The best player in baseball leads the American League in All-Star voting. The first AL balloting update was released Wednesday, and Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout leads the way with 776,937 votes.
But with Trout sidelined for the next 6-8 weeks with a thumb injury, his grasp on that position is tenuous at best. A surprising first-timer was already threatening to take down Trout even before the injury.
New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge sits second among AL players with 730,438 votes. And while some may complain that Judge is performing well due to Yankees bias, it’s tough to argue with his numbers. In 47 games, the 25-year-old is hitting .323/.423/.689, with a league-leading 17 home runs.
While that’s a fun race to watch, it’s not exactly suspenseful. Barring a collapse of epic proportions, Judge is a lock to start the contest. That would have been the case even if Trout were healthy.
Thankfully, the AL features plenty of other close races that could go down to the wire over the next couple weeks.
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The most exciting of the bunch is over at second base where Starlin Castro leads Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve by just 536 votes.
Third base is also tight. Manny Machado of the Baltimore Orioles currently sits in the top spot, but Minnesota Twins third baseman Miguel Sano is threatening to overtake him. The two are separated by a little over 5,000 votes.
While Machado has the track record, he’s struggled this season. In 219 plate appearances, Machado is hitting just .210/.292/.415, with 10 home runs. Sano, on the other hand, has exploded at the plate. The 24-year-old is hitting .292/.406/.590, with 12 home runs, over 192 plate appearances.
Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera, Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez, Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor and Seattle Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz lead at their respective positions.
The third spot in the outfield is currently occupied by Boston Red Sox slugger Mookie Betts. Indians left fielder Michael Brantley trails him by just 3,770 votes. Brantley is hitting .307/.375/.452 in 43 games after missing most of last season due to a shoulder injury. Betts’ teammate, Andrew Benintendi, is listed in the fifth spot in the outfield with 327,047 votes.
The first National League balloting update was released Tuesday. Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper was far and away the highest vote-getter.
The next AL update will be released Wednesday, June 6. Fans can vote five times per day on the MLB website through June 29.
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