With MLB All-Star voting in full swing, the first batch of voting has been counted with the update being released. We have known that the Houston Astros have legitimate contenders for the Mid-Summer Classic, but it took an unorthodox turn.
The Houston Astros have their starting nine in the top 10 and 20 at their respected positions, but with this release, could we see other players jump them due to fan bias? It is evident that many fans are still not happy with the Astros, so they could be wanting to push them down the vote column. In response to that, just keep voting to boost any Astro’s odds of being an All-Star.
As much of a popularity contest the voting is, injured players will sometimes slip in as starters. This shouldn’t be an overthought, while their spot will be replaced in the end. Although some of the Astros’ players are used to the four days off, it would be a cool experience to get them to Colorado.
With the All-Star Game being less than a month away, let’s take a look at which Astros are receiving votes.
Martin Maldonado, 3rd among catchers (112,585)
The Astros’ catcher hasn’t received the best review among writers and fans this season, as his bat hasn’t boosted his resume. Martin Maldonado is undoubtedly one of the best defensive catchers in baseball, but the team leader is receiving a nice amount of votes with Salvador Perez and Yasmani Grandal in front of him. The right-hander is slashing .167/.246/.278 with four home runs at the plate and has a 44% caught stealing average, which leads AL catchers.
Yuli Gurriel, 3rd among first baseman (130,188)
While we know Yuli Gurriel is a shoo-in to be an All-Star this season, it is a little silly to have him behind Jose Abreu. Although Abreu won MVP in 2020, the other Cuban-born player has had a better 2021. Gurriel is slashing .323/.392/.536 with 10 home runs, while Vladimir Guerrero Jr. leads all AL first basemen in votes as expected.
Jose Altuve, 2nd among second baseman (329,783)
The All-Star Game would erupt if Jose Altuve came to the plate, while it would be uneducated fans chirping their heads off, let them have it. The right-hander deserves to be a reserve in 2021, while Marcus Semien, who leads AL second baseman votes, will most likely be the starter.
Alex Bregman, 3rd among third baseman (194,765)
The Astros’ third baseman being third behind Rafael Devers and Yoan Moncada comes as a surprise, and not because he should be ahead of them. Alex Bregman is among the best in baseball, but his 2021 season has a slump tacked onto it. The right-hander hasn’t felt like himself in over a year-and-a-half even with an .809 OPS this season.
Carlos Correa, 4th among shortstops (163,945)
This is where the bias seems most evident. Xander Bogaerts has been the best shortstop in the AL this season, but Carlos Correa is right behind him. Bo Bichette and Tim Anderson stand second and third in voting, but Correa has had the better season. The right-hander is boosting his free agency value with one his best showings of his career, but he should be a reserve come July.
Yordan Alvarez, 3rd among designated hitters (143,091)
While being on and off the injured list this season, Yordan Alvarez is still receiving a nice chunk of votes. Shohei Ohtani and J.D. Martinez lead the position as expected, but even at 23-years-old, Alvarez is in the mix. The left-hander isn’t among the household names of baseball and his power numbers are down in 2021, so it will be hard for him to make the All-Star team as a starter or selected by managers at such a stacked position.
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Michael Brantley, 9th among outfielders (166,298)
As one of the most underrated hitters in the game, Michael Brantley has been struggling with small injuries in 2021. The left-hander is still slashing .337/.381/.497 with an American League leading 19 doubles. The injured list stints could be what plummets his All-Star stock, but it’s a good look to have him with the top nine that could move on to the second phase of voting later this month.
Kyle Tucker, 12th among outfielders (111,980)
Kyle Tucker has been hitting the ball hard all season, but no other Astro has had the same turn around as him. Correa could be in the same boat, but Tucker is finding the grass at a higher rate and currently has a .832 OPS that is only rising. If the left-hander wants a trip to Colorado, he will need to continue his tear and hope for a managerial selection.
Myles Straw, 19th among outfielders (62,678)
While rounding out the Astros voting, Myles Straw has joined the party as the second-to-last outfielder on the board. The right-hander will most likely not see time at an All-Star Game this season, but it is neat to have Straw in the voting. This shows that there are a lot of all Astro ballots out there, and even with a productive two weeks of hitting, George Springer holds more votes than him. He can never get out of his shadow.