Kinsler could still make it as part of the Final Vote, but his omission may be the biggest swing and miss this season. The veteran leads all American League second baseman in runs scored with 67 (which is significant when you consider that’s more than on-base machine Jose Altuve).
Additionally, Robinson Cano is the only player standing in Kinsler’s way of claiming the top spot in both home runs and RBI. The Seattle standout has only three more home runs and two more RBI than Kinsler.
What’s more, Kinsler is arguably the Tigers’ best defensive player and provides a steadying presence at second base.
Eduardo Nunez’ Selection
The most noteworthy inclusion on the American League bench is that of Eduardo Nunez. The Minnesota utility player has predominantly seen time at shortstop and third base. However, he’s also played a handful of games at second, and has moonlighted as an occasional outfielder in years past.
The former Yankee is having a fine offensive season, hitting .341 with 34 RBI, 19 stolen bases and 11 home runs. However, the case could be made that Kinsler should have received the call.
Past All-Star teams have opted to go with utility players in the past, but this year they didn’t need to based on their other selections. Ian Desmond, selected as an outfielder, can also play shortstop. Fellow outfield selection Mark Trumbo can also log time at first base.