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Voting for the annual All-Star Game (July 16 in Texas) is underway. You can vote on MLB.com here. I'll be doing so lots of times with two different sets of ballots this season and I'll post them both for you to see. 

I've already posted the ballot where I pick who I believe to be the best 2024 player at each position. We might see a few of those players here, but this will be the less obvious, less popular player ballot. That is to say, we're bound to see the mega-names like Juan Soto, Aaron Judge, Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, Ronald Acuña Jr. (before his injury) and Bryce Harper at or toward the top of the voting tallies. Oh, and Shohei Ohtani is obviously going to win NL DH. This is about everyone else.

If you don't like to just fall in line with all the biggest names, it can be fun to eliminate them from a few of your ballots (remember, you can vote a ton of times) and go with other players for a little variety. No, this isn't about "participation trophies" here, because I'm not voting for poor players. As noted, I'll even leave the door open to vote for the same player here that I did on my top ballot. I'm simply spreading the love a little more for players who deserve a stronger look. Every player here merits consideration for an All-Star spot. 

American League

Catcher - Adley Rutschman, Orioles. Can we call Rutschman an establishment candidate yet? He was an All-Star last year and made himself a huge deal in the Home Run Derby. Plus, he was a former No. 1 overall pick and top prospect. Tough call. I think it's fine to use him here since he is a one-time All-Star and hasn't won the vote yet. I understand that some people would disagree, in which case you'd be choosing from Ryan Jeffers, Connor Wong and Cal Raleigh

I will admit this should be controversial. I can easily see arguments that Rutschman shouldn't be allowed here. 

First baseman - Josh Naylor, Guardians. He was the top play on the board and he's never been an All-Star before. He's played in nine postseason games before, including some high-profile ones, but I still feel like he's a bit under-the-radar. He's an easy double pick. 

Second baseman - Andrés Giménez, Guardians. While you could make an argument for Jose Altuve and the "star power" guard might like Marcus Semien, especially with the World Series champion Rangers playing host, both are eliminated here for being too obvious. That makes the pickings slim here. It's either Davis Schneider or Giménez and we'll go with the exceptional defender on a first-place team. 

Third baseman - Jordan Westburg, Orioles. José Ramírez and Rafael Devers are out, as would be Alex Bregman if he got hot enough to even be mentioned. This comes down to Westburg and Isaac Paredes and there isn't a wrong answer. I've got to pick one and Westburg it is. The youngster is hitting .285/.341/.498 (143 OPS+) with 11 doubles, three triples, nine homers, 36 RBI, 30 runs and six steals. 

Shortstop - Bobby Witt, Jr., Royals. I said on my other ballot that it was such a dead heat between Bobby Witt Jr. and Gunnar Henderson while neither are close to any sort of oversaturation point in terms of attention that I'd put one on each. That means since I took Gunnar on the first one, Witt goes here. 

Outfielders - Steven Kwan, Guardians; Riley Greene, Tigers; Daulton Varsho, Blue Jays. All three of our top selections are out now. Judge and Soto are such big names I mentioned them here in the intro. Kyle Tucker is a two-time All-Star and everyone has seen plenty of him in all the Astros' deep postseason runs, too. 

Has Kwan played enough? He's only appeared in 35 games, but he's back on the field and hopefully that remains the case heading to the break. If it does, he'll have done plenty of work. He's packed a lot of value in that short time period, too, hitting .361/.418/.500 with outstanding defense.  

After that, the options thin pretty quickly. Greene is a great talent and deserves a look while Varsho overcomes his low batting average with great defense and versatility in the field in addition to power and the ability to steal bases. 

Jarren Duran of the Red Sox has an argument here as well. 

Designated hitter - Brent Rooker, A's. Yordan Alvarez and Giancarlo Stanton are easily "obvious" names, so they are bumped and it clears a path for a deserving All-Star in Rooker. He broke out with 30 homers last season and now is hitting .279/.368/.553 (166 OPS+) with 12 homers and 39 RBI. 

National League

Catcher - Patrick Bailey, Giants. I think we've gotta eliminate William Contreras because even if he hadn't made the All-Star team before (he has), his brother helped to make his name recognition huge. Will Smith plays for the Dodgers, so he's also out. That clears the way for Bailey, even though he's been limited to 38 games. 

First baseman - Christian Walker, Diamondbacks. We have two easy eliminations here in Bryce Harper and Freddie Freeman (along with Pete Alonso and Matt Olson if they were having good enough seasons), which clears the path for LaMonte Wade Jr. But he's out until late June, if not longer. Walker has never been an All-Star and is a superb defender in addition to having 12 homers and 38 RBI while slashing .260/.354/.466 (135 OPS+). He's the play here since we can't be sure Wade will return in time. 

Second baseman - Brice Turang, Brewers. Luis Arraez got a ton of run for his batting average last season and it's bound to happen again. Ketel Marte is an established star and played in the World Series last year, so I'll knock those two off. I'd entertain a vote for either if there wasn't a viable alternative, but Turang is hitting .295 with a .361 OBP and 21 stolen bases for a first-place team. He deserves a look. 

Third baseman - Alec Bohm, Phillies. We had a lot of "too obvious" eliminations here in Matt Chapman, Nolan Arenado, Austin Riley, Manny Machado ... but they all finished behind Bohm on my top ballot. Is Bohm too well-known to get picked here? I don't think he is. He's never been an All-Star and even on two deep playoff runs, the Phillies had plenty of huge names to overshadow him. Bohm gets picked on both ballots. The toughest omission on both ballots was Joey Ortiz of the Brewers and if you think Bohm counts as an "obvious" guy, Ortiz is a fine selection.

Shortstop Elly De La Cruz, Reds. It's tough to say De La Cruz is under the radar or anything, but he has no chance to beat Mookie Betts in the balloting and he's never been an All-Star. He's not yet to a full year of service time. He's also badly struggling at the plate right now, but that still leaves him with a 113 wRC+ and 113 OPS+. He leads the majors with 32 stolen bases. I really want to see him in the All-Star Game, so he's the play here. 

Outfielders - Jurickson Profar, Padres; Teoscar Hernández, Dodgers; Jazz Chisholm Jr., Marlins. Profar was once baseball's top prospect and 11 years later, he still hasn't been an All-Star. He's been so valuable for the Padres this season, he's the top pick on both ballots. 

The other two picks from the top ballot, Christian Yelich and Fernando Tatis Jr. are certainly too obvious to take on this ballot. Is Hernández? He started the game in 2021 and is now on the Dodgers, but I don't think he's that famous. Given the dearth of All-Star-worthy players here, I'm taking him. 

Jazz has a cool name and has been on the cover of MLB The Show, but he's still not too widely known among casual sports fans. He's having a quality season and gets the third spot here. 

Designated hitter - Alec Burleson, Cardinals. Tough one. Ohtani is out. Does Marcell Ozuna count here? He's a two-time All-Star and has been a pretty high-profile slugger for a long time. I'm inclined to look elsewhere. Joc Pederson, J.D. Martinez and Kyle Schwarber are awfully well known, too. Donovan Solano has only played in 19 games. 

Looks like it's Burleson. He's hitting .276 with eight homers and 22 RBI.