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A’s players snubbed in early All-Star fan vote despite top performances

Early returns are in for the 2021 All-Star game voting, and the Oakland A’s fan vote numbers are lower than their statistical qualifications indicate.

The A’s are familiar with All-Star snubs in the fan voting portion. Third baseman Josh Donaldson in 2014 is the only A’s player to start an All-Star game in the last 10 years. Typically, talented A’s players are selected by other players and managers to fulfill the reserves portion of the roster.

Third baseman Matt Chapman and former closer Liam Hendriks were selected by managers and players in 2019. Second baseman Jed Lowrie and former closer Blake Treinen were selected for the 2018 game. The early returns in the fan vote this year show the A’s All-Stars may need to make their way to Coors Field in Denver for this year’s festivities without the fans’ help.

Matt Olson, 2.4 WAR – ~60,000 votes, 7th among first baseman

Olson’s fellow first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is having an incredible season and his some-858,000 fan votes is the most in all of baseball so far (Atlanta’s Ronald Acuña Jr. is not far behind with some-835,000 votes) Guerrero’s 4.1 Wins Above Replacement, a statistic commonly highlighted with All-Star caliber players, ranks first in the entire league. Olson, statistically, is the second-best first baseman right now.

Olson’s 2.4 WAR ranks seventh in the American League. His .984 OPS ranks second to Guerrero’s in the AL. Among first basemen, his WAR and 168 wRC+  rank second to Guerrero, too. But with almost 60,000 votes, Olson sits behind six other first basemen in the first voting returns: Guererro, Chicago White Sox’s José Abreu (1.4 WAR), Houston Astros’ Yuli Gurriel (2.1 WAR), Los Angeles Angels’ Jared Walsh (1.9 WAR), Baltimore Orioles’ Trey Mancini (1.3 WAR) and Tampa’s Ji-Man Choi, who has been injured most of the season.

Manager Bob Melvin was asked if he was surprised to see Olson’s fan vote so low.

“I am,” he said. “Certainly a guy like Matt Olson should be receiving more votes. I haven’t seen the results up to this point, but I don’t know. I know we’re on a little late and a lot of games on the west coast aren’t seen. But certainly I would think everybody by now would know who Matt Olson is. So that’s too bad.”

At least players and managers know Olson, his impact at the plate and at first base, and he could slide into an All-Star bid through their selection.

Ramón Laureano, 1.8 WAR – ~84,000 votes, 17th among outfielders

Laureano has missed games since May 27 with a hip strain, which might put him behind the eight-ball for fan votes. The center fielder has the most votes of any A’s player, but he still is well behind a deep American League outfield group.

Angels star Mike Trout, though out with an injury for months, leads the way with 700,000 votes along with Yankees’ Aaron Judge, Minnesota’s Byron Buxton and Texas Rangers’ Adolis Garcia.

Laureano is running the bases on Tuesday and could return to the lineup on Wednesday if all goes well. If he gets hot at the plate, he could torch his path into the All-Star game.

Mark Canha, 2.0 WAR – ~59,000 votes, 20th among outfielders

Canha’s snub might be more egregious since he’s played all season at various outfield positions while upping his WAR to 2.0, second-highest among all outfielders in the American League behind Baltimore’s Cedric Mullins II (2.0). Judge, an All-Star lock, also has a 2.0 WAR with more jaw-dropping power numbers.

But Canha’s line — .254 average, .375 on-base percentage .840 OPS, 140 wRC+ — rank him consistently among the top 5 outfielders in the American League. In the fan voting, he ranks last among qualified outfielders with votes.

Matt Chapman, 1.1 WAR – ~59,000 votes, ninth among third basemen

Chapman’s reputation precedes him. He’s on the board despite his 1.1 WAR ranking eighth among 11 qualified third basemen, his 99 wRC+ dipped below league average and his .695 OPS tied for last among third basemen.

Chapman is a spectacle at third base, and perhaps being the face of the first-place A’s and his pair of Platinum Gloves and top-tier individual defensive numbers (His 11 outs above replacement ranks second among all defensive players in baseball) have him in the mix. Though, he’s not close to the top third basemen in voting: Boston’s Rafael Devers, White Sox’s Yoan Moncada and Houston’s Alex Bregman.

Sean Murphy, 1.1 WAR – ~42,000 votes, 10th among catchers

Murphy may rank last among qualified catchers earning fan votes, but he’s one of the more consistent catchers in the American League. His numbers don’t stack up to current leaders Salvador Perez (Royals) or Yasmani Grandal (White Sox) and Martin Maldonado (Astros), but he’s in the mix with a .208 average, .304 OBP and .686 OPS.

Elvis Andrus, -0.3 WAR – ~32,000 votes, 10th among shortstops

Andrus ranks last among qualified shortstops to earn fan votes, but 12 seasons played lends him clout in the baseball world and he’s bouncing back strong from a dismal first two months of the season. After batting .151 in April, Andrus batted .254 in May and is batting .289 in June.

Andrus is a long shot to make the All-Star game, but he’s in the mix.


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