Ranking the Yankees' Best All Star-Game Candidates
With July upon us, it is time to look at which members of the New York Yankees may be representing the club at this year's All-Star Game.
It has not been a great season for the Bombers, one plagued by injuries and abysmal offensive production from more than just a few of their hitters. To say past All-Stars Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran, Alfonso Soriano, Brian Roberts and CC Sabathia are unworthy of showing their faces at Target Field on July 15 is an understatement.
Despite being under .500, there are some Yankees who certainly are deserving of making the team. The following players may not all make it out to the City of Lakes, but here are the Yankees deserving of being an All-Star in 2014.
The Major League Baseball All-Star Selection Show will air on ESPN on Sunday, July 6 at 7 p.m.
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Ellsbury has been of the few the Yankees hitters to produce.
After leaving division rival Boston Red Sox, Ellsbury's first season in the Bronx has gone well. His .288 average is tied for first on the team. Fellow outfielder Brett Gardner has the same mark. Ellsbury also has 34 RBI and a .752 OPS.
Ellsbury's real value comes on the base paths. When the Yankees signed him, they expected to get a dynamic speedster capable of changing ballgames with his legs. Their expectations have been met. Ellsbury is second in the American League in stolen bases with 23. Only the Houston Astros' Jose Altuve has swiped more with 37.
Ellsbury will have plenty of competition for a spot in the American League's outfield. The final All-Star voting update had Jose Bautista, Mike Trout, Yoenis Cespedes, Melky Cabrera, Adam Jones and Michael Brantley ahead of him. All are having terrific years and are worthy All-Stars.
Dellin Betances, RP
Without a doubt, Betances is the best pitcher in the Yankees bullpen.
A failed minor league starter, Betances made the Yankees' major roster this season following a move to the pen. The results have been jaw-dropping.
In 48 innings pitched over the course of 35 games, the 26-year-old is sporting a 1.50 ERA while limiting hitters to a .130 batting average. He has allowed just one home run and eight earned runs all year. A flame throwing strikeout machine, Betances has struck out 14.3 batters per nine innings, with 76 strikeouts in those 48 innings.
Betances has been the Yankees' go-to man in a bullpen that has few established pitchers. Come July 15, he should be one for the junior circuit.
Masahiro Tanaka, SP
Tanaka deserves to start the All-Star Game.
Unfortunately for the game of baseball (and to the satisfaction of the Yankees), he most likely will not, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
If not for a scheduling conflict, inning No. 1 in Minneapolis would surely be Tanaka's.
After coming over from Japan, Tanaka has become New York's unquestionable ace. The rookie is 11-3 with a 2.10 ERA. He is tied with the Detroit Tigers' Rick Porcello for the major league lead in wins, and his ERA is best among AL starters. His 4.4 WAR is the best of any pitcher in baseball and sixth among all players.
In addition, Tanaka is in the top 10 in hits allowed per nine innings pitched, bases on balls per nine innings pitched, K/9, innings pitched, strikeout-to-walk ratio and ERA+. He has also thrown three complete games this year, a number that, shared with others, leads the majors as well.
Too bad this guy will most likely be sitting on the bench during the Midsummer Classic.
Derek Jeter, SS
Make no mistake, Jeter warranting a spot on the All-Star team has nothing to do with this year's stats.
But there is not another player in baseball who should take the field at shortstop for the American League when the game begins on July 15.
With a .271 average, two homers and 20 RBI, Jeter has been mediocre. He has not been awful, and he has not been great. He has put up decent numbers given his age and the state of the rest of the Yankees offense.
If you have not heard, The Captain is retiring following the 2014 season after a 20-year career. In those two decades, Jeter has been the game's biggest and brightest star. He may not have been the best or the most talented player in baseball during that span, but he was the face of the game.
As the end of an illustrious career draws near, Jeter, a 13-time All-Star, deserves to be out there for the first pitch in this year's game. This game is about baseball's biggest stars, and that is exactly what Jeter has been.
Apparently fans agree, as Jeter is leading all AL shortstops with 2,924,686 votes as of the last update.
All stats were obtained via Baseball-Reference and are accurate as of the end of play on July 2, 2014.
Follow me on Twitter @GPhillips2727 to talk New York Yankees and Major League Baseball.
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