2013 MLB All-Star Game: 10 Biggest Snubs

Charles BennettSenior Analyst IJuly 7, 2013

2013 MLB All-Star Game: 10 Biggest Snubs

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    Saturday evening, the first 33 men on each of the All-Star rosters were announced via Twitter (the 34th man will be decided by fan vote in the coming days, with the AL vote contested solely among middle relievers). 

    Some selections made sense, but a few selections, like Justin Verlander and Marco Scutaro, had us scratching our heads. Likewise, there were a few glaring omissions.

    Here are five National League players and five American League Players who should have received more consideration than they ultimately did.

    Listed alphabetically. WAR and most other stats courtesy of ESPN, some other stats courtesy of YahooSports.

Grant Balfour, RP, Oakland A's

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    2013 Stats: 34.2 IP, 0-1, 22 SV, 9.1 K/9, 1.82 ERA, 1.10 WHIP

    With the 34th man guaranteed to be a pitcher, the AL probably has all the arms it needs. But, for having the third-best record in the AL, the A’s are relatively underrepresented with only a single All-Star. 

    Balfour is tied for fourth in the AL in saves and has the third-best ERA of any pitcher with 20 or more saves. Balfour has a better ERA and more saves than Glen Perkins.  

Ian Desmond, SS, Washington Nationals

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    2013 Stats: 40 R, 15 HR, 49 RBI, 10 SB, .284 BA, .832 OPS, 2.7 WAR

    True, Desmond is facing off for the NL 34th-man vote and could also be selected as an injury replacement. But he should have been selected outright, especially since NL manager Bruce Bochy's homer Marco Scutaro was selected instead. 

    Desmond has more doubles or RBI than any other active NL shortstop and has a better WAR, batting average, hits, homers or OPS than an NL shortstop who has a guaranteed berth in the Midsummer Classic.  

Josh Donaldson, 3B, Oakland A's

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    2013 Stats: 48 R, 15 HR, 57 RBI, 2 SB, .317 BA, .918 OPS, 3.8 WAR

    Again with the A's we thought would make it and didn't! Although, to be fair, AL third base was quite deep this year, with five legitimate contenders.

    Donaldson has the third-best WAR among AL third basemen, ahead of Adrian Beltre and Evan Longoria. He has a better OPS and more runs driven in than Manny Machado against fewer strikeouts.       

James Loney, 1B, Tampa Bay Rays

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    2013 Stats: 37 R, 9 HR, 43 RBI, 3 SB, .320 BA, .851 OPS, 2.0 WAR

    I know fans love to watch Prince Fielder blast homers  But the fact is that Loney, playing on his third team since this time last year, has posted better all-around numbers.

    Loney has the fourth-best batting average among all AL batters and bests Prince Fielder in WAR, OPS and hits, the last despite Fielder having the benefit of three dozen more at-bats.

    And compare him to utility man to Ben Zobrist? There is no comparison!     

Mark Melancon, RP, Pittsburgh Pirates

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    2013 Stats: 41.1 IP, 2-1, 2 SV, 24 HLD, 9.6 K/9, 0.87 ERA, 0.82 WHIP

    Last season, the Pirates had a lights-out setup man named Jason Grilli who was snubbed by the Midsummer Classic. This season, Grilli’s an All-Star closer and it’s Melancon’s turn to get snubbed.

    Melancon has more holds than anyone in baseball. He’s the only NL pitcher with more than 30 frames under his belt with a sub-1.00 ERA. Only one player has gone yard on Melancon this season.   

    We know that the AL is guaranteed to have a setup man. The NL is not, and it should be—and that person should be Melancon.  

Edward Mujica, RP, St. Louis Cardinals

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    2013 Stats: 35.1 IP, 0-1, 22 SV, 4 HLD, 8.2 K/9, 2.55 ERA, 0.79 WHIP

    To be frank, the Cardinals are going to pretty well represented in Queens later this month.  But, since it’s their pitching that got them one of the best records in baseball, they should have another pitcher in addition to Adam Wainwright. 

    Mujica has the best WHIP in the NL among relievers who’ve pitched more than 30 innings.  That’s because he doesn’t give up walks: His strikeout-to-walk ratio is 16.  

    Mujica is fourth in the NL in saves. One of those with more saves than he, Rafael Soriano, has fewer strikeouts and more blown saves than Mujica, who’s only blown a single save all season. 

Daniel Nava, OF, Boston Red Sox

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    2013 Stats: 49 R, 10 HR, 50 RBI, 0 SB, .295 BA, .832 OPS, 1.8 WAR

    The Boston Red Sox have one of the better outfields in the AL, with Nava, Jacoby Ellsbury and Shane Victorino all cracking the top 15 in WAR . So why didn’t any of their outfielders get a nod, or even make the final vote?

    Nava has the fifth-best OPS, fifth-best batting average and seventh-best RBI total among AL outfielders.

Yasiel Puig, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers

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    2013 Stats: 24 R, 8 HR, 19 RBI, 4 SB, .407 BA, 1.188 OPS, 2.4 WAR

    Yes, Yasiel Puig has only played in 30 games. He has more hits in his first 30 games than anybody since before World War II. His batting average and OPS are absolutely unworldly.   

    I made a three-part prediction regarding Puig among my friends. The first part, that Puig would be included in the final vote, came true. The rest of the prediction: He will win the fan vote, but Bruce Bochy will still not use him in the actual game. 

Hyun-Jin Ryu, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers

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    2013 Stats: 111.2 IP, 7-3, 14 QS, 90 K, 2.82 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 2.6 WAR

    The Dodgers had two high-profile international signings make debuts for them this season.  Though Puig has been getting all the press, Ryu also deserves consideration, particularly when Madison Bumgarner made the team.

    Ryu is in the top 20 among NL stars in many pitching-related stats, including ERA (2.82, 13th), quality starts (14, ted for fourth), wins (seven, tied for 16th), win percentage (70 percent, ninth), strikeouts (90, Tied for 19th), and double plays created (16, Tied for third).

Ervin Santana, SP, Kansas City Royals

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    2013 Stats: 118.0 IP, 5-5, 12 QS, 94 K, 2.90 ERA, 1.05 WHIP,  2.1 WAR 

    The NL rotation makes general sense. On the other hand, AL manager Jim Leyland decided to give the struggling Justin Verlander a lifetime achievement award at the expense of more deserving players, such as the Royals’ Santana.

    Santana is in the top 10 among the AL in a number of categories, including WHIP (1.05, tied for fourth) ERA (2.90, fifth), quality starts (12, tied for sixth) and OPS conceded (.644, eighth).