(May 13, 2016 - Source: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images North America)
Evan Marinofsky Contributing Writer
Today is May 23, our Boston Red Sox are tied for first place in the AL East with a record of 27-17, and it's time to start thinking about the All Star Game. The MLB has wanted you to vote since the end of April, but I think starting right about now is a good time to start thinking about who you're going to vote for.
I have voted and to no surprise, I voted all Red Sox. But for the first time in a while, there was absolutely no bias involved. None. Not even an ounce.
Offensively, this team is somehow up there with the '27 Yankees. It is totally in the realm of possibility that you will see a Red Sox-stuffed American League All Star team and that's a big jump from last year when just Brock Holt represented the local 9.
To lead things off, Jackie Bradley Jr. should most definitely be the starting centerfielder for the American League -- there's no way he can't be. He's in the midst of a 27-game hit streak, which is the longest in the major leagues this year might I add. During those 27 games, he has a slash line of .404/.487/.786 with seven doubles, three triples, and eight home runs. His overall average is .342, which leads all center fielders in the American League. In second place is Mike Trout, who's a whole 21 points behind him. JBJ beats Trout in every major category aside from home runs and he's only 2 behind Trout. There's almost no way that JBJ doesn't get enough votes to start, and that's if either we do what we did to Xander Bogaerts last year and not vote for him, or the rest of the MLB just hasn't heard of Jackie Baseball and is just voting off of watching 1 minute of anything on MLB Network and hearing the name "Trout" said 7 times.
(May 11, 2016 - Source: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images North America)
Bogaerts should also definitely be a starter but with the amount of good shortstops there are, things get a bit complicated for the X-man. Though once you take a look at the stats, things become less-and-less complicated. Among American League shortstops, he ranks first in batting average (.346), which is 21 points ahead of Francisco Lindor who is in second-place. Bogaerts ranks first in every single major category except for home runs. That's absolutely mind-blowing. MLB Network touts guys like Carlos Correa and Lindor, but seem to forget that Bogaerts, who only has a year or two on each guy, beats them in every category except for home runs. Every. Single. Category. I really hope people notice that with Bogaerts because he seems to always go under the radar and people don't talk about him enough. He 100% deserves to be a starter.
It's a given that David Ortiz will be the starting DH for the American League in the All Star Game. No questions asked. And another big "by the way": if Maverick's not sitting next to the American League dugout at the All-Star Game in San Diego, we're going to have a problem. I want protests if he's not there. Maverick deserves it as much as Big Papi does his high-fives. It's an easy win-win.
For Hanley Ramirez, he probably won't start at first base in the All Star Game, but he'll at least make the squad. He's tied for first in batting averages among first basemen in the AL (.315), first in hits (52), and third in RBIs (26). Hopefully people see his numbers and are all-in on Hanley-Mania and vote him in at least as a reserve. The numbers don't lie.
At third base, Travis Shaw also deserves to make the team with his .305 batting average. But due to a ton of competition, there's a chance he doesn't get the nod as even a reserve. He deserves to be on the team more than most of his competition. But with fans voting, he's not as well-known as us Red Sox fans may think. To us, he's the Mayor of Ding Dong City. But to the rest of the country, they probably don't know him as well. White Sox fans will flood the ballot-boxes with votes for Todd Frazier despite his .228 batting average. Bandwagon Blue Jay fans will give Josh Donaldson the nod despite his .250 batting average. And don't forget about Nick Castellanos, Kyle Seager, Manny Machado, and even Yunel Escobar (excuse me?). Shaw should make the team, but he's going to need every vote he can get.
(May 16, 2016 - Source: Jason Hanna/Getty Images North America)
Dustin Pedroia will easily make the team, but won't be starting: that's for Jose Altuve, and rightfully so. Nonetheless, Pedroia will be a safe bet to make the mid-Summer Classic with his .293 batting average. Most of his stats rank him just below Ian Kinsler and Altuve as well.
Like Shaw, Mookie Betts will have a lot of competition to make the team in right field. His .279 average has him ranking fifth among AL right fielders. His 52 hits have him ranking first. His 33 RBI rank him second, 9 home runs have him tied for third, and his 39 runs scored have him in first. Mookie has a great shot at the team but again, there is lots of competition and his numbers are scattered. Nonetheless, he deserves a spot.
Whew. That was a lot of reading. Let's take a nice break and watch a 13 minute video of Don and Jerry's best moments. Man do I miss them.
Alright, now back to the blog.
You may look at this and think I'm the most biased Red Sox blogger out there. I say JBJ is having a better season than Trout because he actually is: look at the numbers. I say Bogaerts is better than Lindor and Correa because, well, he is. Again: look at the numbers. There's not even a potential dispute over Ortiz. Han-Ram should make the team because statistically, he's right up there with Miguel Cabrera and Eric Hosmer. The Mayor deserves a shot at the team, as does Betts. And of course, Pedroia should be an easy reserve at the very least.
Call me a homer but there's a legitimate case for 7 of the Red Sox starters to at the very least be reserves for the AL in the mid-Summer Classic.
Let's go Red Sox Nation. It's time to make our presence felt again. Let's vote early and often.
Who do you think deserves to be an All-Star? Continue the Conversation on Twitter with Evan Marinofsky.