Willson Contreras and Javier Baez were named all-stars for the first time in their careers, as they were voted in as starters for the National League in the mid-summer classic. Jon Lester was also selected and fans nearly voted in a third all-star starter for the Cubs too.
It’s interesting to note that Cubs fans really stepped up in the final days of voting, as Baez and Contreras were trailing in the last week before results were revealed. So, they got one last push that propelled them to their first all-star game.
Via Jesse Rogers.
Willson Contreras and Javy Baez were named starters for the all star game after a late push, considering neither ever led at their respective positions when voting was released each week on Mondays. The final days saw a move for both of them as they’ll start their first mid-summer classic. Jon Lester will join them. It’s his fifth selection.
Cubs fans also got behind one more of their players, as Jason Heyward finished fourth in voting in the outfield. Obviously the top-three players in voting are named starters.
Bryce Harper, Matt Kemp and Nick Markakis will be your starting NL All-Stars
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) July 8, 2018
But still, how about Heyward finishing right behind them.
Baez won out over Albies by 132,000 votes. Contreras won by 253,716. Heyward surged to 4th in voting for OF’s.
— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) July 8, 2018
Heyward’s had an awesome season for the Cubs, well relative to how disappointing his first two years were with the team on offense. In 2018, Heyward is slashing .280/.339/.421, with five home runs, 38 RBIs, 41 runs scored, 15 doubles, three triples, while walking 23 times and only striking out 32 times.
The crazy thing is, the Cubs have three more outfielders who you could have made a better case to be in the all-star game. For starters, Kyle Schwarber has the second-highest fWAR among NL outfielders at 2.6. His 17 home runs also rank second most in the position group for the league. And he has the best arm in left field too.
Albert Almora Jr.’s current .326 batting average leads all NL outfielders and has made plenty of highlight reel plays in center field.
Finally, let’s not forget about Ben Zobrist, who has the fifth highest average in the outfield at .294 and his 2.3 fWAR also ranks fifth.
It’s all right though. No Cubs were on the final ballot and it’s probably better that they get to take advantage of the break and rest.
There’s just one last thing that needs to happen. Javier Baez has to be in the home run derby. He wants to do it. Make it happen, MLB.