Let's talk about Stephen Vogt, rather than dwell on the hilarity of voting Omar Infante into the All-Star Game. The Everything Bagel has the everyman's body, and has risen from starting his career on an 0-for-31 to third in the American League All-Star voting for catcher:
Here is the latest AL voting update for the #ASG: pic.twitter.com/AcT8hF7krb— MLB Communications (@MLB_PR) June 22, 2015
Russell Martin has passed Stephen Vogt. Brian McCann is actually ahead of Salvador Perez for third place in WAR on FanGraphs, so someone is going to feel left out by electing the fourth-best catcher to start the game, by that measure.
The thing to worry about is whether the reserve selection methods, the player vote, manager selection, and final fan vote, fail Stephen Vogt. Fortunately, he is making a strong case in all of the traditional statistical categories, and does not need an advanced argument to call for his inclusion:
|American League Catcher Rankings (min. 150 plate appearances)|
|Russell Martin||Blue Jays||61||244||3.0||T-3rd (10)||1st (44)||3rd (35)||2nd (.282)||2nd (.365)||2nd (.507)||2nd (141)|
|Stephen Vogt||Athletics||68||257||2.6||1st (13)||2nd (34)||1st (51)||1st (.294)||1st (.393)||1st (.545)||1st (159)|
|Brian McCann||Yankees||57||230||1.9||T-3rd (10)||3rd (28)||2nd (43)||4th (.275)||3rd (.339)||3rd (.475)||3rd (124)|
|Salvador Perez||Royals||62||237||1.3||2nd (11)||T-4th (21)||4th (30)||3rd (.280)||10th (.291)||4th (.466)||4th (107)|
|Jason Castro||Astros||51||187||1.2||T-5th (7)||T-4th (21)||T-8th (15)||9th (.225)||8th (.294)||6th (.402)||T-6th (95)|
Not only does Stephen Vogt lead American League catchers in runs batted in, Vogt is tied with Miguel Cabrera to lead the American League. He's also fifth in on base percentage and seventh in slugging.
The fans will probably elect Salvador Perez, given his huge lead. The players will have an interesting time deciding between Russell Martin and Stephen Vogt, however, leaving the choice of a third catcher to American League manager Ned Yost.
My only concern is Brian McCann, who is third in WAR and top-four in the traditional categories listed in the table. Stephen Vogt outclasses McCann in all those categories, but catchers have that special role on defense that might cause a manager to put undue emphasis on roster construction rather than ribbies and dingers.
McCann might be a better defensive catcher, having thrown out 9 of 11 attempted base stealers compared to Vogt's 12 of 25, and that would be my big concern if Vogt does not win the players vote. American League Manager Ned Yost could decide he needs a "defensive catcher," see Brian McCann's caught stealing percentage, decide he just needs Sonny Gray as the A's representative, and call it a reasonable compromise because "THIS TIME IT COUNTS."
Fortunately, the need to choose a player from every American League team does not require Yost to pick McCann. He has more obvious choices in relievers Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller.
But having the leader in one of the triple crown categories and overall entertaining fellow Stephen Vogt excluded from the All-Star Game would be lame. I don't know if the fan voting has any influence on how All-Star managers consider their reserve selections, but it's time to show Ned Yost that Athletics Nation wants Stephen Vogt in the All-Star Game. #VoteVogt today.