There are always bad decisions when it comes to All-Star selections, especially since the starters are voted in due to popularity among fans. Another problem is the stupid rule that every team must be represented with an All-Star. If your team sucks, then you shouldn’t get a free All-Star. Let’s survey the questionable choices made.
Surprise + Snub: J.T. Realmuto, C, Phillies over Rhys Hoskins, OF, Phillies
This might be the most egregious of all of these. Realmuto, after being traded to the Phillies in the offseason, has been somewhat of a disappointment, hitting .261 with a .745 OPS. Somehow, he’s an All-Star. The decision to put Realmuto on the All-Star team is questionable, but it’s even worse when you consider that Rhys Hoskins was so much more deserving of an All-Star nod. The Phillies are a team that didn’t have any other All-Stars, meaning they had to pick one of Hoskins and Realmuto to earn the spot, but they chose the wrong one. Hoskins has 19 HR and an OPS upwards of .900 to go along with an NL-leading 61 walks.
Snub: Xander Bogaerts, SS, Red Sox
Xander Bogaerts should be starting in the All-Star game. He’s hitting .299 with 16 homers, 57 RBI, 62 runs scored, and league-leading 27 doubles. The conundrum with this snub is that there are 3 shortstops that deserve to be All-Stars in the AL; Francisco Lindor, Jorge Polanco, and Bogaerts. Polanco and Bogaerts are 1a and 1b, but Lindor also needs to be at the All-Star game because it’s in his home park, and he is the ambassador of that team. Bogaerts was a victim of All-Star politics this year. (Just an aside, Rafael Devers deserves to be an All-Star too, but I don’t want to dedicate a whole section to 2 different Red Sox players. Makes me sound like a homer…which I am…but still)
Surprise: Sandy Alcantara, SP, Marlins
Again, this is a selection that had to be made due to the fact that the Marlins are comically bad and have no good players, so they basically put all of the Marlins’ names in a hat and picked a random one and chose that guy to be the All-Star. Alcantara has a 3.86 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP which are delightfully mediocre for a starter, and downright hideous for an All-Star.
Snub: Jose Berrios, SP, Twins
There were a couple of Minnesota Twins that had legitimate cases to be All-Stars, but didn’t get the recognition. Max Kepler has 20 homers already, Nelson Cruz has 44 RBI in a limited number of games, Eddie Rosario has 60 RBI, and you could even make the case that C.J. Cron is having an All-Star year. After all, Cron was one of the three finalists to start at first base for the AL. The worst crime however, was not giving a spot to Jose Berrios. Berrios, in addition to being a workhorse for the Twins with 112 innings pitched, has been stellar, putting up a 2.89 ERA, and 102 strikeouts. Unfortunately, they gave his spot to someone less deserving…
Surprise: Marcus Stroman, SP, Blue Jays
I predicted that Marcus Stroman wouldn’t be on the All-Star team because his stats weren’t good enough. Then his stats got worse. Then he got named an All-Star. I would’ve much rather seen the Blue Jays rep be someone like Eric Sogard or Lourdes Gurriel, Jr., but instead they gave it to Stroman. All told, his stats aren’t that bad, (3.18 ERA, 1.26 WHIP) but Berrios was a much more deserving choice.
Photo: The Philadelphia Inquirer