MLB’s All Star Game voting is coming down to the wire at positions with big names.
The countdown to the release of the starters of the 2017 Major League All-Star game features races between young players on the verge of stardom. Battles between big names with big production are coming down to the wire to see who will win the opportunity to start in the All Star game, to be held this year in Miami on July 11.
American League 1B: Eric Hosmer (Royals) vs Justin Smoak (Blue Jays)
Both Hosmer and Smoak were first rounders in the 2008 draft. While Smoak has bounced around (originally drafted by the Rangers, he was traded to the Mariners and then Blue Jays), Hosmer has been the centerpiece of the Royals’ resurgence.
However, Smoak is enjoying his own personal resurgence, having career year in most if not all statistical categories on a team that lost Edwin Encarnacion to free agency and is witnessing Jose Bautista have his worst season in years. Smoak trails, as of the time writing by about 71,000 votes, which, if Canada gets behind him as they did with Josh Donaldson a few years ago, he could very easily overtake Hosmer and earn his first All-Star game appearance.
National League 3B: Kris Bryant (Cubs) vs. Nolan Arenado (Rockies)
Perhaps no position is held by better young talent in the National League quite like third base. Outside of these two, Jake Lamb in Arizona, Justin Turner in Los Angeles and Anthony Rendon in Washington are all enjoying solid seasons. Bryant has been a star ever since he joined the Cubs, and has been enjoying a solid season as the Cubs work to rebound and pick up steam in an effort to repeat as World Series champions.
Arenado, perhaps the best of the group, is having a great season highlighted recently by his cycle culminating with a walk-off home run. With Carlos Gonzalez struggling, Arenado has been a vital cog in leading the Rockies to being competitive. Bryant has a very small lead over Arenado currently, but that could change when the final results are tallied on July 2.
National League SS: Zach Cozart (Reds) vs. Corey Seager (Dodgers)
A classic battle between a player long respected but never quite good enough to be mentioned as a great (Cozart) and the player considered to be future star and multiple All-Star Game-attendee (Seager). Cozart, generally a defensive-first shortstop has had a solid offensive turnaround while Seager continues to be a solid impact player in the middle of the Dodgers lineup. While Seager has the higher WAR per Richard Justice of MLB.com, Cozart leads over Seager in most to all offensive categories over Seager.