My AL All-Star Ballot
1B - Miguel Cabrera, Tigers
The White Sox Jose Abreu and the A’s Brandon Moss are both deserving, but my vote went to Cabrera, who is leads all AL first basemen in fWAR (3.3). I suspect that Abreu will be named as a reserve, while Moss may be squeezed out due to roster space.
2B - Brian Dozier, Twins
Ian Kinsler and Jose Altuve have higher posted a higher fWAR (3.7 and 3.1, respectively), but I went with Dozier’s balanced blend of power (15 HR), speed (15 SB, 4CS) and defense. Altuve should represent the Astros as a reserve. Kinsler could get snubbed due to roster space.
SS - Derek Jeter, Yankees
No, Jeter is not having an All-Star caliber season. His fWAR of 0.5 currently ranks 11th of 12 qualifying AL shortstops. His batting average (.268) and on-base percentage (.321) both rank fifth, while his slugging percentage is dead last. This is the All Star Game though, and I don’t want to watch Erick Aybar play short. I want Derek Jeter.
3B - Josh Donaldson, Athletics
Donaldson has been in an awful slump of late. Despite that he still leads all qualifying AL third sackers in HR (18), RBI (61) and UZR (12.5). The Mariners Kyle Seager is a close second place and should be named as a reserve.
C - Salvador Perez, Royals
This vote came down to Perez, Yan Gomes (Indians) and Derek Norris (Athletics) for me. Norris is mashing at the plate, posting a .309/.408/.509 slash line with 8 homers and 35 RBI. Ultimately I went with Perez, but all three could make the squad.
DH - Edwin Encarnacion, Blue Jays
Victor Martinez, Nelson Cruz and David Ortiz all get hosed here as Edwin Encarnacion should have been on the ballot as a first baseman. He has started just sixteen games as the Blue Jays DH. He gets my vote though with his 26 bombs, 69 RBI, 194 total bases and .967 OPS.
OF - Jose Bautista, Blue Jays
OF - Michael Brantley, Indians
OF - Mike Trout, Angels
Trout, Bautista and Brantley were easy choices for me as they lead all AL outfielders in oWAR in that order. I might have selected Cruz here instead of Brantley if he were properly placed on that ballot as an outfielder. He has played 46 games in the outfield versus 39 as a DH. The list of those meriting consideration as reserves includes Melky Cabrera (Blue Jays), Yoenis Cespedes (Athletics), Coco Crisp (Athletics), Dexter Fowler (Astros), Brett Gardner (Yankees), Alex Gordon (Royals), Adam Jones (Orioles) and Brandon Moss (Athletics). Some of this list will find themselves on the final player ballot. Most will ultimately be snubbed due to roster space.
Top Left: Miguel Cabrera, by Jason Miller/Getty
Top Middle: Brian Dozier, by David Banks/Getty
Top Right: Derek Jeter, by Elsa/Getty
Middle Left: Josh Donaldson, by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty
Middle: Salvador Perez, by Jamie Squire/Getty
Middle Right: Edwin Encarnacion, by Jamie Sabau/Getty
Bottom Left: Jose Bautista, by Jim McIsaac/Getty
Bottom Middle: Michael Brantley, by David Maxwell/Getty
Bottom Right: Mike Trout, by Bob Levey/Getty