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Astros: Should Marwin Gonzalez be an All-Star this year?

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May 29, 2017; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Houston Astros first baseman Marwin Gonzalez (9) doubles during the ninth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports
May 29, 2017; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Houston Astros first baseman Marwin Gonzalez (9) doubles during the ninth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports /
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Time to vote for #AllStarWin Gonzalez to represent the Astros in the 2017 All-Star game.

There is a tiny movement going around Astros Twitter that should gain national steam. Vote for Marwin Gonzalez for the All-Star game. You may be thinking that no one should vote for a utility player for the All-Star game. The problem is, Gonzalez does not appear on any ballots because he was a part-time player. Can he possibly get enough write-in votes to start the All-Star game?

The positive thing about Gonzalez is that he can play every infield position except for catcher and plays left field. Technically you can write him in at every position that he could play, but not sure if that would work. The question is, does he deserve to be starting the All-Star game over some of the bigger stars in baseball? Then again, what if he makes the team over someone like Carlos Correa?

Let’s take a look at the stats from Gonzalez and compare them to some of the stars in the American League. In 43, Gonzalez has a slash line of .311/ .401/ .639/ 1.040 with 11 homers and 32 RBIs. He has scored 21 runs while sneaking in two steals. What is really impressive is that Gonzalez is tied with George Springer for most homers on the team.

Gonzalez has played mostly in left field, first base, and third base. He has played shortstop and second base a few times, but I think Altuve and Correa might get some votes and make the team. So I will ignore second and shortstop.

First base

As you can see, Gonzalez’s numbers compare well versus the competition at first base. Davis and Cabrera will get many name votes, and Hosmer will have all of Kansas City rallying behind him as on of the Royals representatives at the All-Star game.

Catcher Salvador Perez may be the only representative of the last place Royals. Fans probably won’t vote for Smoak or Morrison, but national fans won’t write it Gonzalez’s name. In fewer at-bats, Gonzalez’s OPS towers over the first base competition. He is third in homers as well.

Third base

The third base competition is a little tougher with Sano’s bounceback season. The Rangers may not have many representatives at the All-Star game, but Gallo’s power is finally starting to shine. However, the batting average is not a sight for sore eyes.

The people getting the most votes based on name recognition will probably be Machado or Ramirez. In the end, the player to make the team via the fan vote will be Machado or Sano. Gonzalez will not get the fan vote here because of Machado.

Outfielder

Despite Trout hitting the DL for the first time in his career, there is too much talent in the outfield. It would be shocking not to see Judge get the fan vote with the season he is having. Trout will be selected but will be unable to play due to his recovery. Plus, even if he does return to play for the Angels, they won’t let him play in a meaningless exhibition game and risk injury. Betts, Davis, and even Springer will get plenty of votes.

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It looks like Gonzalez deserves to be on the All-Star team, but maybe not voted on by the fans. The Houston fans and fantasy owners know who Gonzalez is, but many still just see him as a utility guy. This utility guy is hitting his way into everyday players status and possibly a bigger contract down the road. His arbitration numbers might increase with his production for next year and will be a free agent after 2018.

Don’t mean this in a negative way, but what Gonzalez is doing is reminiscent of what Luis Valbuena did in his last year with the Cubs and the first year with the Astros. He could develop into a Ben Zobrist type of player. No matter what, he is one of the reasons that the Astros have the record they have.

Next: Astros: Could David Paulino be Mike Fiers backup plan?

Take some time to vote for your Astros, but write in some votes for Marwin Gonzalez. Just keep in mind, you can only vote for him once per ballot. It would appear that first base may be the way to go to vote him in, and use the hashtag #AllStarWin to help spread the word on writing in Gonzalez. The first AL results will be released tomorrow.

***Stats from Baseball-Reference and MLB.com***

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