MLB All-Star Ballot

I generally fill out an MLB ballot for the All-Star game and send it in - since it's online now, it's easy to send in the maximum 25 entries in just a few minutes, so you feel like you've had some sort of real effect. Last year, for the first time, offered stat comparison: you could click on a category and see the batting statistics for that group. This year, I noticed something interesting. The statistics offered were at-bats, battting average, home runs, runs batted in, and stolen bases. Useful statistics, all of them, but it missed a big one: runs scored.

On some sections, it's not that big a deal, I suppose. But when see mostly power numbers on an All-Star ballot, your votes will tend to swing towards the players who hit the long ball. Of course, your votes tend to go there anyway. Actually, scratch that, your votes tend to head towards players with famous names. Let's look at some of the players winning their respective categories:

Player A: .311, 32 R, 7 HR, 25 RBI, 10 SB, .854 OPS
Player B: .373, 32 R, 7 HR, 30 RBI, 14 SB, 1.012 OPS

Player A is Derek Jeter, who has over a million votes. Player B is Jason Bartlett, who has just over 400,000.

Player A: .240, 20 R, 6 HR, 24 RBI, 3 SB, .746 OPS
Player B: .208, 15 R, 5 HR, 14 RBI, 0 SB, .689 OPS
Player C: .324, 40 R, 3 HR, 25 RBI, 30 SB, .829 OPS
Player D: .313, 37 R, 12 HR, 42 RBI, 10 SB, .988 OPS

Player A is Josh Hamilton, currently 2nd in AL outfielder voting. Player B is Ken Griffey, Jr., currently 4th in AL outfielder voting. Player C is Carl Crawford, currently 5th in voting, and Player D is Torii Hunter, currently 6th. Ken Griffey, Jr. could make the All-Star team while batting .208 with an OPS under .700. That's just remarkable.

NL Catcher
Player A: .271, 14 R, 3 HR, 17 RBI, 2 SB, .717 OPS (45 games)
Player B: .217, 16 R, 0 HR, 16 RBI, 0 SB, .583 OPS (45 games)
Player C: .265, 17 R, 5 HR, 22 RBI, 0 SB, .748 OPS (44 games)
Player D: .318, 15 R, 5 HR, 18 RBI, 2 SB, .934 OPS (33 games)

Player A is Yadier Molina, one of the famous Catching Molina Brothers (his two brothers, Bengie and José are also starting MLB catchers). Player B is Jason Kendall, player C is Ivan Rodriguez. Player D is Brian McCann, who missed a couple weeks with blurriness and was forced to start wearing glasses. Kendall and Rodriguez have 33 major league seasons between them, while this is McCann's 5th season.

The current All-Star lineup looks like this:

C Joe Mauer, MIN
1B Kevin Youkilis, BOS
2B Ian Kinsler, TEX
3B Evan Longoria, TB
SS Derek Jeter, NYY
OF Jason Bay, BOS
OF Josh Hamilton, TEX
OF Ichiro Suzuki, SEA

C Yadier Molina, STL
1B Albert Pujols, STL
2B Chase Utley, PHI
3B David Wright, NYM
SS Hanley Ramirez, FLA
OF Ryan Braun, MIL
OF Raul Ibanez, PHI
OF Alfonso Soriano, CHC

For the record, my All-Star ballot looks like this:

C Joe Mauer, MIN
1B Kevin Youkilis, BOS
2B Aaron Hill, TOR
3B Evan Longoria, TB
SS Jason Bartlett, TB
OF Jason Bay, BOS
OF Carl Crawford, TB
OF Torii Hunter, LAA

C Brian McCann, ATL
1B Albert Pujols, STL
2B Orlando Hudson, LAD
3B Ryan Zimmerman, WAS
SS Hanely Ramirez, FLA
OF Raul Ibanez, PH
OF Adam Dunn, WAS
OF Matt Kemp, LAD