Voting for the MLB All-Star Game is probably more complicated than it needs to be.
The rules are simple, but the execution never seems to be. A fan vote, player vote and manager input are all factored into determining the two squads of 34 players.
Even though 68 players seems like overkill, injuries, pitching schedules and other factors always seem to create paths for replacement players to end up in the game.
Every team needs to be represented by at least one player. That rule alone almost ensures that some deserving players will be snubbed every year.
This season, to nobody’s surprise, a few players who are off to hot starts got left off the two rosters. Each year, the MLB allows a pure fan vote to determine the “final” players selected to each league.
This year, fans had to decide between San Francisco Giants first baseman Brandon Belt, Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Max Muncy, Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Jesus Aguilar, shortstop Trea Turner of the Washington Nationals and St. Louis Cardinals infielder Matt Carpenter in the National League.
In the American League, fans had to select one of the following: Boston Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi, New York Yankees slugger (and reigning NL MVP) Giancarlo Stanton, Minnesota Twins outfielder Eddie Rosario, Seattle Mariners shortstop Jean Segura and Los Angeles Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons.
The votes are in and the fans went with Aguilar in the National League and Segura in the American League.
Aguilar earned 20.2 million votes to secure his first All-Star selection, per ESPN. His total was the second-highest in the history of the All-Star Final Vote, trailing only Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner's 20.8 million votes last year. Belt finished second followed by Muncy, Turner and Carpenter.
The Brewers slugger is not only an All-Star now, but he’s a legitimate candidate for the NL MVP award. The 28 year old went from getting put on waivers last season to taking the league by storm this year, hitting .307 with 23 home runs and 67 RBIs for the 55-38 Brewers as of Wednesday night. He was tied for first in the NL in home runs and ranked second in RBIs as of Wednesday.
He called the honor a “dream come true”.
Segura gathered 13.6 million votes, per ESPN. Benintendi, Stanton, Rosario and Simmons finished behind him in that order.
"It was unbelievable," Segura told MLB.com. "I can't believe there's that kind of people around the world supporting me -- fans, the marketing department for the organization, the people in Seattle, my teammates, everybody trying to help get votes for me. It feels amazing.”
As of Wednesday night, Segura was hitting .330 with seven home runs, 47 RBIs, 14 stolen bases, 63 runs scored and 117 hits for the 58-35 Mariners. He ranked fourth in the AL in average, seventh in runs scored, and second in total hits.
Therefore, his teammates reacted appropriately after it was revealed that he was selected.
While the other four players that didn’t earn each league’s final vote might have felt dejected, there’s a solid chance that one, two, three or even all four could end up in Washington DC if they’re called on to be replacements.