"The MLB All-Star Game got it wrong."
It's phrase surely to be proclaimed by many concerning the 2014 iteration of the Midsummer Classic, as once again the voting let popular names in—such as Derek Jeter—without really paying attention to numbers or overall impact.
Yet again, the snubs list in total could field a pretty decent All-Star team, too.
That's not to suggest that any of the players who made the cut are not deserving, and Jeter's final foray in the Midsummer Classic will make for an historic moment. But the list of snubs is rather long when one does some homework.
Here are the official rosters, with some of the deserving names who were left off examined after the jump.
|American League||National League|
|Salvador Perez, C, Kansas City Royals*||Yadier Molina, C, St. Louis Cardinals*|
|Miguel Cabrera, 1B, Detroit Tigers*||Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Arizona Diamondbacks*|
|Robinson Cano, 2B, Seattle Mariners*||Chase Utley, 2B, Philadelphia Phillies*|
|Derek Jeter, SS, New York Yankees*||Troy Tulowitzki, SS, Colorado Rockies*|
|Josh Donaldson, 3B, Oakland Athletics*||Aramis Ramirez, 3B, Milwaukee Brewers*|
|Mike Trout, OF, Los Angeles Angels*||Andrew McCutchen, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates*|
|Jose Bautista, OF, Toronto Blue Jays*||Carlos Gomez, OF, Milwaukee Brewers*|
|Adam Jones, OF, Baltimore Orioles*||Yasiel Puig, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers*|
|Nelson Cruz, DH, Baltimore Orioles*||Giancarlo Stanton, DH, Miami Marlins*|
|AL Reserves||NL Reserves|
|Derek Norris, C, Oakland Athletics||Jonathan Lucroy, C, Brewers|
|Kurt Suzuki, C, Minnesota Twins||Devin Mesoraco, C, Cincinnati Reds|
|Jose Abreu, 1B, Chicago White Sox||Freddie Freeman, 1B, Atlanta Braves|
|Victor Martinez, 1B, Detroit Tigers||Dee Gordon, 2B, Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Edwin Encarnacion, 1B, Toronto Blue Jays||Daniel Murphy, 2B, New York Mets|
|Brandon Moss, 1B/OF, Oakland Athletics||Starlin Castro, SS, Chicago Cubs|
|Jose Altuve, 2B, Houston Astros||Todd Frazier, 3B, Cincinnati Reds|
|Alexei Ramirez, SS, Chicago White Sox||Matt Carpenter, 3B, St. Louis Cardinals|
|Adrian Beltre, 3B, Texas Rangers||Josh Harrison, IF/OF, Pittsburgh Pirates|
|Yoenis Cespedes, OF, Oakland Athletics||Charlie Blackmon, OF, Colorado Rockies|
|Alex Gordon, OF, Kansas City Royals||Hunter Pence, OF, San Francisco Giants|
|Michael Brantley, OF, Cleveland Indians|
|AL Pitchers||NL Pitchers|
|Yu Darvish, RHP, Texas Rangers||Johnny Cueto, RHP, Cincinnati Reds|
|Max Scherzer, RHP, Detroit Tigers||Clayton Kershaw, LHP, Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Felix Hernandez, RHP, Seattle Mariners||Zack Greinke, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Masahiro Tanaka, RHP, New York Yankees||Madison Bumgarner, LHP, San Francisco Giants|
|Jon Lester, LHP, Boston Red Sox||Adam Wainwright, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals|
|David Price, LHP, Tampa Bay Rays||Tyson Ross, RHP, San Diego Padres|
|Scott Kazmir, LHP, Oakland Athletics||Jordan Zimmermann, RHP, Washington Nationals|
|Mark Buehrle, LHP, Toronto Blue Jays||Julio Teheran, RHP, Atlanta Braves|
|Sean Doolittle, LHP, Oakland Athletics||Craig Kimbrel, RHP Atlanta Braves|
|Greg Holland, RHP, Kansas City Royals||Aroldis Chapman, LHP, Cincinnati Reds|
|Glen Perkins, LHP, Minnesota Twins||Francisco Rodriguez, RHP, Milwaukee Brewers|
Source: MLB.com. *Denotes starter.
Billy Hamilton, OF, Cincinnati Reds
Perhaps this was a bit expected given the number of talented outfielders competing for a small number of spots.
But one has to look at the grand scheme of things, not just individual numbers. If other players were the ones in control of the vote, the speedy Billy Hamilton would certainly be on the roster with home-field advantage in the World Series on the line.
Hamilton's numbers, though, are a mixed bag, and he is not quite a household name just yet. He has some intriguing power that has come on as of late, as noted by his five home runs to go along with 18 doubles, six triples, 37 RBI, 37 swiped bags, a .281 average and a .315 OBP.
But Hamilton has aged like fine wine for a player so young (23), as ESPN's Buster Olney helps to illustrate:
The Reds' Billy Hamilton month to month this season, in OPS: April, .636. May, .652. June, .848. July, .859.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 9, 2014
Perhaps Scott Pianowski put it best:
Redrafting from scratch today, Billy Hamilton is a first-rounder. If you wouldn't take him in the Top 12-15, you're missing it.— scott pianowski (@scott_pianowski) July 8, 2014
Hamilton surely has plenty of future Midsummer Classics down the road if he can stay healthy and continue to improve at the plate, but he sticks out as a miss this year because he would have been so useful off the bench.
As they say, there's always next year.
Brian Dozier, 2B, Minnesota Twins
“Ever since May of last year, he’s been an All-Star caliber player. I know there’s a few good second basemen that have some pretty long track records, and that’s a tough mountain to climb. If he’s not there for this one, he’ll be at one in the future.”
Minnesota Twins closer Glen Perkins, via Mike Berardino of TwinCities.com, hit the nail on the head in regards to his second baseman, Brian Dozier, not getting a nod this year.
Dozier hurt himself with a .235 average, sure, but he's one of the more exciting names in baseball thanks to his home run power, not to mention the fact it would have been pretty neat to see him play in the Midsummer Classic in front of his home fans.
Through 88 games, Dozier has gone yard 16 times and has 40 RBI, 15 stolen bases and a .338 OBP. The whole weekend is not lost for Dozier, though, as he'll compete in the Home Run Derby, and for good reason, as ESPN's Jerry Crasnick explains:
Brian Dozier has 32 HRs since June 1, 2013. Puig, Tulo, Cespedes, Beltre, Freeman, Bruce and Rizzo all have 31. #twins— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) July 9, 2014
Still, it would have been nice to see Dozier recognized as the most important Twins player this year. His efforts have not entirely gone unnoticed, but for those in the know, his name sticks out more than most on the snubs list.
Ian Kinsler, 2B, Detroit Tigers
His first campaign with the Detroit Tigers has been a resounding success, yet the ballots simply don't seem to care all that match.
That's of course concerning one Ian Kinsler, who has put up superb numbers so far, especially in comparison to prior paces:
With a WAR hovering around the 3.8 mark, Kinsler has exceeding expectations after coming over in the infamous Prince Fielder deal and has played a major part in the Tigers' ability to brush aside the Kansas City Royals in the AL Central.
Kinsler's ability to get fastballs in Detroit has helped him to this point, a point Olney was sure to elaborate on as the game was on approach:
The No. 2 ranked MLB middle infielder in WAR this season was traded last winter: Ian Kinsler. http://t.co/kDCuMON9M9— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 5, 2014
It's a downright shame Kinsler won't get a nod on his resume for his stellar comeback campaign after a change of scenery, but he and the Tigers should have other concerns at the moment heading into the break, with a serious postseason push seemingly on the horizon.