All Star Snubs Or Greatest MLB All Star Team Ever?
The MLB All Star teams are here, and of course, we all want to talk All Star snubs. The perception is normally higher than the reality, as with teams this big, it's hard to have true All Star Game snubs. Instead of just given you a list of snubs though, I'm just going to construct my own All Star team from players who didn't make the cut. I will happily take this team and challenge either All Star roster to a game. In fact, I'm confident this team would win and give me home field advantage for the World Series (sigh… that is still one of the worst decisions ever).
Catcher: Ben Zobrist, OAK - Okay, I'm cheating here, but does anyone really think Zobrist couldn't pull off playing catcher? The teams pick three catchers each, which leaves me with little, so super-utility man (pretty lame superhero… does he manage your electric and gas bills too?) Zobrist steps in at catcher. He also just happens to be hitting .326 with 3 HRs, 22 R and 17 RBI since June 9.
First Base: Joey Votto, CIN - Votto has a .276/.387/.476 slash with 14 HRs, 40 R and 39 RBI. Adrian Gonzalez has a .291/.368/.526 line with 16/46/51. Okay, maybe Gonzalez deserves his spot over Votto. But wait! 1) The game is in Cincinnati. Gotta get the hometown pick and 2) Gonzalez sits at just .258/.345/.430 with 8/27/32 since April. While Votto's numbers are similar, at least he's been more consistent.
Second Base: Brian Dozier, MIN; Justin Turner, LAD and Kolten Wong, STL - The Final Vote might take care of Dozier, and after all, he's only hitting .260 with 17 home runs, 63 runs and 42 runs batted in so far. Only…
Meanwhile, the Mets continue to show why the front office is a joke, as Turner is tearing it up for another team for the second year in a row after they let him walk. Not only is Turner hitting .315 with 11 homers in just 203 ABs, he has a .338 AVG, .454 wOBA (eighth best) and 198 wRC+ over the last 30 days.
Sorry players, but D.J. LeMahieu is not better than Wong. He's hitting .281 with nine home runs, eight stolen bases, 43 runs and 37 ribbies. LeMahieu is hitting .298 with just four homers (10 SB, 42 R, 34 RBI) while playing half of his games in Colorado. Sure, it's close, but thanks, I'll happily take Wong.
Shortstop: Troy Tulowitzki, COL; Xander Bogaerts, BOS and Carlos Correa, HOU - Isn't a healthy Tulo supposed to be a lock for the All Star Game? I get Jhonny Perlata has been the catalyst to the Cardinals' offense and Brandon Crawford is breaking out… but it's Tulo.
In the AL, Bogaerts is quietly (who knew a Sawx player could go overlooked?) hitting .302 with 37 runs and ribbies. Jose Iglesias is hitting .323, but that's a rather empty .323 with a measly .383 SLG% and just 19 R/14 RBI. I'll take Bogaerts, thanks.
Possibly the easiest grab at shortstop is uber-stud, Correa. MLB needs to chop off two spots for late starting youngsters such as Correa (you'll see similar picks soon). Correa already has seven home runs, 18 runs, 19 runs batting in and five stolen bases with a .304 AVG in just 26 games. That's 43 homers, 112 runs, 118 RBI and 31 stolen bases over a full season… at shortstop. No, you're right. He hasn't played enough to be here.
Third Base: Alex Rodriguez, NYY; Mike Moustakas, KC and Maikel Franco, PHI - Go ahead, tell me ARod doesn't belong because steroids, yada yada yada. The man is about to turn 40 and is hitting .284 with 16 home runs, 45 runs and 47 RBI. Strip away the name, and he's a unanimous selection. Stop blaming the entire steroid era solely on ARod.
Moustakas is finally breaking out and showing us that highly-touted talent the Royals loved in the minors. He was the leader at third base initially, until MLB wiped out millions of the Royals' votes and the Blue Jays fans got off their butts. Man, AL third base is deep.
With Franco, he's in the same boat as Correa with a bit more playing time. His numbers are still great with a .297 AVG, 10 HR, 29 R and 34 RBI… or 33/96/112 for a season. The Phillies need something to celebrate besides Jonathan Papelbon, who's half out the door.
Outfield: Brett Gardner, NYY and Yoenis Cespedes, DET - Turner can slide to the outfield, and I'm sure Bogaerts, Moose or someone can be a backup plan, but we really don't need many outfield bats given our depth so far. Plus, the All Star teams actually did a rather good job with the selections. Maybe, you can toss Curtis Granderson in too, as he's hit .250 with 13 HR, 43 R and 29 RBI this year... which is the entire Mets offense and probably more like 60 runs and 50 RBI on a normal team.
As I said, Gardner and Cepedes don't trump anyone significantly, AL or NL, but I'm getting two near-.300 hitters with 20 homers, 108 runs, 84 RBI and 18 stolen bases between them.
Starters: Clayton Kershaw, LAD; Corey Kluber; CLE, Johnny Cueto, CIN; Carlos Martinez, STL; Clay Buccholz, BOS; Steven Matz, NYM - It's Clayton.freakin.Kershaw. Sure, he's far from his Cy Young numbers, but he still has 147 strikeouts in 114 IP, which is tied for the league lead with Chris Sale. Kershaw actually has a lower xFIP than Sale too… meaning he's still pitching better.
The Klubot's early struggles and lack of wins probably bounced him, but a 3.64 ERA and 141 Ks are more than welcomed on my team.
How about Cueto? What, we couldn't have too many Reds in their home stadium? Cueto has just five wins (maybe that's why… but wins are stupid) but it's not his fault. His ERA is 2.84, WHIP 0.92 and has 100 strikeouts to just 20 walks in 104.2 IP.
How Carlos Martinez didn't make the team baffles me. Or, it just shows how ridiculously deep the NL pitching is. Either way, Martinez is 13th overall in K/9 and has a 2.70 ERA. But check out these numbers: 60.0 IP, 6-1 record, 1.35 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 62 Ks and just 44 hits over Martinez's last nine starts!
Remember how good Buchholz was in 2010 and 2013? Well, he's not far off. Buchholz has seven wins for the disappointing Red Sox with a 3.27 ERA and 104 strikeouts in 110.0 IP. He too has seen a spectacular stretch of late. Shorter than Martinez, but over his last four games, Buchholz has a 0.87 ERA, is 4-0 and has 23 strikeouts to two walks.
If for no other reason than to get Steven Matz's grandpa to the game, he's a must-add to the team.
Plus, he can actually hit, or did you not see his 3-for-3 game with four ribbies that made grandpa react like we saw above? Matz has a cool 1.32 ERA through two starts with a 9.2 K/9 and looks like he could have the most potential of any Mets starter.
Closers: Huston Street, LAA; Jeurys Familia, NYM - Because we need a few closers just in case… but if I'm calling the shots, I don't even need closers with those six pitchers. Nevertheless, Street has a 2.34 ERA and 35 Ks in 34.2 IP, while Familia has a 1.13 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, just two blown saves and 41 Ks in 39.2 IP.
Go ahead, try to tell me this team wouldn't be as good or better than anything the two leagues are tossing out.
Image via Getty
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