Earlier this evening, Major League Baseball announced the winners of the Starters Election, the second round of the new voting system that allows fans to elect the starting lineups of the All-Star Game. The Minnesota Twins had four players to vote for this year: shortstop Jorge Polanco, first baseman C.J. Cron, designated hitter Nelson Cruz, and outfielder Eddie Rosario.
Fans voted and they agreed that Twins shortstop Jorge Polanco was worthy of being the American League’s starting shortstop this year for the Midsummer Classic at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio. He netted 42% of all votes, ahead of Gleyber Torres of the New York Yankees (31.2%) and Carlos Correa of the Houston Astros (26.8%). Polanco will be the first player to start an All-Star Game for the Twins since Joe Mauer got the nod to be the starting catcher for the A.L. in 2013.
Polanco is more than deserving of the honor, which is the first of his young career. Before today’s 18-inning game, he was batting .321/.379/.532 (.911) with 11 homers and 39 RBI. He’s currently in third on the leaderboard in the American League for batting average and fourth in hits (99). His 3.4 offensive WAR is is also tied for third-best in the A.L.
Unfortunately, the other three Twins finalists did not win over fans’ hearts. Cron ended with 25% of the vote, losing to the Cleveland Indians’ Carlos Santana (49.2%); Rosario ended in sixth with 8.9% of votes while Cruz received 22% of votes while Hunter Pence of the Texas Rangers won the DH spot with 46.7% of votes.
This isn’t to say that additional Twins won’t make the team as pitchers and reserve players will be announced this Sunday at 4:30p Central on ESPN. Many Twins are deserving of an All-Star appearance this year and are expected to make the team.
Congrats to Polanco on his first All-Star Game start! HIP-HIP... JORGE!
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