How many Twins players should start in the All-Star Game?

Also, how many reserve All-Stars could the Twins have?
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Fan voting for the 2019 MLB All-Star Game is underway. This year, the MLB made some changes to All-Star ballots with two phases of fan voting.

First, there's a primary election, where the top three vote-getters at each position (except for outfield which is top nine) are named and will advance to the starters election. The primary voting ends on June 21 and then a 28-hour voting period on June 26 will determine the starters.

With the Twins pacing the league in numerous categories, how many players will be named starters to this year's team? In a perfect world, I think you can argue that four Twins have legitimate cases to be starters.

  • Starting pitcher: Jake Odorizzi
  • First base: C.J. Cron
  • Shortstop: Jorge Polanco
  • Outfield: Eddie Rosario

Odorizzi has some competition but he's first in ERA (2.16), second in wins (7), fourth in WHIP (0.99) and is fifth in WAR (1.9). He'll have to continue his dominance if he's going to pass Justin Verlander, who's more well known and has just as good, if not better numbers than Odorizzi.

Trivia question: Name the 3 Twins All-Stars in 2001 (answer at the end of the story)

Cron should be a shoe-in because this is an incredibly weak year for first basemen. Among first basemen, he's first in WAR (1.5), third in OPS (.873), third in home runs (13), third in batting average (.271), and third in RBI (35).

Polanco has every right to start at shortstop. He's first in WAR (3.4) – by a wide margin – first in OPS (.988), second in batting average (.337), first in on-base percentage (.405), and first in slugging percentage (.583).

Rosario will have some crowded competition but should at least advance from the primary round. Among outfielders, he's seventh in WAR (2.0), tied for first in home runs (17), first in RBI (47) and fourth in runs (59). Rosario's power numbers and clutch hitting is what probably gets him in.

Why they we won't get four starters

As we know, Minneapolis/St. Paul isn't the biggest media market, so fighting against the New York, Boston and Houston's of the world is an uphill battle. Personally, I think Cron and Polanco have the best shots to start. 

Despite Rosario's big bat, outfield is the toughest to get through and for starting pitchers, there's just more household names than Odorizzi out there.

Reserves

Another new wrinkle to All-Star voting is how reserves are selected. Pitchers and positional reserves will be determined through player ballots and by the commissioner's office.

So fans don't have any say in that regard but there's still cases to be made the Twins could get a few players in, namely Byron Buxton, Max Kepler, Jose Berrios and even Mitch Garver if he comes back from his injury and continues to hit like he's Mike Piazza. 

How to vote

There are a couple ways fans can vote. The first is through MLB.com, Twinsbaseball.com or on the MLB At Bat or MLB Ballpark apps. 

Or, fans can simply vote for any player on a Google search of "vote players name." For example, you can go to Google and search "Vote Eddie Rosario." A screenshot is attached below to give you a visual of what I'm talking about. You also have to be signed into a Google account to cast the vote.

Screen Shot 2019-05-29 at 11.55.54 AM

Twins records

Minnesota has sent multiple players in the All-Star Game in recent years. They had three players make it in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2017. The team record for most players sent to the All-Star Game was in 1965 – which was played in Met Stadium – when they had six players represent the team.

Trivia question answer: The 3 Twins All-Stars in 2001 were Christian Guzman, Eric Milton and Joe Mays. 

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