There’s no question that Derek Jeter’s All-Star vote victory over Asdrubal Cabrera was completely undeserved. A rational examination of their respective performances shows how ludicrous Jeter’s victory was—it wasn’t on-field skill that earned the captain his top spot.
Clearly the passionate voting of the New York Yankees fanbase—and, by extension, Jeter’s personal popularity—were behind Jeter’s selection. But according to a study released Tuesday at Beyond the Box Score, his reputation alone wouldn’t have been enough; without Yankee loyalty, he wouldn’t have beaten Cabrera.
Had team affiliation not been an issue, Cabrera would have received 3.76 million votes to Jeter’s 3.74 million—and that still includes the latter’s personal popularity. In reality, Jeter edged Cabrera, 4.54 million to 4.07 million.
Jeter bowed out of the game so it didn’t end up mattering, but it could at least be a point of pride for Cabrera that he would have been the top vote-getter had fan affiliation not been a factor.
Cabrera was the only Cleveland Indians candidate who placed higher in the team-neutral vote than in real life. Carlos Santana (1.50 million actual, 1.15 million team-neutral) feel from sixth place to eighth among catchers in the adjusted standings; Travis Hafner (1.21 million, 0.97 million) suffered the same drop at DH; and Grady Sizemore (1.28 million, 1.26 million) and Shin-Soo Choo (1.16 million, 1.09 million) dropped from Nos. 14 and 18 to 16 and 22 at outfield, respectively.
Matt LaPorta, Orlando Cabrera, and Michael Brantley all held steady in the rankings. Jason Donald did not finish among the top vote-getters and was not included in the study.