Here is today’s Mariners’ minor-league report
The first tally of the All-Star balloting came out today, and as is to be expected, the Mariners aren’t making much noise. Ichiro is the leader among all American League outfielders with 366,903 votes, while Ken Griffey Jr. shows that star power still matters in All-Star voting by ranking a strong third at designated hitter despite his .186 average. Vladimir Guerrero of the Rangers leads with 374,333 votes (as he should), followed by Hideki Matsui of the Angels (298,487) and Griffey (213,658).
No other Mariner makes it into the top five at any position (that’s all that was released by MLB), or the top 15 in the outfield. Franklin Gutierrez is the only one who has a beef. He should be a strong All-Star candidate based on his defense alone. He’s slumping now, but Gutierrez has hit enough this year to warrant strong consideration for an All-Star berth.
Right now, position leaders are Joe Mauer of the Twins at catcher (and the leading vote-getter overall; no argument there), Mark Teixeira of the Yankees at first base, Robinson Cano of the Yankees at second base, Derek Jeter of the Yankees (I sense a trend) at shortstop, and Evan Longoria of the Rays at third base. Joining Ichiro atop the outfield voting are Carl Crawford of the Rays and Nelson Cruz of the Rangers.
I’m not going to get too worked up over the initial voting results. There’s a long, long way to go before the teams are announced on July 4. But I did want to call your attention to some research done by Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News. He broke down the All-Star ballot and determined the original organization of each player (there are 254 players on the ballot overall). It turns out that the Mariners produced 13 players on the All-Star ballot. That was tied with the Braves for the most overall.
Here are the top five teams as far as producing players on the All-Star ballot, which is indicative of being a first-stringer. This shouldn’t surprise anyone who has noticed the preponderance of ex-Mariners throughout both leagues:
St. Louis 12
And the trailers:
San Francisco 3
Chicago Cubs 5
Kansas City 5
But the problem for the Mariners is that just four of those 13 players are still with the organization: C Rob Johnson, 3B Jose Lopez, DH Griffey and OF Ichiro.
Here is the full list of the 13 players on the All-Star ballot who originated in the Mariner organization:
1, Luis Valbuena, 2B, Indians
2, Yuniesky Betancourt, SS, Royals
3, Alex Rodriguez, 3B, Yankees
4, Jose Lopez, 3B, Mariners
5, Rob Johnson, C, Mariners
6, David Ortiz, DH, Red Sox
7, Ken Griffey Jr., DH, Mariners
8, Scott Podsednik, OF, Royals
9, Ichiro, OF, Mariners
10, Adam Jones, OF, Orioles
11, Shin-Soo Choo, OF, Indians
12, Jeff Clement, 1B, Pirates
13, Raul Ibanez, OF, Phillies