Major League Baseball’s 2021 All-Star voting is very different this year. Under the old premise you just voted for all of the same players from the start of voting to the end of voting. This year they are having two rounds, with “finalists” moving on to a second round and the vote totals starting over. The winners of the final round are going to be the All-Star starters. The Cincinnati Reds only had two players reach the final round of voting – outfielders Nick Castellanos and Jesse Winker.
Cincinnati’s two outfielders finished 2nd and 3rd in the first round of voting with both trailing Atlanta Braves superstar Ronald Acuña Jr. Voting in this round is much shorter and voting ends on Thursday at 2pm ET. You can vote at MLB.com/vote and then Thursday night the starters will be announced at 9pm ET on ESPN.
Nick Castellanos and Jesse Winker have never been All-Stars in their career. For much of the season the two of them have gone back-and-forth as they have battled for the league lead in batting average and OPS. After last night’s grand slam and 7-RBI performance in a win over the Philadelphia Phillies, Castellanos is hitting .347/.398/.604 while leading the league in average, hits, doubles, and total bases. He’s in the top five in the league in on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and OPS. Winker has cooled off a little bit in the last week as he’s worked through a slump where he went 2-19 before going 1-4 last night. Through 70 games he’s hitting .324/.401/.588. Winker is in the top five in the league in average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS, hits, home runs, and runs scored.
It’s been so long since a Cincinnati Red started the All-Star game that the player who did so is no longer in the game. OK, so it wasn’t really THAT long ago. Zack Cozart started for the 2017 National League All-Stars. Still, if voting for things like this is your thing, get to it. There’s not much time left, and while it seems unlikely that both Nick Castellanos and Jesse Winker would be left off of the team if they aren’t voted as starters, it would be more fun to watch them get out there and rake in those ugly All-Star jerseys a little bit longer as starters than coming off of the bench for maybe one at-bat.