The All-Star game rosters were released and the first thing everyone on ESPN and Sports Illustrated and CSBsports did was release their list of All-Star snubs.
Leading up to the release of the roster the big debate was whether Yasiel Puig should’ve made the roster or not. Puig didn’t make the roster so it’s a mute point, however I don’t really understand the debate. It’s an All-Star game, not an All-Best-Players game, or an All-Stat’s game or an All-Been-a-really-good-player-for-a-few-years-and-thus-earned-a-spot-on-the-roster game. The fans get to vote, and it’s about stars and there is no doubt that Puig in his young career is a star.
Much like Mike Trout, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado he’s been a highlight reel from the word go, but more than that, like his contemporaries, he’s been great from the word go. He’s put up an unbelievable stat line, albeit in a very small sample size. (Batting .409/.437/.677 with 8 home runs and 19 RBIs in 32 games.)
Having said all that since home field advantage for the World Series is on the line in this exhibition game (the stupidest thing I’ve seen a commissioner do in any league, which includes basically everything Gary Bettman’s ever even thought of doing.) this is what the rosters should’ve been, to give both teams the best opportunity to win.
C – Joe Mauer (current pick) –Joe Mauer (my pick)
1B – Chris Davis (current pick) – Chris Davis (my pick)
2B – Robinson Cano (current pick) – Jason Kipnis (my pick) – As great as Cano has been and still is, Kipnis is having a better season thus far than Cano. A better batting average, more runs created per 27 outs, walks more, steals a lot more bases. Home runs is the only category where Cano has a substantial lead in, and that’s not enough to earn a starting spot in a game that determines who gets home field advantage in the World Series.
SS – J.J. Hardy (current pick) – Manny Machado (my pick) – Machado was originally a SS before moving to 3B for Hardy. SS is a weak position for the American League to begin with, Peralta is best player at the position offensively, but is fairly mediocre at playing the defensive position. Machado can play the position and would instantly be the best at the position both on the field and at the plate.
3B – Miguel Cabrera (current pick) – Miguel Cabrera (my pick)
OF – Mike Trout (current pick) – Mike Trout (my pick)
OF – Adam Jones (current pick) – Alex Gordon (my pick) I’m a huge Adam Jones fan, I think he’s great, but Gordon is a comparable defensive player and his Rtot is better than Jones’ (2 to -6, albeit it’s because he plays an easier defensive position.) The reason you start Gordon over Jones however is his plate production. Gordon has a better batting average, a better secondary average, walks more and has a better Runs Created per 27 outs; in fact Gordon is fourth in the AL in Runs Created per 27 outs.
OF – Jose Bautista (current pick) – Jose Bautista (my pick)
DH – David Ortiz (current pick) – David Ortiz (my pick)
P – Clay Buchholz (current pick)
P – Brett Cecil (current pick)
P – Bartolo Colon (current pick)
P – Jesse Crain (current pick)
P – Yu Darvish (current pick)
P – Felix Hernandez (current pick)
P – Hisashi Iwakuma (current pick)
P – Justin Masterson (current pick)
P – Joe Nathan (current pick)
P – Glen Perkins (current pick)
P – Mariano Rivera (current pick)
P – Chris Sale (current pick)
P – Max Scherzer (current pick)
P – Justin Verlander (current pick)
I would’ve picked all of these same pitchers, except for maybe Masterson. I can make the argument for Kuroda over Masterson. Kuroda has a better ERA and BAbip, Masterson on the other hand has been a little unlucky with a higher BAbip, but he does have a better strikeout rate, and a superior DIPS (defensive-independent ERA). Based on both pitchers peripheral statistics it’s reasonable to assume that given a better team Masterson’s traditional statistics would be equal to, if not better than Kuroda’s.
C – Jason Castro (current pick) – Jason Castro (my pick)
C – Salvador Perez (current pick) – Carlos Santana (my pick) – While Santana’s batting average isn’t as good, .302 compared to .266, his secondary average is far superior .360 compared to .149. Santana’s isolated power is better, his walk rate is a lot better and he’s second amongst catchers in the AL in Runs Created per 27 outs.
1B/DH – Edwin Encarnacion (current pick) – Edwin Encarnacion (my pick)
1B – Prince Fielder (current pick) – Prince Fielder (my pick)
2B – Jason Kipnis (current pick) – Robinson Cano (my pick)
2B – Dustin Pedroia (current pick) – Dustin Pedroia (my pick)
SS – Jhonny Peralta (current pick) – Jhonny Peralta (my pick)
3B – Manny Machado (current pick) – Josh Donaldson (my pick) – I have Machado starting at SS and if it wasn’t for the fact that Cabrera is the best hitter in baseball Donaldson would be starting in his first All-Star game. Donaldson is second in batting average, second in runs created and second in runs created per 27 outs; all to Miguel Cabrera. I don’t understand how he didn’t make the reserve list.
OF – Nelson Cruz (current pick) – Nelson Cruz (my pick)
OF – Alex Gordon (current pick) – Adam Jones (my pick)
OF – Torii Hunter (current pick) – Daniel Nava (my pick) – Torii Hunter has a had a great career, but with the All-Star game meaning as much as it does now, the days of lifetime achievement awards should be done. Nava has had a far superior season by any measurement, and not only deserves to be in the game, but also gives the American League the best opportunity to win.
OF/INF – Ben Zobrist (current pick) – Evan Longoria (my pick) – It’s Evan Longoria. Zobrist isn’t even the best option amongst second basemen, with Kendrick, Kinsler and Infante all having much better seasons. Longoria, when healthy is not only one of the best third basemen, but one of the best players in the American League, and this year he is healthy.
C – Yadier Molina (current pick) – Buster Posey (my pick) – Posey’s batting average is lower, but his runs created is better, so is his runs created per 27 outs, isolated power, secondary average and he walks a lot more. Yadier is the best defensive C in baseball, but Posey isn’t that far behind and is better at the plate.
1B – Joey Votto (current pick) – Joey Votto (my pick)
2B – Brandon Phillips (current pick) – Matt Carpenter (my pick) – Carpenter has a better batting average, runs created, runs created per 27 outs, more isolated power, a higher secondary average and walks more. What else is there to say?
SS – Troy Tulowitzki (current pick) – Troy Tulowitzki (my pick)
3B – David Wright (current pick) – David Wright (my pick) – It’s not that close.
OF – Carlos Beltran (current pick) – Michael Cuddyer (my pick) – I love Beltran, and he’s still an excellent player, unfortunately OF is a very deep position in the National League. Cuddyer is having an amazing season and is leading Beltran in just about every stat and by a noticeable margin.
OF – Carlos Gonzalez (current pick) – Carlos Gonzalez (my pick)
OF – Bryce Harper (current pick) – Carlos Gomez (my pick) – Harper deserves a roster spot the same way Puig does, because they are both impactful players and Stars. However, Gomez is having a great season and gives the National League a better chance at winning. Harper has more power and walks more, but Gomez has a better batting average, runs created, runs created per 27 outs and steals a lot more bases, 20 compared to 5. I know Harper has missed a lot of games this year, but if we’re not going to take that into account when looking at his averages then we can’t take it into account when looking at his raw numbers either.
P – Madison Bumgarner (current pick) – Stephen Strasburg (my pick) – Stephen Strasburg, Mike Leake and Shelby Miller would all have been better options than Bumgarner. Bumgarner’s ERA is more than 3.00, and this is in spite of his incredibly lucky .225 BAbip. Strasburg, Leake and Miller have been far less lucky, and Strasburg and Miller have better strikeout rates.
P – Aroldis Champman (current pick)
P – Patrick Corbin (current pick)
P – Jose Fernandez (current pick)
P – Jason Grilli (current pick)
P – Matt Harvey (current pick)
P – Clayton Kershaw (current pick)
P – Craig Kimbrel (current pick)
P – Cliff Lee (current pick)
P – Jeff Locke (current pick)
P – Adam Wainwright (current pick)
P – Travis Wood (current pick)
P – Jordan Zimmerman (current pick)
C – Buster Posey (current pick) – Yadier Molina (my pick)
1B – Allen Craig (current pick) – Allen Craig (my pick) – I would be okay if Freeman was picked here too, both players have put up very similar numbers so far this season.
1B – Paul Goldschmidt (current pick) – Paul Goldschmidt (my pick)
2B – Matt Carpenter (current pick) – Brandon Phillips (my pick)
2B – Marco Scutaro (current pick) – Marco Scutaro (my pick)
SS – Everth Cabrera (current pick) – Everth Cabrera (my pick)
SS – Jean Segura (current pick) – Jean Segura (my pick)
3B – Pedro Alvarez (current pick) – Pedro Alvarez (my pick) – You could make the argument for Ryan Zimmerman, but difference in the power output between the two players makes Alvarez the better choice. Coming off the bench or playing DH, having a guy that provides juice in clutch situations is more important than Zimmerman who is a marginally better contact hitter.
OF – Dominic Brown (current pick) – Dominic Brown (my pick) – Pedro Alvarez and Brown are the likely DH options for the National League.
OF – Michael Cuddyer (current pick) – Shin-Soo Choo (my pick) – I have Cuddyer starting, which he should be doing that makes Choo the best available replacement.
OF – Carlos Gomez (current pick) – Dexter Fowler (my pick) – Same logic as Choo replacing Cuddyer.
OF – Andrew McCutchen (current pick) – Andrew McCutchen (my pick) – Beltran and Cutch are having very similar seasons, but McCutchen’s defensive ability give him the slight edge.
– Sunny D