Votebook: Some All-Stars may have write stuff
Twins' Colabello among players not on ballot worthy of All-Star consideration
The All-Star ballots are out, and just like the rest of baseball, what started as pieces of paper with tiny holes for fans to punch while sitting in their seats at the ballpark have evolved over the years.
When it comes to evolution, it's easy to point to the technological advances that have made voting so easy, and it also applies to the ballot itself.
But that doesn't mean every deserving candidate made it to the big list. You never know who might jump up and make a big impact in April.
Using statistics entering Friday's play, here are eight players absent from the ballot whose early-season exploits deserve consideration -- and maybe even your write-in votes:
Chris Colabello, IF/OF, Twins: The big guy from Massachusetts spent seven years in independent ball before even being signed by a Major League team, and now, not even a year into his big-league adventure, he's among the American League leaders in RBIs with an average near .300. A cool story would be even cooler if the guy got to play in the Midsummer Classic in front of the hometown fans.
Scooter Gennett, 2B, Brewers: Gennett announced his presence with brilliant play toward the end of last year and has now annexed the second base position from Rickie Weeks. Gennett is batting an even .300 for the surprise first-place Brewers.
Yangervis Solarte, IF, Yankees: Where would Joe Girardi be without this guy? Solarte has filled in all the cracks for an aging, depleted infield and then some, batting .304 with 13 RBIs and 12 walks and playing creditable defense at multiple positions.
Emilio Bonifacio, 2B, Cubs: The fleet-of-foot veteran joined Chicago on a non-roster deal in Spring Training and has been electrifying so far, batting .337 with 10 stolen bases and 15 runs scored.
Danny Espinosa, IF, Nationals: Espinosa found himself back in the Minor Leagues last year, but he's figured out a way to stay in the Majors so far this year, hitting .288 and putting up an OPS of .828 while chipping in with three homers for Washington.
Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3B, Rangers: Kouzmanoff didn't make the Rangers out of Spring Training, but he got a chance to play when Adrian Beltre was injured and he made the most of the opportunity, putting up a slash line of .362/.412/.617 with three homers and 16 RBIs in 98 at-bats before succumbing to a herniated disk in his back that might require surgery.
Derek Dietrich, 2B, Marlins: He's only played 16 games this season, but this 24-year-old has made a statistical dent. He's hit three homers, driven in 10 runs, and put up a slash line of .261/.382/.500 for a young team that is playing .500 ball and starting to open some eyes in the National League East.
Brandon Hicks, 2B, Giants: Hicks' batting average (.213) doesn't look pretty, but the on-base percentage (.342) isn't bad, the slugging percentage (.508) is just fine, and he's got five home runs and 11 runs scored in 61 at-bats.
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- online or on a mobile device -- using the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian until Thursday, July 3, at 11:59 p.m. ET. The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15.
Fans may submit up to 25 online ballots, but they can also earn a one-time bonus of 10 additional online ballots. To access these additional online ballots, you must be logged into your MLB.com account when you submit any online ballot. If you do not have an MLB.com account, register on the site in accordance with the enrollment instructions for a free MLB.com account.
Fans this year once again can participate in the Home Run Derby Fan Poll. Fans will have the opportunity to select three players in each league who they would most like to see participate in the Home Run Derby. The 2014 Home Run Derby will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio in the United States beginning at 8 p.m. ET on Monday, July 14.
The 2014 American League and National League All-Star teams will be unveiled on the 2014 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show during the weekend of July 5-6, with further details to follow on MLB.com. Immediately following the announcement of the AL and NL All-Star rosters, fans can begin voting to select the final player for each league's 34-man roster via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Experian. Fans will cast their votes from a list of five players from each league over the balloting period.
And the voting doesn't end there. The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again have fans participating in the voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote Sponsored by Pepsi, and their voice will represent 20 percent of the overall vote that determines the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.
The 85th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.