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Vote for Hunter Pence (and these other guys I guess)

Here are some suggestions for how to vote for the AL All-Stars and a command to vote for Hunter Pence.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Texas Rangers Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

We’re deep within the not-all-arbitrary 28 voting period for the All-Star starters. TJ already gave us the best possible lineup for the National League team, and today, we’re going over the American League. Help decide who will play the first two or three innings of a mildly contested game that will take four or five hours and will invariably end in the American League pulling down the pants of the National League.

You have until 1 p.m. PDT on Thursday, June 27 to get your votes in, and you can vote here.

Catcher

Robinson Chirinos (Houston Astros)

James McCann (Chicago White Sox)

Gary Sánchez (New York Yankees)

Vote For:

Gary Sánchez

McCann and Chirinos are both having excellent years, but this is an instance where I’d rather see the established star over the guys have hot first halves. Besides, Gary Sánchez nearly hit the Coke bottle, and I want to see him punish baseballs.

First Base

C.J. Cron (Minnesota Twins)

Carlos Santana (Cleveland)

Luke Voit (New York Yankees)

Vote For:

Carlos Santana

There are arguments to be made for Cron and Voit and both of them come back to spite. Cron was designated for assignment by the Rays last offseason because his 30-homer year was going to drivehis arbitration price up too much. The Rays are doing just fine without him, but going from a player going from DFA’d to All-Star is always a good revenge story. Luke Voit was traded by the Cardinals last year for Chasen Shreve and Giovanny Gallegos. Gallegos has been very good, but Shreve fell off a cliff. Watching a guy the Cardinals didn’t want become an All-Star is great theater. There isn’t a wrong answer at first base.

But I’m of the mind that the team hosting the game should have at least one starter. Carlos Santana returned to Cleveland this offseason, and he’s leading AL first basemen in fWAR and he’s tied with Daniel Vogelbach with a 148 wRC+.

Second Base:

José Altuve (Houston Astros)

Tommy La Stella (Los Angeles Angels)

DJ LeMahieu (New York Yankees)

Vote For:

José Altuve

Altuve is having a down year by his standards and he’s missed time with injury, but this is another instance where pedigree wins out over a hot start. Tommy La Stella is the platonic ideal of a hot first half guy. He owns a career 105 wRC+, and he’s been very good thus far but do you really want to watch him over José Altuve? Same with DJ LeMahieu. Haven’t you seen enough of that guy?

Shortstop

Carlos Correa (Houston Astros)

Jorge Polanco (Minnesota Twins)

Gleyber Torres (New York Yankees)

Vote For:

Xander Bogaerts

Jorge Polanco

Carlos Correa is still on the injured list with a fractured rib, so even if he wins, there’s a chance he won’t make the start. That leaves us with a pretty difficult toss-up between Polanco and Torres. Who you vote for depends on whether you prefer the up-and-coming rookie or the seasoned vet making his first all star appearance.

What broke the tie for me is that Torres is going to get the New York bump and Twins fans deserve some representation.

Third Base

Alex Bregman (Houston Astros)

Hunter Dozier (Kansas City Royals)

Gio Urshela (New York Yankees)

Vote For:

Alex Bregman

Bregman is both the best third baseman in the AL overall and this year. He’s walking more than he’s striking out, he’s leading all third basemen in fWAR, and he’s openly disdainful of Trevor Bauer.

I must stan.

Outfield

Mookie Betts (Red Sox)

Michael Brantley (Houston Astros)

Joey Gallo (Texas Rangers)

Aaron Judge (New York Yankees)

Austin Meadows (Tampa Bay Rays)

Josh Reddick (Houston Astros)

Eddie Rosario (Minnesota Twins)

George Springer (Houston Astros)

Mike Trout (Los Angeles Angels)

Vote For:

Mike Trout, Joey Gallo, and Mookie Betts

The only argument against voting for Mike Trout is that they might mic him up again.

Joey Gallo is the purest distillation of baseball in 2019. The dude only strikes out, walks, and hits dingers. He’s the perfect time capsule for what baseball is today.

George Springer is having a better year than Mookie Betts, but there are already a lot of Astros on the field. Voting for Betts at least partially makes up for Bogaerts getting snubbed.

Designated Hitter

Nelson Cruz (Minnesota Twins)

J.D. Martinez (Boston Red Sox)

Hunter Pence (Texas Rangers

Vote For:

Who do you think?

Of course, you vote for Hunter Pence. I’m not even going to look at the numbers because I don’t want to know that Martinez is outslugging Pence by .150 points or whatever. I have no idea if that’s true or not. All I know is that voting for Pence is the closest thing the Giants have to getting a starter on the field. Pence absolutely deserves this distinction for grinding his way through the offseason and defying the aging curve. It’s incredible enough that Pence is still in the majors after his last two seasons in San Francisco. That he’d be in the starting lineup in the All-Star Game would be the best thing to come out of this year.