As you may have heard, this year, All-Star Game voting will be a little different than in years past. Fans will spend a month voting on all players, but then, the top 3 vote-getters at each position will then become Nominees, and there will be a final day of votes to determine who wins a starting spot from those three Nominees. I suppose the idea is to stop a single team from having the most bots vote endlessly — uh, sorry, I mean, have the most fans vote endlessly. Whatever the reason, it’s new, which means it’s worth discussing.
So, do the Giants have a chance at getting any starters in through this new convention? Let’s run it down. Take note: all of these (completely scientific) odds carry an invisible asterisk of “If Healthy”...
Catcher - Buster Posey - 99.5% chance
I mean, c’mon. Buster is royalty at the catcher’s spot. There are some interesting young catchers in the National League, but the name recognition alone will help Buster here. The nominations will likely be Buster, Yadier, and whomever is having a hot season (probably J.T. Realmuto). He’s the one Giant that even non-Giants fans like. It would take having an offensive year like he’s turned into the catcher from The Sandlot to get people to stop voting for him, and even then, a lot of voters won’t have noticed because they won’t watch Sportscenter long enough to see the chunky, curly-haired, foul-mouthed version of Posey he’d become. And even then, they might like it.
First Base - Brandon Belt - 16% chance
Seriously, there’s a good chance there’s a block of Giants fans who wouldn’t even vote for him, just because they are embittered veterans of the Belt Wars, and can not give up their bitter views regardless of contract or production. But even aside from that, first base is a fairly stacked position, and the competition behind Paul Goldschmidt is pretty stiff. Unless Belt somehow has developed into the second coming of Barry Bonds, it’s steep odds.
Second Base - Joe Panik - 5% chance
Panik’s a nice kid. He’s better than fans have given him credit for this season after an awful 2018, and he’s had a hot spring. He’ll get his hits and play plus defense. But he doesn’t hit for power, and fans across baseball want Jeff Kent at second, not a good at-bat with a steady OBP and some doubles. Sorry, kid.
Third Base - Evan Longoria - 36% chance
Okay, Nolan Arenado has one spot on lockdown. Manny Machado probably has the second. And there will be stiff competition for the third spot. But unlike most Giants, Longoria has some good name recognition, as the AL’s oft-nominated third baseman, and he’s shown some early life to his season that could give him some legitimate fans. It’s an uphill battle, but he’s a legitimate dark horse here.
Shortstop - Brandon Crawford - 19% chance
Crawford has always been a defense-first shortstop, and that’s fine. The Giants were blessed to get a few years of good average and decent power out of him, and he benefitted from an era of less-than-stellar offensive shortstops around baseball compared to past eras. But the hometown kid has probably settled into being a back-of-the-batting-order hitter that occasionally puts up some home runs and can keep rallies going. He’s still a fan favorite, but a Giants fan favorite. He’s unlikely to move the needle for the average Brewers fan.
Outfield - Steven Duggar, and....uh, someone else - 0.1% chance
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha, you’re cute. Yeah...
Oh, wait, the outfielders only get 6 nominees, not 9? Let me update this:
Outfield - It Doesn’t Matter - 0.0% chance