2018 All-Star Game: A player at every position who deserves your last-minute votes

Fan voting for the 2018 MLB All-Star Game closes Thursday night, and as per usual, the latest voting update shows that some extremely good players are unlikely to make the cut.

We could debate the merits of the fan voting system forever, but that’s not what we’re here to do. Many of the positional races are all but final (looking at you, Jose Altuve), but as a fan gifted five votes per day, you’ve got the ability to show some love for players who’ve flown under-the-radar.

If you’re a fan of the Astros, Braves, Cubs, Giants, Indians, Rays, Red Sox, Rockies, or White Sox: good work so far. Your players are lighting up the charts; definitely make sure your top guys stay there.

But if you’re considering jumping allegiances, or throwing surplus votes to those in need, look no further. Below, we’ve listed some highly deserving players who, for whatever reason, haven’t tallied the counts they truly deserve.

Click here to cast your vote.

If you’re unfamiliar with the current standings, take a look first:

JT Realmuto, C, Florida Marlins – I’m not going to sit here and tell you not to vote for Buster Posey — you’re entitled to that small joy in life. But if, out of the kindness of your heart, you’re looking for somewhere to toss some pity votes, it should be J.T. Realmuto’s way. The 27-year-old is leading all Major League catchers in fWAR at 3.3, and is slashing .311/.366/.552 with 11 home runs. I love that Kurt Suzuki is still chugging along as much as anyone, but if he can get over a million votes, Realmuto deserves a few hundred thousand more.

JT Realmuto is among the all-star voting snubs. (AP Photo)

Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Arizona Diamondbacks – Thanks most likely to his slow start to the season, the perennial star is not in the top five for National League first basemen. He trails only Freddie Freeman (3.3) in fWAR for a first baseman this season, and it’s by less than half a win (3.0). Though he’s struggled, relatively, to hit for average (he currently sits at .274), Goldschmidt’s breakout June has his OPS up at .913. Last month alone, he hit 10 homers and carried a .460 OBP, and he doesn’t appear to be slowing down in July: he homered on July 1st, then went 4-for-4 a night later.

It seems odd to have to argue for a well-known and recent all-star to make the team, but Goldschmidt has somehow gone seriously under-the-radar in 2018.

Jed Lowrie, 2B, Oakland Athletics – Lowrie, for the second year running, has been an absolute hitting machine. Though he’s already fifth in voting that rightfully features Jose Altuve securely on top, Lowrie is the second-best second baseman in the American League – and it’s not close. His 2.9 fWAR has him almost an entire win above the next best guy – Whit Merrifield – who you’ll notice has also been snubbed for votes. At 34 years old, Lowrie is slashing .290/.351/.497 with 14 homers, and is highly likely to be the subject of trade talks in the near future.

Andrelton Simmons, SS, Los Angeles Angels – Despite missing time with an ankle injury in June, Simmons has been his usual All-Star-worthy self – but isn’t in the top five. The 28-year-old is slashing .319/.380/.440 and joins Francisco Lindor as the only MLB shortstop worth over 3.1 wins. He lacks Lindor’s ability to hit for power, but makes up for it in his elite glove.

Max Muncy, 1B/3B, Los Angeles Dodgers – Has there been a better story in baseball this season than Max Muncy? The Dodgers’ 6-foot, 210-pound utility man spent the last six years in and out of the majors (with far more time out), and has emerged as a seemingly legit star. However, Dodgers fan-favorite Justin Turner is monopolizing all the votes at third base, and Cody Bellinger is getting them at first, Muncy’s other main position. Among third basemen majors-wide, Muncy is tied for fourth with 2.9 fWAR, and is slashing .271/.414/.613 for an OPS of 1.027. Compared to Anthony Rendon, another 3B snub who also has accrued 2.9 wins, he’s hitting for significantly more power (18 homers versus 12), and is a big reason the injury-plagued Dodgers are still in the NL West race. 

Lorenzo Cain, OF, Milwaukee Brewers – Like Goldschmidt, Cain is another frequent former all-star that you just expect to rack up the votes; at least, when he was a Royal he did. Now with the Brewers and 32 years old, it seems like Cain is just getting better. On the fielding side, he leads NL center fielders in Defensive Runs Saved, and has been worth almost a full win more than the next-best NL outfielder. In terms of batting, he’s slashing .291/.394/.438 with eight home runs, and batting leadoff regularly for the first time in his career. He’s 

It’s probably too late to get Cain into the game, but if Bryce Harper and his whopping .217 average and 1.3 fWAR can be top three, we owe it to Lorenzo to get him at least in the top 10.

The Milwaukee Brewers’ Lorenzo Cain is having yet another successful year. (AP Photo)

Eddie Rosario, OF, Minnesota Twins – He might not have the flash or the name recognition of Mike Trout, Mookie Betts, and company, but Rosario has quietly become one of the best – at least top 5 – outfielders in the game. He’s been worth 1.7 more wins than the current fourth-place vote-getting George Springer, and is slashing .312/.352/.564 with 18 homers. It’s not his fault he plays in a small market.

Corey Dickerson, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates – In the National League, Dickerson ranks second in Defensive Runs Saved in left field, behind only Adam Duvall, whose batting average (.206) is only about two-thirds of his (.304). For the last three seasons, Dickerson struck out around 24 percent of the time, and was still the 2017 All-Star Game DH. This season, he’s amazingly dropped that K-rate to 13 percent, and has been worth 1.4 wins while doing it.

Again, he’s only garnered half a million votes while players who are currently performing worse than him have three times that – so throw a few his way in recognition of the serious work he’s put in.

Designated Hitter – I’ve got nothing for you here. J.D. Martinez is far and away the best DH in the game; just give him all the votes.

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