It may be way too early to start making All-Star team predictions, but I think the dust is finally starting to settle around who the real candidates are. As with any award/all-star team, there are going to be many fans crying foul for their players who didn’t get selected. Here are 4 position players and 4 starting pitchers who, despite their early success, may not find themselves in Cleveland for All-Star Weekend.
Derek Dietrich, 2B, Cincinnati Reds
You might remember Dietrich as the guy who started the brawl in the Reds-Pirates game in April, or as the guy that painted on a mustache with eye black. He’s also the guy who has hit 13 home runs this year, and has a .995 OPS. Unfortunately, Dietrich likely won’t make the NL All-Star roster this year because he only has 108 at-bats, despite appearing in almost all of his team’s games.
Shin-Soo Choo, OF, Texas Rangers
Shin-Soo Choo is an underrated hitter in today’s game. He made the All-Star team last year, and he’s equaled that production this year, with a slashline of .294/.389/.544, and 9 homers. The reason he may not make the All-Star roster is that there are a lot of outfielders having incredible years, like Meadows, Gallo, Springer, and even his teammate, Hunter Pence.
Eduardo Escobar, 3B, Arizona Diamondbacks
Escobar has been on the rise for a few years now, as he hit 23 home runs last year, and is on pace for even more home runs this year. He has 12 dingers already, as well as 39 RBI, and a .900 OPS. His numbers, however, are outdone by other NL third basemen such as Nolan Arenado, Kris Bryant, and Anthony Rendon.
Matt Chapman, 3B, Oakland Athletics
Chapman’s numbers this year have been pretty good. He has 13 homers, 31 RBI, and he already has accumulated 2.7 bWAR. He’s on pace for over 8 wins above replacement this year, but he might not make the cut this year due to great years from Alex Bregman, Rafael Devers, and even Tommy La Stella.
Frankie Montas, SP, Oakland Athletics
Frankie Montas, the guy with the best FIP in the AL (2.73) might not make the All-Star team this year. Montas has surprised people this year, as not only does he have a great FIP, he also has a 2.40 ERA in his 10 starts. The problem is that he may not get enough recognition in the shadows of other All-Star hopefuls such as Matt Boyd, Mike Minor, and Charlie Morton.
Zach Davies, SP, Milwaukee Brewers
Davies is a perplexing pitcher. He piled up 17 wins in 2017, and he’s 5-0 in 2019 with a 2.43 ERA. This doesn’t really make sense because he’s not a really dominating pitcher as he only has 38 K’s in 55.2 innings. He also lets up a lot of baserunners (1.24 WHIP) and his FIP above 4.00 suggests he will come back down to earth, but even if he doesn’t his numbers won’t jump out at you like those of Hyun-Jin Ryu or Chris Paddack.
Shane Bieber, SP, Cleveland Indians
Shane Bieber is doing a great job of replacing Corey Kluber while he is injured. Bieber has 79 strikeouts in 63.2 innings, an ERA of 3.11, and a WHIP of 1.05, all of which are top-15 in the AL. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough spots for 15 starting pitchers on an All-Star team.
Marcus Stroman, SP, Toronto Blue Jays
Marcus Stroman has always been a pitcher we were told to keep an eye on, ever since he made his debut in 2014, and has been a pretty solid pitcher ever since. His ERA of 2.74 ranks 6th in the AL, but he doesn’t have any other numbers that jump off of the page. He allows lots of baserunners, doesn’t strikeout a whole lot of guys, and he actually leads the AL in losses with 6. Aside from his sub-3.00 ERA, there really isn’t a case for him.
Photo: SB Nation