All-Star voting is underway! With the O’s playing well for the entire month of April, there are a few Birds deserving of an All Star berth. This year’s game will be played at the venerable Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, home of the dancing fountains (and the Royals).
Let’s start around the infield. First baseman Chris Davis is having a great season. So far he is hitting .319, fifth among AL first basemen. It will be tough to beat out the likes of Prince Fielder of Mark Teixeira but he deserves a look for both his bat and glovework.
You might be surprised who you see atop the leader boards at second base. Robert Andino is leading all everyday second basemen with a .324 average so far this year. His numbers are actually better than the Yankees’ perennial All Star Robinson Cano, who is hitting only .264. Let’s get Dino in there.
J.J. Hardy hasn’t had the year he was hoping for so far, thanks to his .181 batting average, but his three home runs are second among all AL shortstops.
Third base…well that’s another story for another day.
Outfield: Adam Jones is hitting .330 with six home runs and 12 runs batted in. As of now, the Rangers’ Josh Hamilton should be the starter, and possibly MVP, but Jones deserves to be an All-Star.
Nick Markakis has the best arm in the majors, as the Oakland A’s found out during the Orioles’ sweep last week. Gold Glovers Markakis and Matt Wieters wiped A’s off the bases nearly every time they tried to steal. By the end of the series all Markakis had to do was look at a runner, and he scampered back to first.
Nolan Reimold is also right up there. His .333 average is nothing to sneeze at, and neither are his five home runs. The only thing holding him back is national exposure, so let’s get his name out there , Baltimore fans!
Catcher will be an interesting vote this year. Matt Wieters is having a great season, hitting .273 with six home runs and 15 RBI. He will have stiff competition with Joe Mauer and Mike Napoli, but he also deserves to be an All Star.
There are a few pitchers who could pack their bags for Kansas City. Jason Hammel has three wins and an ERA under 2.00, and Wei-Yin Chen has also put together a decent record this year, posting a 2.22 ERA. Even though he has missed some time, landing in the hospital with food poisoning, closer Jim Johnson is tied with the AL lead with seven saves and has yet to yield an earned run.
Unfortunately, we the fans can’t vote for pitchers. But we can load the virtual ballot box for our position players, and we should start right now.
The bottom line is this: Get out there and vote for your Orioles! Vote online at: www.orioles.com/allstar
Or you can pick up a ballot at the stadium. You can vote up to 25 times online, so let’s start getting the votes in! Voting ends June 28.
by Andy Mindzak