Through nearly two weeks of the fan ballot, Dodgers Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, and J.D. Martinez lead National Leaguers in All-Star voting at their respective positions. Catcher Will Smith is second and third baseman Max Muncy is third.
Betts is second among NL outfielders in voting through Monday morning, behind only Ronald Acuña Jr. of the Braves. Betts you can almost take for granted as an All-Star because of his immense popularity, both among fans and players. He’s been an All-Star in the last six seasons in which there was an All-Star game, voted three times to start (2016, 2018, 2022). He’s finished no worse than fourth on the player ballot since 2016, including first or second four of the six times.
The top three outfielders in fan voting in each league earn starting spots in the midsummer classic, and the players vote for three spots as well. Betts is a lock to be an All-Star for a seventh time, and it’s just a matter of whether he starts.
Freeman has a hefty lead (775,503 votes) over Mets first baseman Pete Alonso (377,749), with Matt Olson (272,275) and reigning MVP Paul Goldschmidt (178,238) a fair bit behind. The top two vote-getters at each position through June 22 will advance to the second phase of voting. Last year, Freeman was behind Goldschmidt and Alonso in both fan and player voting, but was eventually named to the team as an injury replacement.
Like Betts, Freeman is a six-time All-Star who has started three times (2018, 2019, 2021).
Martinez, who leads the National League with a .619 slugging percentage, leads all National League designated hitters with 412,373 as of Monday, narrowly ahead of Bryce Harper (380,345). Martinez has been an All-Star five times, including each of the last four years there’s been a game.
This year is a bit different than last, in that there are more regular DHs in the National League. Through Monday, six in the league have started at least 40 times at DH, and 10 have started at least 32 times (roughly half the season).
Last year Harper won the fan vote but was hurt, so the starter was the next-highest player vote, then-Braves catcher William Contreras, who was listed on the ballot as a DH despite only starting at the position 12 times. The roster replacement for Harper was Garrett Cooper of the Marlins, next in line in the player vote at an admittedly weak position.
Contreras was listed at DH last year because Travis d’Arnaud was listed as the Braves catcher on the ballot, and finished second to Willson Contreras — then of the Cubs, and William’s brother — in both fan balloting and player voting, earning d’Arnaud a spot on the roster.
Smith hasn’t garnered enough support from fans or players in his first two years on the ballot. He was fourth in fan voting in 2022, behind Contreras, d’Arnaud, and Yadier Molina. Smith was also fourth in fan voting in 2021, behind Buster Posey, Molina, and Willson Contreras. J.T. Realmuto finished second in player voting to earn the nod that year.
This year, at least so far, Smith is second (419,587) to Sean Murphy of the Braves (603,501), both comfortably ahead of Elias Díaz of the Rockies (168,163). The top two advance to phase two of fan voting, to determine the starter. Murphy and Smith have been clearly the best two catchers in the National League this year.
Top NL catchers
|Murphy||.281/.384/.536||12 (1st)||42 (1st)||149 (1st)||3.0 (1st)||2.3 (1st)|
|Smith||.291/.396/.509||9 (3rd)||33 (2nd)||147 (2nd)||2.3 (2nd)||2.0 (2nd)|
It would be a surprise at this point if Smith doesn’t make his first All-Star team, and if he gets some more support from the fans, maybe he’ll even start.
Max Muncy, tied for third in the National League with 18 home runs while hitting .191/.323/.474 with a 115 wRC+, is a close third in voting at third base (358,235), behind Nolan Arenado (410,122) and Austin Riley (368,044).
Phase one of fan voting runs through June 22, with the top two at each position (six outfielders) advancing to phase two. Voting totals reset for the second phase, which runs from June 26 to June 29. Starters will be announced on June 29, and full All-Star rosters will be revealed on July 2.
The 2023 MLB All-Star Game will be held July 11 at T-Mobile Park in Seattle.