Three San Francisco Giants were voted into the 2016 All-Star Game in San Diego. Two were snubbed.
A major theme prevailed in this year’s National League voting: Cubs. Cubs. Cubs.
In the squat, though, will be Buster Posey, making his fourth career All Star appearance — his third as the starting catcher. Posey’s battling back from an early offensive rough stretch, batting .291 with 40 RBI and 10 home runs through the first half. His 2.7 WAR is tied for an MLB-best with Washington’s Wilson Ramos (an All-Star reserve).
Posey’s defense nudged him above the likes of fan-favorite Yadier Molina and Ramos; he’s thrown out 50 percent of attempted base stealers.
Unsurprisingly, Madison Bumgarner was voted in as a starter for the fourth consecutive year, and Johnny Cueto was named as a reserve for his second All-Star appearance — also unsurprisingly. The pair are among the top five ERA leaders in the NL; Bumgarner ranks second with 2.20, Cueto fifth with 2.57 ERA. Both rank in the Top 10 in both leagues.
Bumgarner is slated to make a start Sunday before the All-Star break, which would make him ineligible to pitch Tuesday.
“We’ve already had a conversation … I’ve been there and it’s a tough job, picking a starter. I’m sure Johnny’s a candidate.”
Cueto’s got a lot of competition, though. Reigning Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta also made the list, as well as Miami’s Jose Fernandez, New York’s Noah Syndergaard, Chicago’s Jon Lester, Washington’s Stephen Strasburg, to name a few. Clayton Kershaw was also voted in, but his injury will keep him inactive.
Crawford leads all shortstops statistically, but the Cubs’ Addison Russell won the fan vote and Los Angeles’ Corey Seager was voted in by the players.
Crawford looked to be a shoo-in; even if his championship-caliber years, awards and experience weren’t enough to push him ahead of Seager and Russell (who are both only two years into their careers), his stellar defense and solid offensive output –he leads shortstops with 53 RBI– should have sealed the deal.
Crawford was even left off the final vote ballot in favor of Trevor Story, who has wowed the baseball world with his home run power–he’s got 19 already.
Brandon Belt was also snubbed, but is still breathing on the final vote ballot for first basemen. Belt is having a breakout year offensively, leading NL first basemen with a .295 average and the entire NL in doubles with 26.