Boston Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi is among the five candidates on the Final Vote ballot to determine the final spot on the AL All-Star roster.
Five players have already been selected to represent the Boston Red Sox in the 2018 MLB All-Star Game. Andrew Benintendi could soon make it six.
Benintendi is among the five American League players on the Final Vote ballot, which allows fans to vote on the final All-Star roster spot in each league. You can vote online on MLB.com until July 11, 2018, at 4:00 p.m. ET.
Breaking down the ballot
Simmons is arguably the most worthy of the group. He’s one of the game’s best defensive players and he’s having a breakout year at the plate. Simmons is eighth in the league with a 3.5 WAR, per FanGraphs. That’s the highest among those on the Final Vote ballot. Much of his value stems from his glove, which typically doesn’t draw the attention of casual fans. That will hurt his chances in this race.
Segura is a batting title contender, entering the day with a .330 average that ranks third in the league. Rosario has developed into a solid run producer for the Twins. Both are in the mix with a fWAR above 3.0 but neither earns the vote on this ballot in my mind.
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If it comes down to being a popularity contest then Stanton could run away with the vote. He’s a reigning MVP and plays for the Yankees. He also leads the players on this ballot in home runs with 21, which shouldn’t matter but probably will. Stanton’s 2.5 fWAR is easily the lowest on the ballot but we can’t count him out of the running when the fans get to vote.
As for Benintendi, he’s having a breakout season that certainly warrants consideration for the final spot. The 24-year old is hitting .293/.379/.515 with 14 home runs and 16 steals. His .380 wOBA and 141 wRC+ both rank 12th in the league, placing him above every other candidate on this ballot. FanGraphs pegs Benintendi for 3.4 WAR, ninth in the league and only slightly behind Simmons.
Has Benintendi been snubbed?
Benintendi would have made the team without leaving his fate up to the fans if it weren’t for the archaic rules that dictate roster construction. It’s a game for the fans so every team must be represented! That’s how we end up with Shin-Soo Choo on the team. He’s having a fine season with numbers comparable to Benintendi but did we really need someone from the last place Texas Rangers in the All-Star Game?
Putting Michael Brantley on the team ahead of Benny is an even bigger headscratcher. The Cleveland Indians outfielder is eighth in the league with a .306 average. Benintendi has him comfortably beat in almost every other category. Brantley’s 1.2 fWAR is 44th in the AL. The outlook isn’t any brighter on Baseball-Reference, where his 0.6 WAR is outside the top 100. Sorry, he’s not an All-Star and the Tribe have their fair share of representatives.
The Red Sox will be well represented regardless of how the Final Vote turns out. Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez were voted in by the fans to start the game. Mitch Moreland, Chris Sale, and Craig Kimbrel also made the team.
Pushing for a sixth All-Star almost seems greedy, yet Benintendi deserves it. If you agree that Benny is All-Star material then get out and vote!