Oakland Athletics catcher Stephen Vogt is second in today's American League All-Star ballot update, but he trails Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez nearly 2-to-1. Marcus Semien is running a distant third among shortstops behind Alcides Escobar of the Royals and Jose Iglesias of the Detroit Tigers. Josh Reddick has received 650,756 votes for 10th in the outfield balloting, but he is at a 3-to-1 disadvantage to third-place contender Alex Gordon from Kansas City.
The Royals fanbase has certainly come out in force for their defending American League champions, with five players starting on current results, and the other four either in second place or just outside the top three in the outfield voting. Most impressive is Alex Rios as this year's Matt Wieters. Rios is in fifth place despite playing only eight games this year, having just come off of the disabled list. There's an argument that second-half stats matter too, except Rios had -0.8 fWAR in the second half, when he batted .211/.246/.281.
The voting system changed significantly from previous years. There are no more paper ballots, and the online ballot is limited to 35 votes per email address total. That's not per day. Once you have cast 35 votes from that email address, you need to choose another email address to continue to cast votes. You can use a fake email address generator to get more ballots if you are so inclined.
Josh Reddick should be an All-Star starter
If I had my druthers, I would pretty much agree with the Fangraphs WAR rankings of Mike Trout, Lorenzo Cain, and Josh Reddick as my starting outfield, excluding Nelson Cruz from the discussion because he is listed as the designated hitter on Seattle's ballot. Mike Trout is Mike Trout, Reddick trails only Mike Trout in wRC+ amongst qualified outfielders, and Cain is one of the best defensive outfielders in the game and brings his bat to it too.
The All-Star Game is also my favorite time to break out stats that don't really have predictive value in less than a season or five. For example, If you think All-Stars should be clutch players, how about Mike Trout and Josh Reddick? This year with the best two outfielders wRC+ with runners in scoring position, at 226 and 211.
Is that sustainable? No, but doesn't it seem like you something you could tell American League manager Ned Yost to convince him to put Reddick on the team?
Stephen Vogt should be a cinch for reserve catcher
Stephen Vogt leads in Fangraphs WAR amongst all catchers with 2.5 WAR through 180 plate appearances. Vogt also leads American League catchers with at least 100 plate appearances in every part of the traditional slash line, with his .322/.411/.611 performance. Vogt's 11 home runs are three more than runner-up Brian McCann.
Stephen Vogt has more All-Star votes than Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz combined.— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) June 1, 2015
Marcus Semien would be a surprising reserve, though not totally outlandish
The main reason Marcus Semien is running third in the All-Star balloting is that the online ballot does not list defensive statistics of any kind. If you just went by the All-Star ballot list, you'd see a shortstop that's third in AVG (.283), first in home runs (6), fifth in RBIs (16), second in stolen bases (7), and has the most at bats of all of them.
If you dug into WAR, you'd expect Jose Iglesias to be winning by a landslide with 1.6 fWAR leading the field by 0.6 wins over Marcus Semien and Brad Miller, both with 1.0. Where I think Semien will be hampered is that he is not exactly a favorite in his own fanbase because they can see the defensive lapses that do not show up on the ballot.
I mean, even I would not want an "All-Star shortstop" that cannot throw the ball to first without the first baseman rescuing him on every other play, and I think his offense vastly outweighs his extreme defensive lapses.
Next update and strategic voting
The best way to strategically promote Josh Reddick in the outfield balloting is to just vote for him and no other outfield candidate. Mike Trout does not need your votes, really. The next American League ballot update is next Monday.