Major League Baseball released the current All-Star Ballot standings as of June 12th. The league's brightest stars are getting the respect they deserve, as players like Shohei Ohtani, Ronald Acuña, and Freddie Freeman lead the way at their respective positions.
The Cincinnati Reds have three players ranked among the best at their positions. Nick Senzel is in ninth among NL third baseman, and TJ Friedl is getting some love among NL outfielders as well.
But the Reds rookie sensation, Matt McLain, ranks fourth (with a little over 200,000 votes) among NL shortstops and is within striking distance for the starting shortstop spot in the 2023 All-Star Game.
Reds SS Matt McLain within striking distance of starting in 2023 All-Star Game.
Matt McLain trails San Diego Padres shortstop Xander Bogaerts by less than 10,000 votes. McLain is also behind New York Mets infielder Francisco Lindor, and is just over 200,000 votes out of first-place, currently held by Atlanta Braves shortstop Orlando Arcia.
McLain hasn't been in the big leagues for a full month, yet he has still racked up 200,000 votes. It's not out of the realm of possibilities for the UCLA product to catch Arcia in the All-Star voting. Acuña has received over a million votes already, so Braves fans have been casting their ballot early and often.
McLain already ranks sixth among NL shortstops in WAR, despite playing more than 20 games less than those talented infielders above him. Among the top 5 in votes, McLain ranks in first in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and OPS.
McLain also ranks 13th in doubles, and leads all NL shortstops in triples (3). Matt McLain is far from a finished product either. As he continues to get more at bats, McLain will begin to close the gap between himself and the field in categories like hits, doubles, home runs, and runs scored.
Matt McLain represents the Cincinnati Reds best opportunity to have a player start in the 2023 All-Star Game. But, It's up to Cincinnati faithful to get McLain to the Midsummer Classic as the starting shortstop.