becomes the first Phillies player to win the fan vote at first base since John Kruk back in 1993.


Second Base


Padres Luis Arraez

AL- Jose Altuve (Astros), Marcus Semien (Rangers)

The competition to start in the Rangers' home field is all Texas. Not counting 2020, when the All-Star Game was canceled, these two players have dominated the fan vote at this position. Although Semien is the current winner, Altuve has a chance to win for the sixth time.


If Altuve does, he will become the sixth player to win the award, joining Chase Utley, Rod Carew, Joe Morgan, Ryne Sandberg, and Roberto Alomar as the only other second basemen to do so since the 1970 vote switchback to a fan poll. He might become one of only three active players with six or more at any position, along with Harper (seven), Judge (six), and Trout (10).


NL- Ketel Marte (Diamondbacks), Luis Arraez (Padres)

Since Chase Utley held the spot from 2006 to 2009, the NL hasn't had a consistent starter at second base. Marte will attempt to maintain being the second base starter in his Phase 2 clash with Arraez, the San Diego Padres starting second baseman from the previous season. With 4.1 WAR, Marte is among the top 10 in the NL. He also leads the second basemen with 16 home runs, 46 RBIs, and a minimum of 100 PAs and .845 OPS.


In addition to joining Soto in the group of players to be All-Stars for three teams in a row, Arraez would make history if he defeats Marte. He would also become the first second baseman in Padres history to win the fan vote. Arraez was already an all-star as a Minnesota Twin (2022) and Miami Marlin (2023). He leads the Major Leagues in hits (105), and his .310 average this season has him in the running for his third consecutive batting title.


Third Base


AL- Jose Ramirez (Guardians), Jordan Westburg (Orioles)

If Westburg, in his second major league season, were to defeat five-time All-Star and two-time fan vote winner Ramirez, it would have to be considered a significant upset. Whether he does or not, Westburg has a bright career ahead of him. He is hitting over .500 with 13 home runs, 46 RBIs, and an OPS+ of 144, second only to Gunnar Henderson among Orioles. In addition, he has alternated between third base (49 starts) and second base (24 starts).


Ramírez, who hasn't started an All-Star Game since 2018, has made a compelling argument for himself. One of the reasons the surprisingly potent Guardians lineup has propelled Cleveland to the second-best record in MLB is because of his 21 home runs (tied for third in the AL) and 72 RBIs (second).


NL- Alec Bohm (Phillies), Manny Machado (Padres)

Bohm finished second in the NL behind teammate Harper with over 3.1 million votes in phase 1, far exceeding Machado's total. Now that their totals have been reset, we'll see if phase 2's outcomes are comparable as Bohm attempts to become just the third Phillies third baseman to win the fan vote since Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt retired, following Scott Rolen (2002) and Placido Polanco (2011).


Bohm is having a career year for the Phillies. He is slashing .304/.356/.492 with an MLB-best 28 doubles, matching for the NL lead in RBIs with 64. On the other hand, Machado has had a slow start after right elbow surgery derailed his 2023 season. He has, however, recently appeared more like the Machado of old, hitting .325/.372/.460 over his last 35 games.


Shortstop


Orioles Gunnar Henderson

AL- Gunnar Henderson (Orioles), Bobby Witt Jr. (Royals)

The AL shortstop field was competitive, but these two up-and-coming talents were the best. After successful 2023 seasons, both players are currently in their third MLB season and aim to qualify for the Midsummer Classic for the first time. Both play excellent defense at short.


According to Baseball Reference, Henderson, the current AL Rookie of the Year, has been outstanding at bat for Baltimore and is just ahead of Judge for the MLB lead in WAR. He blasted 26 home runs, stole 13 bases, and hit .288/.387/.618. Witt is hitting .311 with 12 home runs, 21 steals, and an AL-leading 102 hits.


NL- Mookie Betts (Dodgers), Trea Turner (Phillies)

Betts has hit .304 with 10 home runs, 40 RBIs, 50 runs scored, and an OPS of .892 this season. He led Turner in the first round of voting by a wide margin. Betts was struck by a pitch on June 15, suffering a fracture to his left hand. Turner might be able to change the course of events in Phase 2.


A two-time All-Star, Turner strained his left hamstring on May 3 and missed six weeks of action. After returning from the injured list, he has safely hit in seven of his eight games and has a slash line of .329/.380/.445 through 41 games this season.


Outfielders


AL- Juan Soto (Yankees), Steven Kwan (Guardians), Anthony Santander (Orioles), Kyle Tucker (Astros)

These four will battle for the two starting outfield slots left for the AL, with Judge earning a spot in the starting lineup automatically after leading all players in votes during Phase 1. Making the decision won't be simple. With 19 home runs and the third-best OPS (1.001) among eligible hitters, Soto, who received the second-most votes of any AL player behind Judge, is hitting .303.


According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Soto might represent a different team at the All-Star game for the third straight season after becoming an All-Star for the 2021–22 Nationals and ’23 Padres. Only eight players have accomplished this feat. The most recent was Nelson Cruz (2013–15, Rangers/Orioles/Mariners).


After recovering from a left hamstring ailment, Kwan has been on fire. In 52 games with the Guardians, who have the best record in the AL, he has a .377 batting average and a.988 OPS. He might become the first outfield player from Cleveland to win the fan vote since 2001 when Juan Gonzalez did it. With 21 home runs, Santander is tied for third place in the AL. He would be the first Orioles outfield player to win the fan vote since Adam Jones did so twice in 2013–14.


Then there's Tucker, who has 19 home runs and a .979 OPS (fourth in the AL), despite being out due to a right shin bruise. Now that the Phase 2 lineup has been determined, Mike Trout's fantastic run of ten consecutive victories by fan voting has finally ended.


NL- Jurickson Profar (Padres), Christian Yelich (Brewers), Teoscar Hernadez (Dodgers), Fernando Tatis Jr. (Padres), Brandon Marsh (Phillies), Nick Castellanos (Phillies)

This has been an unusual season for National League outfielders as injuries, position changes, and poor play have eliminated a number of well-known players from the ballot. One of the most delightful shocks of the first half of the season, Profar, emerged from that circumstance.


Profar, who is 31 years old and has been out of the MLB's top prospect race for 11 years, is hitting the ball with greater vigor in 2024, leading the NL with a .408 OBP and finishing in the top half of the league in multiple categories.


On the other hand, his teammate Tatis is not anticipated to return until after the All-Star break due to a stress fracture in his right leg. For the first time since Tony Gwynn in 1999, a Padres outfielder would receive a starting nod if one or both got it.


After missing 23 games earlier in the season due to injury, Yelich has returned to full health and is hitting .325/.407/.485 with 16 stolen bases in 55 games; his best output since 2019. Hernández has blasted 18 home runs in his first 80 games with the Los Angeles Dodgers, living up to the terms of the one-year contract he signed in the winter.


Marsh has had the better 2024 stats of the two Phillies outfielders who advanced to Phase 2. He has been hitting .269/.345/.425 with eight steals, seven home runs, and strong defense.


Designated Hitter


Dodgers Shohei Ohtani

AL- Yordan Alvarez (Astros), Ryan O'Hearn (Orioles)

Shohei Ohtani is in the NL now after signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers, meaning he won't represent the AL for the time since 2019. Alvarez was an AL All-Star reserve in the previous two seasons. O'Hearn, who might be selected for the first time, was designated for assignment by the Royals just two years ago.


With 77 games played, Alvarez is hitting .288 with 16 home runs, 41 RBIs, and a .876 OPS. In 235 plate appearances for Baltimore this season, O'Hearn has struck out just 24 times. He is hitting .284 with 10 home runs and an OPS of .810.


NL- Shohei Ohtani (Dodgers), Kyle Schwarber (Phillies)

The Phillies' leadoff hitter, Kyle Schwarber, is dominating the ball as usual in June (.918 OPS, six home runs), and he leads the NL in walks with 59. It would be shocking if anybody could defeat Ohtani, who, rather than declining after elbow surgery, has improved this season at the plate.


Ohtani, who is leading the National League in average (.322) and home runs (25) and is a strong candidate for the Triple Crown in his first season with the Dodgers, is only third in RBIs (61).

 

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