Although the All-Star Game is a chance for fans to see the best players in baseball, many of the stars who should be in attendance will be left at home.
There are obviously a limited amount of spots on the rosters for each league, so not everyone will be satisfied. Additionally, the rule that forces every team to be represented in the game will knock more-deserving people off the list.
That being said, a few men across the league are having too good of seasons to ignore. These players deserve a trip to Target Field this summer despite being overlooked.
Chris Sale, SP, Chicago White Sox
Although injuries limited him to just 13 starts this year, Chris Sale has been lights-out when on the mound. He has an incredible 8-1 record to go with a 2.16 ERA and more than a strikeout per inning.
His 0.87 WHIP is tied with Clayton Kershaw for the lowest in the majors for players with at least 80 innings pitched.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports discusses how good his stats have been this year:
not sure i can recall any with stats like chris sale and garrett richards who didnt make the all-star team. gotta be room.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) July 7, 2014
While Garrett Richards has been impressive as well, he is nowhere near the level of dominance of Sale. Tyler Kepner of The New York Times takes it a step further:
Chris Sale might be the best pitcher in baseball. Certainly in the conversation. Shocked he is not an All-Star.— Tyler Kepner (@TylerKepner) July 6, 2014
Sale has certainly been one of the most underrated pitchers in the majors since becoming a starter in 2012. Before that, he was even better for a year-and-a-half out of the bullpen.
The White Sox have been inconsistent this season, but Sale deserves more credit for his impressive performances. He has proven himself in the past with two All-Star appearances, and this season should represent his third.
Anthony Rendon, 2B/3B, Washington Nationals
The National League battle for the final spot will be a good one with Justin Morneau, Casey McGehee, Anthony Rizzo and Justin Upton all having good years. As a result, it is hard to imagine Anthony Rendon topping the more high-profile names on this list.
Still, the infielder has been an anchor for a contending team that has dealt with a number of injuries this season.
Rendon has posted an impressive .284/.340/.491 slash line to go with 13 home runs, 52 RBI, 61 runs and eight stolen bases. Teammate Adam LaRoche is certainly a big fan of the young player, via Bill Ladson of MLB.com:
He has ability to stay the same in any situation. To be as consistent as he has been, you just don't see that in young guys. It's something that takes a few years to pick up on. He just has that mindset. It's not just done on the surface. That's his personality. He is very level headed along with being competitive. He wants to be the best at what he does. I love the kid.
Another thing that teammates and coaches love is the fact that Rendon has been willing to change positions to help the team. He has bounced between third base and second base this season and has been solid at both positions.
Here is a look at what he can do playing up the middle:
Rendon has a bright future at just 24 years old, but he deserves to be in the All-Star Game right away.
Ian Kinsler, 2B, Detroit Tigers
This past winter, the Detroit Tigers took a big risk by dealing Prince Fielder for Ian Kinsler. While it is still early in the process, Fielder is out for the year, while the Texas Rangers are among the worst teams in baseball.
On the other hand, Kinsler has been a star for the Tigers, hitting .304 with 11 home runs, nine stolen bases and 61 runs to rank fifth in the majors in that category. According to FanGraphs, the second baseman is eighth in the league in total WAR to this point in the year.
The fact that a player of this ability is not going to the All-Star Game is a travesty.
Robinson Cano and Jose Altuve are having great seasons as well and rightfully earned their spots at second base for the American League team. However, the squad can afford another player at the position considering how good of a year Kinsler has had.
Then again, the second baseman will be happy to be a legitimate MVP candidate if he keeps this up for the AL Central-leading Tigers.
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