MLB’s All-Star Game voting ends Thursday night and it is pretty much impossible for New York Mets outfielder Jay Bruce to be voted in. Popularity has once again taken precedence over production and players like Bruce are not getting the recognition they deserve.
The All-Star Game is supposed to reward the players from both leagues that have had strong starts to the season. Popularity and team affiliation shouldn’t have anything to do with it. Unfortunately for Bruce and others, the All-Star Game has turned into a popularity contest.
In the latest National League ballot update, a trio of undeserving Chicago Cubs outfielders are all listed ahead of Bruce on this list.
— MLB Communications (@MLB_PR) June 19, 2017
Let’s take a look at their numbers.
Third in the voting and slotted for an All-Star Game start is Jason Heyward, who is having a decent season at best. Through 198 plate appearances, Heyward is hitting .258, has just six home runs, 29 RBI, 24 runs scored, and is currently on the disabled list.
Ben Zobrist is another injured Cub that has had anything but a strong first three months to the season. Through 188 plate appearances, Zobrist is hitting a brutal .223, has just seven home runs, 21 RBI and 21 runs scored. Name recognition, not production, finds him fourth in the voting.
Then there’s Kyle Schwarber, who has received the eighth-most votes among NL outfielders. Through 222 at-bats, Schwarber is hitting an ugly .171, with 12 home runs and 28 RBI and he was recently demoted to the minor leagues.
Compare them to Bruce, who is hitting .270 with 20 home runs, 52 RBI and 42 runs scored over 278 plate appearances. He’s been one of the lone bright spots in a mediocre, injury-plagued and inconsistent Mets lineup all season.
Those numbers make Bruce far more deserving than the aforementioned outfielders, and he should certainly have more than the 13th-highest vote total.
If Bruce and others like him are to get the recognition they deserve, the All-Star voting system needs to be revamped. Hopefully, MLB will look into that sometime soon.