Outfielders Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays and Matt Kemp from the Los Angeles Dodgers led their respective leagues in balloting for Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game as conducted by members of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance and announced today.
Bautista, who has an American League-leading 1.133 OPS to go along with his 24 home runs, was named on 50 ballots, not including one ballot that placed him at third base. Bautista was joined in the outfield by Curtis Granderson of the New York Yankees, who received 48 votes, and Jacoby Ellsbury of the Boston Red Sox, who tallied 23 votes.
There were few close races in the AL voting by the BBA. The tightest was at third base, where Yankee Alex Rodriguez outpolled Adrian Beltre of the Texas Rangers 30-16. All other races were decided by at least twenty votes save the nod for starting pitcher. Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander won that 16-6 over Jered Weaver of the Los Angeles Angels, but many bloggers did not designate a specific starter so fewer votes were cast in that category.
Other American League nods were to Tigers catcher Alex Avila, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez of the Boston Red Sox, Yankee second baseman Robinson Cano, and shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera of the Cleveland Indians. Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz was selected at that position.
Over in the National League, Kemp’s stellar first half--he sits second in batting average, first in home runs, second in RBI and has 21 stolen bases to boot--earned him mention on 54 ballots. Accompanying him in the outfield was Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers and Lance Berkman of the St. Louis Cardinals.
As in the junior circuit, the closest race in the NL was at the hot corner. Philadelphia Phillies third baseman Placido Polanco edged out Chase Headley of the San Diego Padres 21-14, with Atlanta Brave Chipper Jones receiving 10 votes.
The other races were not a contest, as Braves catcher Brian McCann, Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder and second baseman Rickie Weeks, and New York Mets shortstop Jose Reyes all won their slots by at least 25 votes.
Starting the contest for the NL was Roy Halladay, who easily outpolled his Philadelphia teammate Cole Hamels for the honor.
The Baseball Bloggers Alliance was formed in 2009 with the purpose of encouraging collaboration and communication among bloggers from across baseball. As a secondary goal, they vote on various awards throughout the year. In January, they recommended Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven for the Baseball Hall of Fame and in March, they created a new award to honor the top internet writer and then named it after the first recipient, Sports Illustrated’s Joe Posnanski. You can find the BBA at their website or on Facebook. You can follow the Alliance at @baseballblogs on Twitter or via the hashtag #BBBA.