CHICAGO - Anthony Rendon has an awful lot of ground to make up if he’s going to even have a chance of being elected the National League’s starting third baseman for the All-Star Game.
Despite leading all NL third basemen in several statistical categories, Rendon currently ranks fifth at his position in the first round of balloting released today by Major League Baseball. That’s the highest rank for any Nationals player so far. Brian Dozier is ninth among second basemen, with Trea Turner 10th at shortstop and Juan Soto 12th among outfielders.
Rendon has received 178,215 votes to date, according to MLB. That puts him well behind the Rockies’ Nolan Arenado (783,684), the Cubs’ Kris Bryant (404,855), the Dodgers’ Justin Turner (273,586) and the Braves’ Josh Donaldson (206,588).
In a new All-Star voting format enacted this year, the top three vote-getters at each infield position and catcher and the top nine vote-getters in the outfield will advance to a run-off election to determine the starters for next month’s Midsummer Classic in Cleveland.
Rendon, who leads all NL third basemen in on-base percentage and slugging percentage and ranks second in batting average and WAR, would need to make up significant ground before the first round of voting ends June 21 to even reach the run-off election.
The Nationals have been aggressively touting Rendon to earn the first All-Star nod of his career. They’ve also recently begun campaigning for Howie Kendrick, who has become a major producer for them but does not appear on the ballot because he didn’t open the season as one of their eight regular starting position players.
Kendrick would need to win election as a write-in candidate to start the All-Star Game, though he (and Rendon, Soto and members of the Nationals pitching staff) could still make it to Cleveland as reserves if selected by fellow players.