It’s that time of year again. Memorial Day is past and we’re heading to the longer days of summer. You remember, right? Hanging out with your friends, watching the Cubs play day baseball, celebrating the warm weather, and just enjoying life.
With that comes the All-Star Game, a symbol that we’ve reached the halfway mark to the MLB season, even though it’s really past the halfway point. But who really wants to split hairs?
The point of this seemingly nonsensical rambling is that the first tally of 2017 All-Star voting is in and you’ll be pleased to know your Cubs are faring quite well. Yep, even in the face of a .500 record after 50 games, people are still acknowledging how good they believe these Cubs players are. Here’s proof.
— MLB (@MLB) May 30, 2017
— MLB Communications (@MLB_PR) May 30, 2017
No surprise to see Bryce Harper leading the field with over 900,000 votes. Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant are staples at the corners of the infield and I’d expect to continue seeing their names at the top of this list for the foreseeable future.
What may surprise some is seeing Jason Heyward as the third outfielder. Heyward’s his new swing has certainly turned things around for him at the plate so far this year in a noticeable way. His line of .258/.329/.409 it doesn’t really blow you away, but compare it to 2016’s line of .230/.306/.325 and you see good reason for optimism. His power numbers are up too. In 2016 he finished with only seven home runs. He has five homers already this season and his hard contact rate is up a full 2% over last year (28.4% vs. 26.4%).
Of course, this is a fan voting contest so seeing a Cub lead in any position really isn’t that big a surprise given the popularity of the team. And if you look just below Heyward you’ll notice two more familiar names: Ben Zobrist and the notoriously stagnant Kyle Schwarber. Despite his own struggles, Addison Russell is a close second to Corey Seager at shortstop. Then you’ve got Javy Baez, who is well behind Daniel Murphy but has nearly four times as many votes as Brandon Phillips at second base.
See below for the top few names at each position.
1. Anthony Rizzo, Cubs: 452,620
2. Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals: 359,055
3. Freddie Freeman, Braves: 286,389
1. Daniel Murphy, Nationals: 669,643
2. Javier Baez, Cubs: 474,119
3. Brandon Phillips, Braves: 126,404
1. Kris Bryant, Cubs: 632,900
2. Nolan Arenado, Rockies: 392,051
3. Justin Turner, Dodgers: 220,029
1. Corey Seager, Dodgers: 399,347
2. Addison Russell, Cubs: 379,640
3. Zack Cozart, Reds: 264,516
1. Bryce Harper, Nationals: 900,079
2. Charlie Blackmon, Rockies: 520,479
3. Jason Heyward, Cubs: 344,166
4. Ben Zobrist, Cubs: 327,231
5. Kyle Schwarber, Cubs: 305,449
6. Matt Kemp, Braves: 284,420
Of course, it’s still early so expect some movement. You can vote here up to five times every 24 hours.