Unlike in 2016, when there were half a dozen Blue Jays who deserved consideration for the All-Star game, this season has been a somewhat different story for Toronto. With injuries galore to so many of Toronto’s top players, this ball club was and still is being carried by some unlikely sources…no one more so than Justin Smoak.
Last Season, when the Blue Jays PR machine got behind Michael Saunders (aka Captain Canada), it was insane the amount of support they were able to drum-up. So much support in fact, that when it came down to the final five players to choose from…including Saunders, Ian Kinsler, Dustin Pedroia, George Springer, and Evan Longoria, the ex-Blue Jays left fielder received an incredible 17.7 million votes. Including 98.6% of the vote in Canada!
Just like what the Blue Jays did last season for Saunders, they now need to do something similar with Smoak. Fans on Twitter have actually already got the ball rolling in favour of a ‘Vote Smoak’ push. Like the tweet below says, now it’s time for the Blue Jays organization to ramp up their efforts and do what they can for the player who has literally been Toronto’s saving grace so far this season.
— Stephanie #VoteSmoak (@stephanielynn_a) June 7, 2017
It isn’t just that Smoak deserves to be an All-Star, it’s that he should be the overwhelming choice to start at 1st base. His rankings among American League 1st basemen speak for themself, hits (3rd), HR (1st), RBI (1st), AVG (2nd), OBP (5th), SLG (1st), and OPS (1st). As of June 6, the votes for AL 1st basemen were, 1. Miguel Cabrera (475,826), 2. Yonder Alonso (433,570), 3. Carlos Santana (420,336), 4. Eric Hosmer (399,545), and 5. Yuli Gurriel (336,117). If you can believe it, Smoak wasn’t even in the Top 5!! How is it that the leading vote getter, who has a slash line of .270/.378/.423 with 5 HR, 26 RBI, is getting so many more votes than Smoak and his his .291/.353/.597 with 17 HR, 42 RBI?
Many people seem to think the All-Star game is a popularity contest, and that even the best player (career wise) having an off year deserves to attend. The thing is, two-time MVP winner Miguel Cabrera would probably be the first person to tell you that Smoak should be representing the American League at 1st base.
Considering how well Smoak is playing, and the fact that he’s outperforming every 1st baseman in the American League, it’s time to cast your ballot and give credit where its due. Vote Smoak.