The 2013 MLB All-Star roster has been released via MLB.com, and while the selection committee did a pretty decent job, there are a few players who deserved to stay home over the midseason break.
They may be having decent seasons, but these players are not playing well enough to be considered All-Stars.
Which players should've been spending their All-Star break on vacation? Read on to find out.
Ben Zobrist, 2B, Tampa Bay Rays
Zobrist is having a below-average season, but that was apparently enough for him to make the American All-Star team. Though he is batting .264, he has just five home runs.
He does play all over the field (though he is listed as a second baseman on the roster), which will give Jim Leyland options—especially late in the game. However, the All-Star Game is not about building a roster that offers a manager versatility; it's about the best players in the game.
Simply put, Zobrist is not worthy of an All-Star selection this year. Making matters worse, he was taken over teammate Evan Longoria, who is batting .292 with 17 home runs and 49 RBI.
According to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, Zobrist himself was a bit taken aback by the selection:
Zobrist is a good player, but he was taken over many players who are more deserving than him in 2013. We are equally taken aback by this surprise selection.
Marco Scutaro is similarly having an average season, yet he is somehow in the All-Star Game representing the World Champion Giants for the National League.
Despite a .311 average, he has just two home runs and 19 RBI on the year.
By comparison, San Diego Padres second baseman Jedd Gyorko, who didn't make the team, is batting .284 with eight home runs and 25 RBI in his rookie season.
Scutaro is also in the midst of an awful slump. He is batting just .100 in July after batting .420 in May.
He's a productive player who was the 2012 NLCS MVP. As a mere singles hitter, though, he doesn't deserve a spot on the All-Star roster.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B, Pittsburgh Pirates
Pedro Alvarez can hit home runs. He has 22 of them this season. But other than that, the Pirates' third baseman is having a pretty pedestrian season.
He's batting just .257 with a measly .306 OBP. He also leads NL third basemen with 15 errors.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Paul Zeise reports that manager Clint Hurdle defended the selection:
I believe when you look at the field of third basemen who are in play, that if you are looking for another two to add to the club [in addition to the starter], you'd like to have a guy who can come off the bench and change the direction of the game with one swing of the bat. I would think he would be as opportunistic and important to have as anybody.
Pedro falls in that different category because you look at the entire first half and there has been pieces. There was a stretch in the month of June, but if you look at the overall numbers, you say, 'Yeah, that's good stuff.'?
Are home runs enough to warrant an All-Star selection for Alvarez?
The home runs are impressive, but it's the only thing impressive about Alvarez's season on an impressive Pirates roster. When he doesn't hit a home run, Alvarez has only 17 RBI.
An All-Star candidacy should be based on the totality of the player's season, not just one impressive aspect. Jacoby Ellsbury, for example, has 36 stolen bases, but because his season as a whole has been just average, he didn't make the team this year.
Home runs shouldn't get precedence over other stats. Without his 10 home runs in June, Alvarez probably wouldn't have made the cut.
He is better-suited for the Home Run Derby than the actual game. Simply put, he is a one-dimensional player. While that dimension is impressive, it should not be enough to earn an All-Star berth.