The first Major League Baseball All-Star ballot is out, and the results do not favor the Texas Rangers.
Now, the Rangers are currently 25-41, which is tied with All-Star Game host Colorado Rockies for the fourth-worst win percentage in baseball. So when it comes to individual or team accolades, the Rangers may be left out quite often.
Only two Rangers are in the top 10 of the voting in their respective positions. Rookie sensation Adolis García is fourth among American League outfielders, which falls in line with where his stat line is with similar players.
However, Isiah Kiner-Falefa didn't even crack the top 10 among AL shortstops. He's ranked 11th, behind:
- Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox (502,629 votes)
- Bo Bichette, Blue Jays (252,479 votes)
- Tim Anderson, White Sox (177,320 votes)
- Carlos Correa, Astros (163,945 votes)
- Adalberto Mondesi, Royals (123,565 votes)
- José Iglesias, Angels (83,898 votes)
- Gleyber Torres, Yankees (78,112 votes)
- Joey Wendle, Rays (52,307 votes)
- Freddy Galvis, Orioles (40,896 votes)
- Elvis Andrus, Athletics (32,432 votes)
"Just saw the top ten in all star votes," Kiner-Falefa tweeted. "What a joke…"
Kiner-Falefa has been overlooked his entire baseball career. Prior to this season, a FanGraphs blog ranked the Rangers shortstop group dead last in MLB, saying of Kiner-Falefa, "what the heck are projection systems supposed to do about a catcher trying to play shortstop other than shrug their shoulders?"
That was pretty bad, and Kiner-Falefa fired back immediately. But this might take the cake in terms of oversight. In six of the following nine stats, Kiner-Falefa ranks third or higher among AL shortstops.
|Stat||Mark (AL Rank)|
The fear that comes with fans affecting All-Star appearances is it becomes a popularity contest. If people at a respected site like FanGraphs don't even know that Kiner-Falefa was never a natural catcher, how should we expect casual fans across the entire sport to do proper research and cast a well-educated vote?
Why does it matter? Well, an All-Star appearance is a mighty good addition to a résumé that already includes a Gold Glove at third base and could add a Gold Glove at shortstop at the end of this season. Kiner-Falefa has two more arbitration-eligible years remaining, and more accolades means more money.
Ultimately, as good as Adolis García has been and deserves All-Star consideration, one could argue Kiner-Falefa deserves it just as much. When you combine his impact offensively, defensively, and as a leader in the clubhouse, Kiner-Falefa has proven the doubters wrong and established himself as an everyday player worth building around.
To cast your vote for the MLB All-Star Game, go to www.mlb.com/all-star/ballot.
More on SI's Inside The Rangers:
- Solak's Final At-Bat vs Dodgers Personifies Rangers Growth
- On The Road To Recovery, Rangers Top Prospect Josh Jung Has Learned To 'Surrender'
- How And When Do Managers Police Pitchers For Their 'Sticky Stuff'?
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