By now, you’ve surely been exposed to various hashtag vote campaigns for this year’s All-Star game. Maybe they’ve persuaded you to make your voice heard in a certain way. Maybe you need to do a little more research and wait until the last moment to vote (Thursday night at 9:59 p.m. MT). If you’ve been waiting around for a blogger to provide a guide about how to vote, do I ever have the post for you. (It’s this one.)
This is the Rational Rockies Fan’s guide to All-Star voting. Using numerical and emotional measures, I shall advise you how to cast your votes. I will not recommend that you vote for all Rockies players wily-nily, because that would be what the Irrational Rockies Fan does. Instead, we’ll go down the list of positions and figure out which Rockies are truly deserving of benefiting from your God-given right to make your voice known five times a day and up to 35 times to determine who will play the first few innings of the the Esurance All-Star Game presented by MasterCard. I’m crying stars and stripes just thinking about it.
This one’s easy. Tony Wolters is the Rockies’ catcher listed on the ballot, and no, you should not vote for him. I love TFW just as much as the next fan, and he’s having a good year. His strong approach at the plate has led to an on-base percentage near .400. But he has no power at all, and his defense seems to have regressed from the bar he set in 2016. Wolters is just nowhere close to the player for whom you should caset at least half of your votes: Buster Posey.
I’m gonna make somebody mad here. Mark Reynolds is having a dynamite season and I’m sure as hell glad the Rockies opted to sign Reynolds instead of Chris Carter, like I was advocating. In a vacuum, Reynolds surely deserves to be on the All-Star team. In that same vacuum, he deserves to get all of your votes. But a vacuum live we do not. We live in a world where sentences as terrible as the one preceding this one are possible.
And we live in a world where Paul Goldschmidt is slugging .606, a world where that mark isn’t even that close to Ryan Zimmerman’s .657, and a world where Joey Votto’s .412 on-base percentage is somehow just second best among NL first baseman. In this world, Mark Reynolds has the fourth best batting average among qualified NL first baseman, the fifth best on-base percentage, and the seventh best slugging percentage. And that’s before adjusting for Coors Field. You should absolutely NOT write in Reynolds for the All-Star Game. Instead, flip a coin for Goldschmidt or Zimmerman.
As opposed to the first two positions, Rockies’ second baseman D.J. LeMahieu registers in the voting here. He’s currently in third place, behind Daniel Murphy and Javier Báez. We can dismiss Báez’s presence here as a product of Cubs fans stuffing the ballot. Does that help LeMahieu’s case? Even if Daniel Murphy wasn’t hitting .342/.393/.576 it would not. LeMahieu is hitting .304 with a quite good .364 on-base percentage, but the gap power he had last year has all but disappeared. That severely hurts his overall offensive profile. He’s still a quality defender, but we’re not really close to needing that tiebreaker.
Your vote should go to Murphy, but in the event that you disagree, Josh Harrison would be a fine selection, as would Brandon Drury of the Diamondbacks, or even Brandon Phillips. Don’t vote DJ.
Nolan Arenado’s the best all around third baseman in the National League, and possibly all of baseball, so just vote for him.
Not only has Trevor Story missed a portion of the season, but he was in a terrible slump before landing on the disabled list. He’s improved since returning, but Story still hasn’t lifted his season line at the plate back to average. He’s walking more than he did last year, which is a positive development, but not if the cost is more strikeouts and less hitting overall, which has been the case for most of the season.
Right now, the National League has two shortstops having seasons head and shoulders above the rest: the improbable Zack Cozart and the player Rockies fans will curse endlessly for years to come, Corey Seager. To determine your vote, put those two names in a hat and pull one out.
As opposed to each other position, the ballot allows fans to vote for three outfielders. It’s the place where the Irrational Homer can select all three Rockies listed on the ballot: Gerardo Parra, Charlie Blackmon, and Carlos González. Parra was bouncing back nicely from his dismal 2016 season, but does that merit an All-Star vote? No. The answer is no. CarGo is in the midst of an awful season. As of this writing and measured by wRC+, CarGo has been the worst hitter in the National League. So, obviously, don’t vote for him for the All-Star game.
Blackmon’s another story. He might not get your outfield vote if you only had one, though he’d make a great case to get that vote. But because you have three, you should give one to Blackmon. He’s having the best season of his career, which is impressive even if it isn’t surprising—Blackmon’s career has been defined by gradual improvement. You have two other votes, and for once you don’t have to toss it to someone else in the NL West. Bryce Harper and Marcell Ozuna are both having great years, so vote for those two.
All-Star voting, in practice, isn’t as rational as this guide. It won’t happen, but the obvious NL outfield construction has Ozuna, Blackmon, and Harper.
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There you have it. The Rational Rockies Fan’s guide to All-Star voting. Now you know where your vote should go. If you’d rather only vote for deserving Rockies players and nobody else, it’s simple: Vote for Arenado and Blackmon. I expected more gray areas for fandom to fit into the equation, but there aren’t any. Those two should get your vote. As far as everyone else goes, give them your mental energy. Because after doing this exercise, I don’t feel so great about the state of the Rockies’ offense.