Fernando Tatis Jr. received over 100,000 All-Star votes despite not playing a single game this season
First, the good news. Manny Machado leads all National League third basemen with nearly 1M votes, nearly twice as much as any other third baseman in the league. Eric Hosmer also received a respectable 147K but is only fifth among NL first basemen; he’s only been an All-Star once, back in 2016, and it’s likely going to stay that way.
Now, the absurd news: Fernando Tatis Jr. is getting a lot of votes.
No, you didn’t miss Tatis coming off the Injured List. He’s been there all season, and there’s still no set date for him to begin a rehab stint. And yet, among NL shortstops, he’s received the fifth-most votes so far, a grand total of 165,074 selections.
While there’s almost zero chance that Tatis overtakes the four shortstops ahead of him, that’s beside the point. A player who hasn’t played a single game all year shouldn’t even be on the ballot in the first place.
Tatis is the latest in a long line of popular superstars to get the vote even when they’re not playing. Last season, Mike Trout was an All-Star despite only playing 36 games all season, none after May 17. In 2018, longtime Boston Red Sox infielder Dustin Pedroia only played three games all year, but was still on the ballot and received votes.
If MLB is going to continue to allow fans to play favorites, the least they can do is remove players from the ballot who haven’t played a requisite amount of games. The game should be full of players who’ve played their way into it, or bare minimum, are playing at all.