After the last voting update it was beginning to look like a foregone conclusion, but it's now confirmed that Josh Donaldson will be the starting third baseman in the All-Star Game for the American League. While he initially trailed Kansas City Royal Mike Moustakas by a fair number of votes, the righty-hitting star quickly gained ground with help from Don Cherry and Stephen Amell.
With 14.090,188 votes, Donaldson sets the record for most votes by a large margin...and they say baseball is dying. The contest in Cincinnati will be Josh's second All-Star Game as he also made it as an Oakland A's player last year after getting snubbed in 2013.
The 14,090,188 votes for @BringerOfRain20 sets a new all-time single-season voting record! Josh Hamilton held record at just over 11 mil— Barry Davis (@SNBarryDavis) July 5, 2015
The Auburn product is hitting .295/.352/.529 with 19 home runs and a 142 wRC+ this season. All that combined with solid play at the hot corner has resulted in a fWAR of 4.3 and a potential shot at the MVP crown if he keeps it up. If the old saying that the team that receives the best player in a trade is considered the winner, then the Blue Jays certainly won the swap with Oakland that took place prior to this season. The only downsides to tonight's announcement are that Donaldson won't get a few days rest during the All-Star break and that his arbitration salary next year will likely be bumped up by a substantial amount.
No other Blue Jays were named starters this evening with Jose Reyes finishing third at shortstop, Justin Smoak finishing fourth at first base, Devon Travis finishing fifth at second base. Russell Martin finishing second at catcher, Edwin Encarnacion finishing third at designated hitter, and Jose Bautsita finishing a close fourth among outfielders. When reserves, pitchers, and Final Vote competitors are announced tomorrow, you'd have to think that Martin and Bautista are locks to hear their names selected. I also wouldn't be surprised to see Encarnacion among the Final Vote candidates, although I'm not so sure any Blue Jays pitchers will be making an appearance in Cincinnati this year.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Here are the AL final voting totals for the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ASG?src=hash">#ASG</a>: <a href="http://t.co/wpSgfrM7zT">pic.twitter.com/wpSgfrM7zT</a></p>— MLB Communications (@MLB_PR) <a href="https://twitter.com/MLB_PR/status/617842394868940802">July 5, 2015</a></blockquote>
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Anyway, congrats Josh go win home field advantage!