The case for second base is an interesting one. All-Star constants have struggled mightily this season opening the starting position for a fresher face. Robinson Cano is batting .237 with 2 HR and 20 RBIs in his sophomore season in Seattle. Cano, arguably the game’s most elite second baseman, hasn’t missed an All-Star starting nod since 2009. The Phillies’ Chase Utley is batting a career-worse .184 / .263 / .286. As both 2014 All-Star game starters will potentially miss the 2015 Mid-Summer Classic, let’s take a look at the latest ballot updates for second base:
AL FAN BALLOT LEADERBOARD (as of June 15)
1. Omar Infante, Royals: 4,518,765
2. Jose Altuve, Astros: 4,209,702
3. Jason Kipnis, Indians: 1,859,756
NL FAN BALLOT LEADERBOARD (as of June 16)
1. Dee Gordon, Marlins: 3,481,830
2. Kolten Wong, Cardinals: 3,124,973
3. Joe Panik, Giants: 1,860,589
In an act to pit the Kansas City Royals against the National League All-Stars, Royals’ fans are stuffing the ballots as if it was state law. 33-year old Omar Infante is batting .227 with 18 RBIs. His 4,518,765 ballot-leading votes is an absolute dishonor for the more-deserving Jose Altuve and Jason Kipnis, and has shown derision for the overall voting process. Dee Gordon rightfully leads the National League vote as he leads all of baseball in hits, although Kolten Wong’s voters plan to make this ballot a photo-finish.
KIRS PICKS… Jason Kipnis and Dee Gordon. Although Jose Altuve is considered the Astros’ MVP, Kipnis’ overall first-half numbers simply best Altuve. According to Jason Lukehart of LetsGoTribe.com, Kipnis had not only the best month of May in baseball but the best in franchise history. His .429 / .511 / .706 May line contributed towards his AL second basemen leading .333 batting average. He is ranked second in extra-base hits (9 behind Brian Dozier’s 37 XBH). Like Kipnis, Dee Gordon’s .352 is best among National League second basemen. In his inaugural Marlins’ season, Gordon leads baseball with 22 stolen bases, and more than likely will sprint to his second consecutive All-Star game.
Our reserve picks (aka “honorable mentions”) include NL ballot runner-up Kolten Wong (.289, 7 HR, 27 RBIs). DJ LeMahieu (NL RBI leader for second basemen), Joe Panik (.311 / .378 / .465 in sophomore season), Jose Altuve (.287 with AL lead for stolen bases), and Dustin Pedroia (.307, 9 HR, 27 RBIs).
-KIRS ALL-STAR TEAMS-
KIRS American League All-Star Team (thus far!)
2B: Jason Kipnis, Indians
SS: Jose Reyes, Blue Jays
KIRS National League All-Star Team (thus far!)
2B: Dee Gordon, Marlins
SS: Jhonny Peralta, Cardinals