The Major League All-Star team rosters are officially set. Now, there really is no mystery that a heaping helping of politics goes into creating these teams, and it certainly doesn’t help letting large, delusional fan bases sneak in the final word, either.
The end result is a roster of players who are so talented you simply cannot ignore them, and a bunch of big names from big market teams that have landed there out of namesake.
Some pretty brilliant talent falls to the wayside, and those players get to spend the All-Star break relaxing at home and watching the big game on TV (not a bad consolation prize, eh?).
Instead of breaking down this year’s All-Star teams, let’s take a look at the players who were clearly snubbed for the honor this year.
YASIEL PUIG, LOS ANGELES DODGERS
This outfielder for the Dodgers has emerged, not as a rising star, but a shooting star that has exploded into the atmosphere. Not only is Puig productive — with a .394 batting average — but he has also quickly become a fan favorite due to his dynamic style.
How does a fan favorite not make the cut, especially when fans get a chance to vote one last guy in? That’s a good question. You screwed it up, fans! You snubbed the guy.
EVAN LONGORIA, TAMPA BAY RAYS
Longoria’s absence from this year’s All-Star team doesn’t necessary indicate a huge snub as much as it does a beastly class of third basemen in the American League. Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera — a.k.a. the best player in all of baseball right now — earned the honor, backed up by Manny Machado of Baltimore.
Still, with 17 home runs, 50 RBIs and 50 runs, Longoria is one of the best players in baseball, too, and it’s a wonder how the powers that be didn’t find a way to get him in.
HOWIE KENDRICK, LOS ANGELES ANGELS
Like with the Evan Longoria dilemma, Kendrick had a lot of competition at his position this season. Still, that’s not to say that Kendrick was not a better selection than the fellas that made it — Robinson Cano, Jason Kipnis, Dustin Pedroia and Ben Zobrist.
Kendrick has parked 11 home runs and has driven in 40 runs; a strong resume that apparently did not do the trick.
STEPHEN STRASBURG, WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Maybe everyone associated with picking the All-Star team should dig a little deeper into each player’s statistics. You would not have to dig very far to notice that Strasburg is performing a lot better than his 5-6 record would indicate.
He is a virtual strikeout machine this year with 107 strikeouts in 106.1 innings pitched. He also totes an earned run average of 2.45. Those are beastly numbers, and ones that make you wonder how this slinger did not make the cut.
DEREK HOLLAND, TEXAS RANGERS
Yu Darvish will shine for the Texas Rangers on the mound instead of Holland, who, without Darvish in the mix, might have gotten a little love. He has tossed 118.2 innings so far this season, posting a 3.19 ERA with 114 strikeouts.