The 2017 MLB All-Star Game will take place in just a few weeks on July 11 in Miami at Marlins Park, and fan votes are pouring in for their favorite players.
Some of baseball’s biggest names are receiving the most votes, such as Aaron Judge, Bryce Harper, Mike Trout and Kris Bryant. While many of the game’s biggest stars are deserving of their votes, some players seem to get votes purely for their likability instead of their performance, while others struggle to get fan votes despite playing great baseball.
The Milwaukee Brewers enter Friday, June 23, in first place in the NL Central at 40-35. Entering the season, everybody expected the reigning world champion Chicago Cubs to run away with the division, and the St. Louis Cardinals to be the only team truly capable of contending with them for playoff position.
But everybody thought wrong, and the Brewers are playing brilliant baseball because they have brilliant players. Sure Milwaukee doesn’t get all the national attention of bigger ball-clubs with bigger fanbases in bigger cities, but is it really fair to short them of All-Star representatives as a result? Anyone who has followed their success story in 2017 knows they have a handful of players who deserve serious consideration and recognition for their play this season. Here are just a few:
Eric Thames, 1B: Thames grabbed headlines when he belted home run after home run to begin the season, and has kept pretty steady after his scorching start to the season. The former Korean League superstar has 20 HR and 40 RBI and puts serious pressure on opposing pitchers anytime he steps to the plate.
Travis Shaw, 3B: After coming to Milwaukee from Boston, many fans didn’t know what to think of Shaw, and expectations were set relatively low. Instead of being a fill-in player, Shaw has been one of the Brewers’ most consistent bats. He is batting .298 and has knocked 14 HR and 51 RBI.
Corey Knebel, RP: Knebel has been an absolute stud, and there is simply no way he doesn’t belong in the All Star game this July after setting a new MLB record for most consecutive games with a strikeout by a relief pitcher to start the season with 38 (and counting). Aside from his ridiculous strikeout streak though, Knebel has been giving batters fits. He boasts a 0.96 ERA and has struck out 65 compared to just 17 walks.
The players and managers get to vote on another 33 players, and they ought to be aware of the talent on the Brewers roster by the midway point in the season, which should help Milwaukee gain a few representatives. Plus, who knows, maybe we will get to see Eric Thames in the Home Run Derby.