Compiling the two MLB All-Star rosters is no easy task. There are always going to be instances where players having great seasons get left off. The rosters this year actually aren’t bad and there really weren’t too many selections that will leave fans scratching their heads. But as always, there are some highly deserving players that I believe should have made the roster, so here’s my list of the most glaring snubs. Remember, to be considered a snub, there needs to be someone already on the team that you could replace them with, although admittedly it is tough to find a spot for a few of these guys. Also, a number of these players will be added to the roster before the July 12th All-Star Game in San Diego and some are among the ten players up for consideration for the final vote in their respective leagues.
Rich Hill (Athletics) –
How Hill was not named to the team is shocking to me. Is especially tough for A’s fans, whose only All-Star, Steven Vogt would be highly undeserving if not for the utter dearth of quality AL catchers. Sure, Hill has missed some time with a groin injury, but he has been one of the best starting pitchers in the American League this season and has still thrown enough innings to justify inclusion on the roster.
Jake Lamb (Diamondbacks) –
He might not be a household name, but Lamb leads the National League in slugging percentage at .625. He also has a .371 on base percentage with 46 extra base hits and 61 RBI. Some way, he needs to be added to the all-star team.
Jonathan Villar (Brewers) –
The omission of Villar is a real shame, as the Brewers shortstop is in the midst of a career year. He leads baseball with 28 stolen bases and holds an outstanding .380 on base percentage. The shortstop position is loaded with talent this year, but it’s still unfortunate that there was no place for Villar. It’s difficult to choose one NL bench player that you would want to replace; the biggest mistake on this roster is Addison Russell, who won the fan vote for NL shortstop.
Aledmys Diaz (Cardinals) –
Likewise, Diaz is also having an awesome season offensively. His .319/.382/.534 slash line is arguably the best of any shortstop in baseball, but he too was squeezed out of a roster spot due to Russell getting the starting nod. Zack Cozart and Trevor Story also deserve a mention, but I’d probably take either Villar or Diaz instead. Story is a guy many fans would like to see on the team, but aside from the home runs, he’s likely a notch below those other names. Russell is having a solid season, but he shouldn’t be an All-Star.
Ian Kinsler (Tigers) –
Kinsler continues to be one of the most underappreciated players in all of baseball. He’s third in the majors with 71 runs scored and has powered his way to a .496 slugging percentage. He is one of the final vote candidates and probably gets my vote.
Starling Marte / Gregory Polanco (Pirates) –
Both Pirates outfielders have a legitimate case, but I was stunned to see that neither had made the team. The most obvious place on the roster would be instead of Dexter Fowler, who has played very well for the Cubs this year, but doesn’t belong on the team.
Nelson Cruz (Mariners) –
Cruz is quietly having another great season, but was left off the team. Again, it’s hard to find a spot where you could replace someone with him, unless you took off one of the pitchers. With 22 homers, 57 RBI, and a .363 on base percentage, Cruz is still one of the best power hitters in baseball.
Aaron Sanchez (Blue Jays) –
Sanchez should have joined his rotation mate Marco Estrada on the AL All-Star roster. The righty holds a 9-1 record with a 2.94 ERA and 1.18 WHIP, all of which put him among the league’s top starting pitchers. In my opinion, Ned Yost took too many relievers. While all of them are having very good or great seasons, I tend to favor starting pitchers over relievers with similar rate stats, due to the difference in innings pitched.
All in all, both league’s rosters are a pretty good representation of their best players this season, which can’t be said every year. NL manager Terry Collins pretty much got it right, as my choice for the worst selections were two players voted on by the fans, Russell and Fowler. Ned Yost’s AL roster isn’t bad either, although again, I don’t support picking 8 relief pitchers opposed to only 5 starters.
Here are some other names worth considering. They fall just short in my estimation, but should be among the first to get a look as replacement players in the coming days:
For the NL, Jay Bruce (Reds), Ryan Braun (Brewers), Bartolo Colon (Mets), Jeanmar Gomez (Phillies) and Drew Pomeranz (Padres).
And for the AL, George Springer (Astros), Evan Longoria (Rays), Jose Quintana (White Sox), Masahiro Tanaka (Yankees), and Michael Fulmer (Tigers).