The All Star teams have been announced, with only one spot left on each of the teams for the Final Fan Vote. Did the fans get it right though? Did they chose the right starting lineups for each side, or did they once again pick the most popular players over the best choices? The answer is they once again seem to have snubbed the players who actually deserve to start. Lets look into who should actually be starting, beginning with the AL Squad.
Who it is- Matt Wieters- BAL
Wieters was certainly on his way to having an All Star season, before a tragic injury. He was hitting over .300 with 5 homeruns through the first month, but then it was announced he needed Tommy Johns and his season was over. Unfortunate, but since then a few Al Catchers have surpassed him and probably should have been voted in instead. He played well, but not well enough to keep the lead despite missing two months.
Who it should be- Salvador Perez- KC
Perez has had a few very rough patches over the first few months. There have been times where he looked lost at the plate. Even with that, his overall stats are very impressive. A .289 AVG, 10 homeruns, and he leagues all catchers with a 3.2 WAR. If you stretch out Wieters stats they would have probably ended up better, but we can only judge on what we know, and Perez, due to no fault of Wieters, simply has been more effective. It is worth noting that Perez will start anyway due to Wieters injury.
Who it is- Miguel Cabrera- DET
This one is difficult, because of how many good options there is at first in the AL. Miggy certainly has a case for the spot, and his track record certainly helps his case. He leads all AL first basemen with a .311 BA. He may be having an off year by his standards, he only has 14 homeruns, but he is still one of the best players around, and it’s hard to argue with the pick.
Who it should be- Edwin Encarnacion- TOR
Miggy is a good choice, but if we are going with who has been the best this year it is probably Encarnacion. The only stat he significantly trails Miggy in is AVG, though he still is hitting a decent .277. He has still managed to keep up with Miggy in OBP, being only .003 behind him. He has the best WAR among first basemen. Unfortunately, he was just placed on the DL, so even if he were voted in, it would still be Miggy playing first in the All Star Game. Other decent options include Oakland’s Brandon Moss, and the Rookie Jose Abreu from the White Sox, who has 27 total home runs.
Who it is- Robinson Cano- SEA
This one may be one of the biggest mistakes, not because Cano doesn’t deserve it, but because of the people he was selected over. Cano, by all accounts, has had a decent season. He is hitting over .320 after all, which is right where it usually is. His power numbers though, as many expected with him moving from the Yankees to the Mariners, have taken a significant hit, hitting only 6 homeruns thus far. He has been ok, but there are two players who have played great so far, and deserve it more than Cano does.
Who it should be- Jose Altuve- HOU
Altuve has officially broken out into a star player. He is hitting over .330, and has 38 stolen bases to his name. His isn’t much of a power hitter, but he makes up for that in every other aspect of the game. An argument can also be made for Ian Kinsler, but none of his stats really stand out the way Altuve’s do. Altuve not being voted in to be the Starter is one of the worst decisions by the voters.
Who it is- Derek Jeter-NYY
Speaking of bad decisions, Jeter does not deserve to an all-star. It will be nice to see Jeter get a sendoff in his final year, but he just hasn’t been very good. He just hasn’t been productive this year, with less than 30 runs and RBI’s, a .266 AVG, and only 2 homeruns. He hasn’t been hurting his team, but he doesn’t help them either. This is a clear case of a fan favorite getting in, as Jeter usually does. Add in the fact that Jeter is retiring, it isn’t surprising he won the vote, just disappointing.
Who it should be- Alexi Ramirez- CHW
Alexi has had a very solid season, hitting right around .280, hitting 8 homeruns, with 14 steals. His OBP leaves a little to be desired, being only .030 points higher than his average, but at SS in the AL this year you have to take what you can get. The position has been very weak, but Alexi has managed to be a solid force in the White Sox lineup, and has far out performed Jeter.
Who it is- Josh Donaldson- OAK
Donaldson was having a great season before June. Through May, he was hitting right around .280, with 15 homeruns. In June, it has been a different story, as he has been hitting under the Mendoza line since June 1st, with only 4 homeruns. It has his AVG down to a disappointing .242. He does still lead 3rd basemen in WAR, but he has been scuffling so bad it’s hard to say he is the best the AL can throw out there.
Who it should be- Adrian Beltre- TEX
Beltre had a tough start to the year, including a trip to the DL. He has bounced back though, to get his numbers right where you would expect them to be. He has his AVG over .330, his OPS is at .910, and he has 12 homeruns despite a dl stint. Despite around 80 less at bats, he has more hits, and more doubles than Donaldson. He is the hottest third basemen in the AL, and deserves to be starting.
Who it is- Mike Trout -LAA, Adam Jones -BAL, Jose Bautista –TOR
The fans actually got these three picks right. Trout had a bad stretch at the beginning of May, but if you looked at his stats you would never know and he is on pace to have more homeruns than in any previous year. Bautista has his normal power numbers as well as a big uptick in his batting average, hitting .293, whereas he hit .259 last year. He also has an OBP above .410, thanks to his 60 walks. Adam Jones’ AVG sits a little over .300, he has 16 long balls, though he does have a comparatively unimpressive .329 OBP because he has only walked 11 times. These have been the most impressive outfielders overall though. Nelson Cruz has been better than his teammate Adam Jones, but since he is at starting at DH that is a non-issue.
Who it should be- Michael Brantley- CLE
If anyone were to replace one of the three actual starters, it would be Brantley, who is in the middle of a breakout year. He is hitting over .330, and has already passed his career high at homeruns, he has 13 currently to go along with his 10 steals. The argument is definitely there for him to be in over Jones, after all Brantley’s WAR is higher thanks to a much better OBP of .387. It more or less comes down to preference, as both are very deserving. In this case, Jones track record can play as a tie breaker, but Brantley has definitely impressed this season.
Who it is- Nelson Cruz- BAL
Cruz leads the league with 28 homeruns, and that comes with an AVG of .294. Cruz has been fantastic, and has bounced back after being suspended during the Biogenesis scandal last year. Still, it is tough to say whether he is deserving of the starting nod, as there is someone even better.
Who it should be- Victor Martinez- DET
Martinez has been a force in the Tigers lineup, really filling the gap Prince Fielder left behind Miggy in the lineup. He has 21 homeruns, a .328 AVG, to go along with an OPS that is only a little shy of 1.000, it currently sits at .991. He has also only struck out 23 times. As impressive as Cruz has been, it is hard to say Martinez should not have a place in this starting lineup. This may be the toughest decision on the AL Squad, but my personal preference would be towards Martinez, who has been a better overall hitter.