Terra’s Take: The MLB All-Snub Team
Both All Star team rosters were announced recently and one of the biggest talking points every year is “Who should’ve made the team?” With the current format, 19 players (10 AL and 9 NL) are voted onto the rosters which can make the outcome a little more like a popularity contest. All the pitchers and the backups for position players are chosen by current players and managers. While it is hard to say that Player X doesn’t deserve to be an All-Star, it is much easier to say that Player Y does. There are so many players that should’ve been All-Stars it fills out another team, so I present to you the All-Snub Team, comprised of players from both leagues. Now some of the names are on the fan vote to still get into the game, but they deserved to be on the team regardless.
C: Buster Posey, SF: The two time All-Star is on pace to have a better offensive year than last year when he made the team. He has a .286/.342/.435 slash line with 9 HR and 41 RBI, pretty decent stats for a catcher. Posey has played some more first base this year which could explain some of the drop off, but he’s still the second best all-around catcher in the NL. (Honorable mention Yan Gomes, Cle: 10 HR, 35.7 CS%)
1B: Albert Pujols, LAA: The nine time All-Star always seemed like a lock when it came to making the team. He hasn’t made an All-Star team since joining the Angels, but he actually deserved it this year. While he isn’t hitting as much for average anymore, the power has returned. Pujols has hit 19 HR which is tied for 3rd among all first basemen. It’s unsure how long the 34 year old will continue to produce like this, but he deserved to go this year. (Honorable mention: Anthony Rizzo, ChC: 17 HR, .384 OBP)
2B: Ian Kinsler, Det: Kinsler is having an amazing year for the Tigers in his first year with Detroit. While his days of hitting 30+ HR are most likely over, Kinsler is doing a little bit of everything. His slash line of .302/.339/.480 is above his career average in two of those stats. His 45 RBI and 60 R both are both projected to be career highs and his strikeout rates are down. He is having one of his best all-around seasons and it is unfortunate he won’t get the recognition he deserves. (Honorable mention: Brian Dozier, Min: 16 HR, 15 SB, .342 OBP)
3B: Anthony Rendon, Was: The youngster displaced former All-Star and two time silver slugging third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, so it’s only fair to assume they replaced him with another All-Star caliber one, right? Rendon has played extremely well collecting 100 H, 12 HR, and flashing some speed with 5 3B and 9 SB. Rendon is a candidate for the final vote, as is the honorable mention, but early vote results show that he may be looking in from the outside this year, expect to see him in the game soon. (Honorable mention: Casey McGehee, Mia: 108 H, .320 AVG, .389 OBP)
SS: Alcides Escobar, KC: The Venezuelan shortstop is having a career year. His average is 30 points higher than his career and his OBP is 50 points higher. Since he’s been on base more he’s projected to set a career mark in stolen bases and he’s close to setting a career high in doubles. There isn’t a lot of offensively productive shortstops in the league, so it is surprising when one who is doing so well gets passed over. (Honorable mention: Hanley Ramirez, LAD: .366 OBP, 11 HR, 11 SB)
OF: Melky Cabrera, Tor: I get the hesitation for adding him given his past with steroids, but I hope that isn’t what cost him a spot. After Nelson Cruz got so much support from the fans coming right off of a suspension, Cabrera should’ve gotten some more consideration. He is fourth in the majors with 110 hits and is sporting a .299 AVG and .344 OBP. He’s hit 11 HR and has 44 RBI so far and both of those stats are on the way to be career highs.
Billy Hamilton, Cin: The speedster made a lot of people excited when he made the Reds lineup out of Spring Training. After taking a little time to get his feet under him, Hamilton has shown that his speed is something to be reckoned with. While his .275 AVG and .306 OBP aren’t stellar for a leadoff hitter, Hamilton had a great June in which he hit .327 with a .348 OBP and 14 of his 35 SB. Could you imagine a play in which Yoenis Cespedes tries throw Hamilton out at the plate? Maybe next year.
Justin Upton, Atl: Upton is also one of the five people that can be voted in. He’s doing better than Rendon and McGehee, but still has some ground to catch on Morneau and Rizzo. The two time All-Star has been very consistent over his career and once again is being passed up. He is hitting a solid .275 with a .349 OBP and 17 HR. He isn’t as flashy as some of the other outfielders, but he deserves a little more recognition. Without him, the Braves would most likely not be in first place in the NL East. He’s still in the prime of the career, so hopefully he can get there next year.
DH: David Ortiz, Bos: This one may be a little bit of a homer pick, but he does deserve it. When most people talk about the best DH’s, Ortiz is usually one of the first names mentioned. The nine time All-Star currently leads all designated hitters when it comes to HR (18) and RBI (50). Now the DH has always been a tricky position and I don’t want to discredit the amazing season that Nelson Cruz is having, but when you are play 48 of your teams 89 games (that’s 54%, over half the season) in the outfield, that sir means you should be in as an outfielder, not a DH. (Honorable mention: Chris Carter, Hou: 15 HR)
SP: Chris Sale, CWS: Sale is one of the five people able to be voted in by the fans as the last one, but he shouldn’t have even been on this list. He is 8-1 with an ERA of 2.26 in 13 starts. He strikes out more than a batter an inning and has been perplexing to hitters. Sale has a WHIP of 0.87 and is holding hitters to .194. He will probably win the AL vote by a considerable margin, but he shouldn’t have to rely on the votes of fans.
Josh Beckett, LAD: Beckett has to be one of the feel good stories of the season. After last season there was some talk about him not being able to pitch again due to the numbness in his pitching hand. Now he’s come back and is 4th in the ML in ERA and tied for 8th in WHIP. The strikeouts are up and the walks are down compared to his last few seasons. The only thing that is working against Beckett is his record which stands at an unflattering 6-5.
Henderson Alvarez, Mia: The youngster has been a rock for the Marlins since they lost Jose Fernandez earlier this season. His 2.27 ERA has him ranked fifth in the MLB and he leads the majors in shutouts with three. Alvarez has clearly been one of the best pitchers in the majors, not just the NL. He doesn’t strike a lot of guys out, only 70 in 115 IP. Could this be one of the reasons that he was overlooked? It’s hard to say for sure, but the fact that he isn’t considered is a shame. Even if he can pitch this well next year, he will most likely still be overlooked once Fernandez comes back.
Tim Hudson, SF: Hudson is quietly having a very good season with the Giants. After there was some thought that the righty’s career might be over, Hudson led the ML in ERA for most of the first two months. After ending June going 0-3 with an ERA of 6.12, his stands at 7-5 with an ERA of 2.53 which is still good for ninth best in the majors. Hudson is a huge reason that the Giants are only a game back of the Dodgers in the NL West.
Alfredo Simon, Cin: Simon belongs in the same class as Alvarez, great pitchers who you’ve probably never heard of. Simon is 11-3 with a 2.78 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP. That is serious front end of the rotation stats, coming from the number five starter. 15 of his 17 starts have been quality starts which is tied for 5th in the majors. Like Alvarez and Hudson, Simon doesn’t strike out many batters, but his numbers are too good for him not to be given a voting chance.
RP: Koji Uehara, Bos: Uehara has been one of the few bright spots in the Red Sox season. He is 18-19 in save chances with 52 K in 41 innings while at the same time issuing only 6 BB. He has a 1.30 ERA and a 0.74 WHIP. Despite the low number opportunities, Uehara has thrown the second most innings out of all closers (41.2) and leads all closers in WAR. Uehara has been one of the most reliable closers in the game. The 39 year old doesn’t have many seasons left in the league most likely, so it’s a shame when someone has been pitching so well with nothing to show for it.
Kenley Jansen, LAD: Jansen is a power pitcher who trails only Craig Kimbrel in strikeouts with 57 in 35.2 innings. He also is tied for third in the majors with 26 saves. His overall numbers are on par if not better than the closers that are already on the team. It is a little surprising that he isn’t on the team or at least one of the players who can be voted in.
Rafael Soriano, Was: Like Uehara, Soriano has been one of the hardest closers to hit. His 1.00 ERA is the lowest out of all closers and his 0.83 WHIP is second out of closers who have pitched the entire season. His 21 saves are good enough for 10th in the majors. The NL has some amazing closers and it’s obvious that everyone can’t get in, but there is nothing about Soriano’s stats that suggest that he should be left off the team.
So there you have it. The first All-Snub team. Now these names could very well end up on the team as the final vote, or replacement for people who get hurt, turn down the invitation, or pitchers who fill in for someone who pitches over the weekend. Regardless of the circumstances, these people should have been more than thought of for the All-Star team.