Every year when the MLB announces its rosters for the Midsummer Classic, players who deserved to be there are left off, and this year was no different.
With that in mind, let’s dive into three players with great first halves for their respective teams who didn’t make the cut for this year’s game.
Austin Riley (Braves)
Even though the Atlanta Braves are already sending five players to the All-Star Game, it’s not difficult to argue that there should be a sixth one in Austin Riley. Riley has put up some of the best numbers for a third baseman this year in the big leagues, compiling a 3.5 WAR, 26 home runs, and 60 RBI. In addition, Riley also has an impressive .913 OPS and has been a big reason why the Braves have stayed in the race for the NL East division crown.
It’s easy to see why voters sided with the name value that Nolan Arenado of the St. Louis Cardinals brings to the table. Still, you can make a pretty darn good case that Riley is the player that deserves to be there for the National League.
Update: Riley has been added to the All-Star team, replacing Arenado on the roster, but the fact still remains he should have been selected on the initial go-around.
Miles Mikolas (Cardinals)
Multiple pitchers were left off the MLB All-Star team that deserved to be there, with Miles Mikolas of the St. Louis Cardinals the most egregious. Mikolas and his record might not jump off the page at you where he sits at just 6-7, but if you’re looking at just a pitcher’s record, you’re probably a dinosaur in how you evaluate baseball pitchers.
Mikolas has a 2.5 WAR, and a 2.62 ERA in 18 starts this season and has been a difference maker for this Cardinals team. After missing 2020 and the majority of 2021 with an injury, this is a feel-good story that Mikolas has come back and been this dominant, which should have earned him his second appearance in the All-Star Game.
Ty France (Mariners)
The Seattle Mariners are closing in on the MLB All-Star break as the hottest team in the league, and Ty France has been a significant component of what they’ve been doing offensively. France has broken out for the Mariners this season and posted ten home runs, a .828 OPS, and a 2.7 WAR. There was a lot of noise surrounding him not being selected, and rightfully so.
Regarding fan voting, the more prominent names will always get the nod with this event, which is likely why Vladimir Guerrero Jr. took the crown as the AL’s first baseman. That said, France not even being chosen as a reserve should have him, and Mariners fans up in arms.
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