Tuesday, July 4, 2017

All-Star Game Snubs: The Offense Edition

Widespread change has come to Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game in 2017 including a reduction of roster size from 34 players to 32 players and the elimination of the game determining home-field advantage in the 2017 World Series. With the changes and the reduced number of players attending the game and representing their team and their league the amount of snubs that undoubtedly happen every season are up. Here are a few of the snubs I feel should have made the game, if I missed any or if you disagree please leave them below in the comments section. Thank you.

Kris Bryant was thought to be a shoe-in at the beginning of the season for an All-Star selection one would think, even if he was deserving it or not. The Chicago Cubs fans came out in droves last season electing seven of their own including the entire infield at the 2016 All-Star Game but this season despite strong numbers Bryant was not voted or selected to the All-Star Game. At the time the vote was announced Bryant had an OPS of .901 with 16 home runs and 53 walks. Third base is a stacked position for the NL right now but wow, leaving Kris Bryant off is a tough pill to swallow for me.

Another National League third baseman that, as of the time of the roster announcements anyway, won’t be making the trip to Miami for the 2017 All-Star Game is the Washington Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon. Rendon has a higher OPS than Bryant at .951 and has posted a 3.7 WAR already this season which leads qualified third baseman in the National League. Rendon is also Top 5 in major statistics like RBI, home runs, hits and runs.

A final National League third baseman that won’t be making the trip to Miami as of the time of the roster announcements over the weekend is the Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner. Turner’s biggest issue this season is the fact that at the time of the roster announcements the right-hander was not qualified for the National League batting title after having just 212 at-bats. If Turner were to qualify for the batting title, and assuming health he easily should, Turner would lead all NL third baseman with a 1.029 OPS and a .381 batting average.

*All three of Rendon, Bryant and Turner are on the final vote ballot just as an FYI so conceivably one, or all three, can still make the game.

One final third baseman, I promise, that I believe got snubbed comes from the American League this time and the Kansas City Royals, Mike Moustakas. Moustakas led all AL third baseman at the time of the roster announcement with 22 home runs which puts the right-hander on pace to hit more home runs in a single season than any player in Kansas City Royals history. More than George Brett, too much pine tar and all. More than anyone. Moustakas also had 78 hits and a .853 OPS at the time of the announcement which were both third best among AL third baseman this season.

Robinson Cano was leading all American League second baseman with 60 RBI and 17 home runs at the time of the roster announcement but that was not good enough to be named to the American League’s roster, not even as a reserve. Cano is having a Cano-esque season as he hasn’t been striking out, has been taking his walks, has hit for power and extra-base hits and has played a smooth second base defensively all season long. I’m not quite sure I get this one, but okay.

What if I told you that Andrelton Simmons had the second highest WAR among all American League shortstops at the time the 2017 All-Star Game rosters were announced behind only the starter for the Houston Astros, Carlos Correa. Would you believe that? Well believe it because his 3.5 WAR thus far this season makes it true. Simmons is a defensive wizard and has been an on-base machine this season but the big names of Correa, Francisco Lindor and AL Final Vote candidate Didi Gregorius will continue to outshine Simmons at least for now.

The final offensive snub of the 2017 may be Logan Morrison of the Tampa Bay Rays. Morrison is currently leading all of the American League first baseman in WAR with a 2.7 WAR. Morrison is also leading all AL first baseman in walks (47), home runs (24) and RBI (57) leading many to wonder why he wasn’t added to the roster. This one was a real head scratcher in my opinion and possibly the biggest of all the snubs.

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