The voting has closed for this year’s Baseball All-Star Game. But even while it was still open, there was a lot of chatter about What’s Wrong With The Voting. It’s nothing new. Fans always gripe about both the voting and the selection process. Being able to complain is part of the fun. One of the lesser complaints is that every team is required to have a representative on the rosters. Often, this means that a “clearly deserving” player is left out. However, when you get right down to it, every team has at least one player who deserves to be an All-Star.
Without further ado, here are the best players on each team.
Arizona Diamondbacks – First baseman Paul Goldschmidt is among the league leaders in pretty much every offensive category. He’s a legitimate MVP candidate, and is clearly an All-Star.
Atlanta Braves – Starting pitcher Shelby Miller is in the Top 5 in the NL in ERA and WHIP. Freddie Freeman is doing pretty well at first, too.
Baltimore Orioles – Manny Machado is tearing up the place at the plate and in the field at third.
Boston Red Sox – Second baseman Dustin Pedroia is on the DL, so we’ll have to go with Mookie Betts. Outfielder Hanley Ramirez, who’s on a hot streak, is a good choice too.
Chicago Cubs – First Baseman Anthony Rizzo is third in the NL in OPS.
Chicago White Sox – Chris Sale is striking out everybody. It’s not his fault the White Sox are in last place.
Cincinnati Reds – With Giancarlo Stanton on the DL, Todd Frazier can take over the Major League lead in home runs.
Cleveland Indians – Second baseman Jason Kipnis is leading the AL in batting average; Carlos Carrasco is tied for the AL lead in wins.
Colorado Rockies – Only the above-mentioned Todd Frazier is ahead of Nolan Arenado as the best third baseman in the NL.
Detroit Tigers – If he weren’t hurting, Miguel Cabrera would be the obvious choice. J.D. Martinez, who’s among the top 10 in home runs, is a good replacement.
Houston Astros – Starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel by the stats over second baseman Jose Altuve.
Kansas City Royals – Their fans have taken a lot of heat for allegedly stuffing the ballot box. At one point, seven of the eight position players leading the votes were Royals. But when you have the second best W-L percentage in the league, you’re going to have a LOT of very good players. This time, there’s not that many where you can say “This guy’s clearly an All-Star”. Centerfielder Lorenzo Cain is one of those who deserves to be on the team, even if he doesn’t start.
Los Angeles Angels – Who doesn’t want to see Mike Trout?
Los Angeles Dodgers – Clayton Kershaw or Zach Greinke. Toss a coin.
Miami Marlins – Giancarlo Stanton’s hurt, so the choice here is second baseman Dee Gordon, who’s among the league leaders in batting average.
Milwaukee Brewers – Uhhh…. Adam Lind?
Minnesota Twins – Brain Dozier is leading the team with 16 home runs…
New York Mets – Jacob DeGrom is leading the team in ERA and strikeouts.
New York Yankees – Mostly because of his defense, Brett Gardner is among the leaders in WAR among AL outfielders; and he’s never yet appeared in an All-Star Game.
Oakland A’s – Sonny Gray is one of the best starting pitchers in the AL. Or you could go with Steven Vogt, who’s having a breakout season behind the plate.
Philadelphia Phillies – The only thing they have going for them is Cole Hamels.
Pittsburgh Pirates – Gerrit Cole may have eleven wins, but A.J. Burnett is among the best in ERA. And it’s worth noting that in his 17-year career, Burnett has yet to be chosen for the Midsummer Classic. He should get a nod if only for sentimental reasons.
St Louis Cardinals – It’s hard to go wrong here. Jhonny Peralta, Matt Carpenter, Yadier Molina, Michael Wacha… Given that the NL needs a catcher or two, let’s go with Molina.
San Diego Padres – Eh, let’s go with Justin Upton.
San Francisco Giants – Buster Posey gets the nod here.
Seattle Mariners – Nelson Cruz is bay far the best hitter on the team. Felix Hernandez is also acceptable.
Tampa Bay Rays – Chris Archer is among the leaders in ERA and strikeouts.
Texas Rangers – How about Prince Fielder for the DH?
Toronto Blue Jays – Josh Donaldson should be starting at third.
Washington Nationals – Who doesn’t want to see Bryce Harper?
There’s one thing that a lot of fans seem to forget when they complain about how the All-Star teams are put together. Sure, you want to have the best players possible, but you can’t just go down the list and pick the Top 30 Players by WAR or whatever (And by the way, exactly *what* does WAR represent? What’s the difference between a player with a 2.4 WAR and one with a 2.3 WAR?). You actually have to field a complete team! You can’t stock up with seven first-basemen and have no one at shortstop. Take a look at all of the above names. Thirty teams, and only three catchers mentioned. No way is that going to work… You could just pick the top three players by WAR at each position – but where’s the fun in that?