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Which Reds deserve to be on the National League All-Star team?

Cozart appears to be only one definite
How many Reds could or should be all-stars?
How many Reds could or should be all-stars?
Posted at 10:34 AM, Jun 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-21 10:53:14-04

CINCINNATI -- The All-Star Game’s digital ballot box is open until June 29. But what happens in voting cyberspace is not likely to affect who goes to the game for the Reds.

Shortstop Zack Cozart is likely to go whether he’s voted in or not. The only other Red with a legitimate chance is Joey Votto, and he’s not going to get in by the fan vote.

Zack Cozart leads National League shortstops in All-Star votes. (Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

The Reds have plenty of games before the voting closes, but Cozart is the only one with a shot to get in by fan vote. He leads Corey Seager of the Los Angeles Dodgers by over 300,000 votes at shortstop.

Votto is fifth among first basemen, but he’s nearly 900,000 votes behind the leader, Washington’s Ryan Zimmerman. Adam Duvall is 10th among outfielders, over 400,000 votes behind third-place Jason Heyward of the Chicago Cubs.

Let’s look at the Reds who might get some consideration (all stats are entering Tuesday):

COZART: Again, he's nearly a lock even if Seager catches him in the voting. Cozart leads National League shortstops in the WAR (Wins Above Replacement) at 2.9 and OPS (on-base plus slugging). He also leads in batting average and extra-base hits and is tied with Seager for the lead in home runs.

ADAM DUVALL: The left fielder is having a nice year, but probably not All-Star-worthy. He’s fourth among outfielders in RBI. But he’s 14th in WAR at 1.2 and 10th in OPS (.851).

RAISEL IGLESIAS: The closer's chances ended with that awful outing in Los Angeles. He gave up four of the six runs he’s allowed this year in that game. His ERA without that outing is 0.53. With it, it is 1.59. Iglesias doesn’t have a ton of saves. He’s tied for seventh in the NL with 12.

But the biggest thing working against Iglesias is a lot of relievers are having great seasons. Kenley Jansen of the Dodgers, Greg Holland of the Rockies, Wade Davis of the Cubs and Corey Knebel of the Brewers all have stellar numbers as closers.

SCOTT SCHEBLER: He ranks right around where Duvall does among outfielders. Schebler is ninth in OPS at .878. He is tied with second in homers for outfielders with Jay Bruce, the guy he replaced.

EUGENIO SUAREZ: He was in the conversation for third base consideration early. He was hitting .327 with a 1.008 OPS on May 8. But he had cooled off since. He is still fifth in the NL in WAR among third baseman at 2.2. But Kris Bryant of the Cubs leads the vote, while Nolan Arenado of the Rockies is the most deserving.

VOTTO: He’s second among NL first basemen in WAR at 3.2 and fourth in OPS at 1.017. It helps Votto that Zimmerman, who is above him in OPS, is leading the vote. Freddie Freeman was having an MVP-like season for the Braves, but he’s out with an injury.

 

Four first basemen made the NL team last year -- Anthony Rizzo of the Cubs, Brandon Belt of the Giants, Paul Goldschmidt of the Diamondbacks and Wil Myers of the Padres.

Twenty-six spots are open after the eight starters are named. Sixteen spots go to players named on the players' ballot. Manager Joe Maddon will name five pitchers and four position players.

Votto certainly would be an attractive choice as a left-handed bat for Maddon.

The last spot in both leagues goes to the winner of Final Vote. Votto got in that way in 2010.

This year, the guess here is, he and Cozart will be in before the Final Vote starts. 

John Fay is a freelance sports columnist; this column represents his opinion. Contact him at johnfayman@aol.com.