The Return of the Midsummer Classic

After a year-long hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the MLB All-Star Game will return on Tuesday, July 13th at Coors Field in Denver, Colorado. With the return of the Midsummer Classic, MLB has decided to shake things up when it comes to the voting process. There will now be a two phase process.

Phase 1

Each club will nominate a player from each position. The fans will have the opportunity to cast up to 5 ballots every 24 hours. Each ballot card requires fans to vote for one player in each infield position, three players for outfield positions and in the American League, fans must choose one designated hitter. If their favorite player is not listed on the ballot, they may choose to write in their vote but they can only do so for one player at each position. This phase of the voting will determine the top three vote-getters at each infield position, the top nine vote-getters for outfield positions in each league and the top three designated hitters for the American league.

Phase 2

The top vote-getters as chosen in the previous phase move onto Phase 2. The votes from the previous phase are erased and all players start from scratch again. In this phase, fans are voting for the eight starters in both leagues and the designated hitter for the American league. The remaining players of the roster, which consist of pitchers and reserves, will be determined by a combination of Player Ballots and the Commissioner’s Office.

Toronto Blue Jays

The Blue Jays fans pushed five representatives through to Phase 2. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was the top vote-getter in all of baseball during Phase 1. He received 2,704,788 votes. This only helps showcase the stellar season he has had to date. As of the writing of this article, he is second in HR with 28, only trailing Shohei Otani, and he leads the league in RBIs (73) and OPS (1.118). The other four Blue Jays are Marcus Semien, Bo Bichette, Teoscar Hernández and Randal Grichuk. 

Vlad Guerrero Jr, Teoscar Hernández and Marcus Semien were named as the American League elected starters. Vlad Jr continued his dominance in voting by once again being the leading vote-getter in Phase 2. Marcus Semien just squeezed out Jose Altuve for second base and Teoscar Hernández did the same to Bryon Buxton of the Twins with a late surge in fan voting. Bo Bichette will be making his first All-Star appearance after being named as one of the AL All-Star Reserves. He narrowly got beat out by Xander Bogaerts of the Red Sox for the starting shortstop position. 

The All-Star festivities will begin on Monday with the T-Mobile Home Run Derby at 8pm EST. The confirmed participants are Shohei Ohtani (Angels), Pete Alonso (Mets), Trevor Story (Rockies), Trey Mancini (Orioles), Salvador Perez (Royals), Matt Olson (A’s), Joey Gallo (Rangers) and Juan Soto (Nationals’). On Tuesday, the All-Star game will start at 7:30pm EST. Both of the events will be on Sportsnet.

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