New MLB All-Star voting process yields surprises
We didn’t know what to expect when Major League Baseball decided to shake things up by overhauling the All-Star voting system.
Based on the primary results last week and the starters who were announced Thursday, the election process might be great again. Or at least closer to good than it’s been in quite some time.
The new voting process saw each position narrowed down to a select group of finalists — nine in the outfield, three at every other non-pitching position — as determined by the primary voting round. That part alone produced some big surprises. The most notable being Bryce Harper’s failure to make the top nine in the NL outfield.
For a 28-hour period that began Wednesday, fans voted on a starter from the group of finalists. It seems that by trimming the fat early, it forced fans to familiarize themselves with candidates from other teams. The result of which led to a pretty fair and balanced outcome.
There are some familiar and expected faces, like Mike Trout and Christian Yelich, some breakout stars of 2019, like Cody Bellinger and Jorge Polanco, plus some guys nobody would have predicted on opening day, like Ketel Marte, and a great comeback story in 36-year-old Hunter Pence.
9 PHOTOSConfrontations between players, MLB umpires in 2019See GalleryConfrontations between players, MLB umpires in 2019SAN FRANCISCO, CA – APRIL 13:Nolan Arenado #28 of the Colorado Rockies argues with home plate umpire D.J. Reyburn #17 after Arenado was called out on strikes against the San Francisco Giants in the top of the six inning of a Major League Baseball game at Oracle Park on April 13, 2019 in San Francisco, California.(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 18: Brandon Belt #9 of the San Francisco Giants is restrained by first base coach Jose Alguacil #17 and bench coach Hensley Meulens #31 after being ejected by home plate umpire Mike Everitt #57 in the seventh inning at Nationals Park on April 18, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 18: Brandon Belt #9 of the San Francisco Giants reacts after being ejected by home plate umpire Mike Everitt #57 in the seventh inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on April 18, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – APRIL 13:Kyle Schwarber #12 of the Chicago Cubs is restrained by Javier Baez #9 after being called out by the third base umpire during the ninth inning of a game against the Los Angeles Angels at Wrigley Field on April 13, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – APRIL 13:Kyle Schwarber #12 of the Chicago Cubs is restrained by Javier Baez #9 after being called out by the third base umpire during the ninth inning of a game against the Los Angeles Angels at Wrigley Field on April 13, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 18: Manager Bruce Bochy #15 of the San Francisco Giants argues with home plate umpire Ryan Additon #67 after being ejected in the fifth inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on April 18, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)Los Angeles Angels first baseman Justin Bour, center, argues a called third strike with umpire Jeremie Rehak, as Texas Rangers catcher Isiah Kiner-Falefa, left, throws the ball back, during the ninth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, April 17, 2019, in Arlington, Texas. Bour was ejected. The Rangers won 5-4. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)ARLINGTON, TEXAS – APRIL 17: Justin Bour #41 of the Los Angeles Angels gets ejected from the game by home plate umpire Jeremie Rehak in the ninth inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington on April 17, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CA – APRIL 13: Milwaukee Brewers catcher Yasmani Grandal (10) argues with home plate umpire Jeremie Rehak (35) during a MLB game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 13, 2019 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)Up Next
Here’s the full lists of players elected to start the All-Star Game on July 9 in Cleveland.
American League starters
C –Gary Sanchez, New York Yankees
1B – Carlos Santana, Cleveland Indians
2B – DJ LeMahieu, Yankees
SS – Jorge Polanco, Minnesota Twins
3B – Alex Bregman, Houston Astros
OF – Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels
OF – George Springer, Astros
OF – Michael Brantley, Astros
DH – Hunter Pence, Texas Rangers
National League starters
C – Willson Contreras, Chicago Cubs
1B – Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves
2B – Ketel Marte, Arizona Diamondbacks
SS – Javier Báez, Chicago Cubs
3B – Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies
OF – Christian Yelich, Milwaukee Brewers
OF – Cody Bellinger, Los Angeles Dodgers
OF – Ronald Acuña Jr., Braves
There are quite a few first-timers this year — including four first-time All-Stars overall, and 11 who were voted in by fans for the first time. There are six players in their second All-Star game. The only players on the starting roster with more than four appearances are Mike Trout (with eight) and Nolan Arenado (five).
The pitchers and rest of the All-Star rosters will be announced Sunday. The game happens July 9 at Cleveland’s Progressive Field.
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