MLB All-Star Game voting update: what Jurickson Profar has in common with Babe Ruth (no, really)

Phase 1 voting ends on Thursday

On Thursday, Phase 1 of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game voting concludes. The top two position players and the top six outfielders advance to the final phase to determine the starting lineup for the Midsummer Classic.

Barring some kind of ridiculous ballot box-stuffing shenanigans Jurickson Profar is going to finish as the top vote-getting outfielder in the National League. Pro landing the All-Star Game at this point in his career would be phenomenal for multiple reasons. But, ever the team-first guy, he has his priorities in the right order.

"It means a lot but winning here right now is more important than (being an) All-Star," says Profar.

In that case, allow us to explain just truly historic this development would be. For starters, the Padres don't have many All-Star starters. The last San Diego outfielder voted to the starting lineup of an All-Star Game was Tony Gwynn. So, yeah, it's been a minute.

But even more amazing than that is the road Profar has taken to put himself in this position. More than a decade ago he was the #1-ranked prospect in all of baseball, considered a can't-miss future star. He made his big league debut with the Rangers in 2012 as a 19-year-old. Then ... nothing. Injuries and ineffectiveness kept him bouncing between the minors and majors for the next five seasons. He didn't lot more than 100 games in a big league season until 2018, when he hit 20 homers in Texas. He duplicated that number the next season in Oakland but was still seen as a rotational player.

Then he landed in San Diego, a place he says feels like home. He had good years in 2020, 2021, and 2022, but was allowed to walk as a free agent and landed in Colorado. Profar was one of the very few players in history to have his offensive numbers get worse at Coors Field. The Rockies let him go, something that turned out to be one of the best things that's every happened to him.

Jurickson was scooped up by the Padres, who were struggling through a season full of bitter disappointment (and a bitter clubhouse). Pro arrived and they went 15-5 down the stretch, nearly backdooring their way into the postseason. Profar says the 2023 season taught him about competitive at-bats and how to put them together through an entire season.

He re-upped with the Friars for $1 million, barely above the league minimum, so he could stay home. The comfort of his adopted home town and his new outlook at the plate have finally unlocked that top prospect potential. Profar leads the National League in on-base percentage and is second to Shohei Ohtani in batting average. They don't keep stats on this kind of thing but he's definitely among the league leaders in smiles and vibes, two things fans across the game have taken a liking to.

Oh, and I mentioned a bit more history. Profar would have a 12-year gap between his MLB debut and his first All-Star selection. Only two position players in history have gone longer between their first MLB game and 1st All-Star Game. One is Gene Woodling, who debuted with Cleveland in 1943 and was an All-Star with Baltimore in 1959. The other?

That would be Babe Ruth, who first showed up in The Show in 1914 but didn't play in an All-Star Game until 1933 because there was no All-Star Game until 1933.

Assuming Profar has done enough to make the team even if he doesn't win the fan vote, he probably won't be the only Padre making the trip to Texas in early July. Through Phase 1 voting three other Padres are in position to fight for a spot in the lineup:

2nd Base =

1) Ketel Marte, AZ: 1,183,331
2) Luis Arraez, SD: 1,133,342
3) Bryson Stott, PHI: 931,165

Arraez has been playing mostly 1st base and DH since his trade to the Padres but he was placed on the ballot by the Marlins as a 2nd baseman so that's where he's stayed. Arraez is still in the hunt to win a 3rd straight batting title and has a comfortable 202,177 vote lead on Stott.

3rd Base =

1) Alec Bohm, PHI: 1,960,231
2) Manny Machado, SD: 545,259
3) Joey Ortiz, MIL: 486,267

Bohm is challenging Bryce Harper as the NL's top overall vote getter so it's down to Machado and Ortiz on who gets the chance to stay in the starting lineup hunt. This is one of the closest vote races on the entire ballot.

Outfield =

1) Jurickson Profar, SD: 1,646,276
2) Christian Yelich, MIL: 1,506,639
3) Teoscar Hernancez, LAD: 1,413,877
4) Fernando Tatis Jr., SD: 1,390,737
5) Brandon Marsh, PHI: 1,003,261
6) Nick Castellanos, PHI: 857,186

Profar and Tatis Jr. should both make it comfortably into the next round and, to the surprise of nobody, so should a pair of Phillies. The Philadelphia fan base is voting like they get free cheesesteaks for every ballot cast.

This, of course, doesn't even take into account the pitching staff. San Diego closer Robert Suarez is guaranteed a spot on the All-Star roster with his dominant start to the season. To vote, access the official ballot here.

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