2012 MLB All-Star Roster: Biggest Snubs and Surprises

Maxwell Ogden@MaxwellOgdenCorrespondent IIIJuly 1, 2012

2012 MLB All-Star Roster: Biggest Snubs and Surprises

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    The good will be liked and the great will be loved. As the 2012 MLB All-Star Game rolls around, the evidence of such a claim will be on full display as baseball's elite hits the field for the right to home field advantage in the 2012 World Series.

    Unfortunately, there are quite a few deserving names who won't receive the recognition they truly deserve.

    With a slew of great talent on the All-Star Game roster, it's hard to argue against the pure talent of any player who made the list. With that being said, some are less deserving than other. This leaves a handful of guys sitting home and an equal amount heading out to to Kansas City for the time of their lives.

    So who got snubbed?

Surprise: Not Starting Carlos Ruiz, Philadelphia Phillies

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    Position: Catcher

    Age: 33

    Experience: Six years

    Carlos Ruiz of the Philadelphia Phillies has been outstanding, posting a slash line of .353/.418/.578 and smashing out 11 home runs. That's good for the best batting average in all of baseball and sixth amongst catchers in home runs.

    Buster Posey, meanwhile, has a lower batting average, less home runs and three fewer RBI. He's also on a team whose season has been highlighted by inconsistency, while Ruiz has been the pacemaker for an injury-prone Phillies team that's fighting back into playoff contention.

    Carlos Ruiz has been the best contact hitter in baseball and deserves to start.

    Posey's 2012 Season Statistics

    .296/.363/.472, 10 HR, 40 RBI, 31 RS, 14 2B

    Ruiz's 2012 Season Statistics

    .353/.418/.578, 11 HR, 43 RBI, 38 RS, 19 2B

Snub: Andre Ethier, Los Angeles Dodgers

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    Position: Right Field

    Age: 30

    Experience: Six Years

    There's no denying how crowded the outfield is in the National League. From the starters to the reserves, there is an MVP candidate at every turn. Due to this fact, it is understandable how Andre Ethier, who ranks third in the National League in RBI, didn't make the cut.

    But come on, people. What other individual fielder are you going to look to in thanks for the Dodgers' stellar start to the season?

    Season Statistics

    .291/.357/.491, 10 HR, 55 RBI, 36 RS, 23 2B

Surprise: Aroldis Chapman, Cincinnati Reds

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    Position: Closer

    Age: 24

    Experience: Two Years

    When someone throws as hard as Aroldis Chapman, they're going to garner attention. When someone goes 0-for-4 with three blown saves in six opportunities over the span of 17 days, they too will be on the receiving end of a hawk eye's view.

    Normally, a player would not be able to overcome such a drought and retain an All-Star appearance. In the case of budding superstar Aroldis Chapman, however, the Reds closer is safely in the game.

    While Chapman's 1.98 ERA is encouraging, his conversion rate of nine saves to 13 attempts is far from All-Star worthy. Had this been any other player with a less powerful name or arm, they would have been an after thought in All-Star consideration.

    Season Statistics

    32 GP, 4-4, 64 SO, 9 SV, 4 BS, 6 HLD, 1.98 ERA, 0.77 WHIP

Snub: Santiago Casilla, San Francisco Giants

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    Position: Closer

    Age: 31

    Experience: Eight Years

    While Aroldis Chapman may have the more dominant stuff, you can't argue against efficiency. When you consider the fact that Santiago Casilla is second in the National League with 21 saves, 12 more than Chapman, you also can't argue that he's posting an All-Star caliber season.

    The fact that Casilla has blown just two save opportunities, while Chapman has squandered four, is further evidence of who the National League should have selected.

    2012 Season Statistics

    34 GP, 1-3, 21 SV, 2 BS, 1 HLD, 2.70 ERA, 1.20 WHIP

Surprise: Adam Dunn, Chicago White Sox

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    Position: Designated Hitter

    Age: 32

    Experience: 11 Years

    First and foremost, the fact that a player who has played five games in the outfield this season was selected to an All-Star appearance at that position is rather outrageous. When you tack on the fact that Dunn is hitting just .213, it becomes even more puzzling how he made the cut.

    While his 24 home runs and 58 RBI warrant consideration, it's not enough to put him in front of the following player. After all, since when did power without average trump power with average?

    2012 Season Averages

    .213/.361/.511, 24 HR, 58 RBI, 44 RS, 64 BB

Snub: Edwin Encarnacion, Toronto Blue Jays

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    Position: Designated Hitter

    Age: 29

    Experience: Seven Years

    If Adam Dunn can get selected to the team as an outfield player, Edwin Encarnacion should receive the same luxury.

    The Toronto Blue Jays star has bust out with a .289 batting average, .076 points higher than Dunn, and 22 home runs, just two shy of the Chicago slugger's mark. He's also knocked in 55 RBI, which once again comes in just shy of Dunn's 58.

    With Encarnacion on pace with almost every one of Dunn's power categories, including a slugging percentage of .570 that trumps Dunn's .511, the debate pulls close. When paired with a batting average so substantially greater than that of Adam Dunn, the debate ends.

    Edwin Encarnacion should be an All-Star.

    2012 Season Averages

    .289/.365/.570, 22 HR, 55 RBI, 50 RS, 8 SB

Surprise: Reserving Paul Konerko, Chicago White Sox

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    Position: First Baseman

    Age: 36

    Experience: 15 Years

    Paul Konerko has been a front-runner for AL MVP throughout the entirety of the regular season. While no one will argue against Prince Fielder's merit as a perennial All-Star starter, it's hard to go against Konerko with the season he's having.

    The White Sox veteran is hitting .337 with 14 home runs, 40 RBI and 15 doubles. Konerko has helped the White Sox maintain a lead over the rest of the AL Central, including Fielder's Detroit Tigers. While Fielder has an impressive line of .295, 12 home runs and 52 RBI, it's hard to put him at the top of the two at this point in the season.

    Both are deserving names, but Paul Konerko should be starting.

    2012 Season Statistics

    .337/.414/.556, 14 HR, 40 RBI, 38 RS, 31 BB

Snub: A.J. Pierzynski, Chicago White Sox

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    Position: Catcher

    Age: 35

    Experience: 14 Years

    While A.J. Pierzynski has never been the most appealing personality, his play in 2012 warranted a spot on the All-Star team.

    Pierzynski has posted an admirable slash line of .283/.330/.512 with 14 home runs and 45 RBI. That tops All-Star starter Mike Napoli across the board, calling the exclusion of Pierzynski's name from the roster into question.

    When you're not that likable, this is just what's going to happen.

    2012 Season Averages

    .283/.330/.512, 14 HR, 45 RBI, 36 RS, 3 3B

Surprise: Mike Napoli, Texas Rangers

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    Position: Catcher

    Age: 30

    Experience: Six Years

    With 12 home runs and 30 RBI, Mike Napoli has made his mark on the young MLB season. Unfortunately, Napoli is also hitting a mere .238 from the plate and is on pace to finish with 62 RBI.

    How that qualifies him as a worthy starter in the American League is beyond me, as afterthought Jarrod Saltalamacchia is having a similar season with 15 home runs and 37 RBI while hitting .254. But let's be real, who would start Saltalamacchia? No one, when they're aware of how well Joe Mauer has played.

    Joe Mauer is back to being the player we used to know, posting a slash line of .324/.415/.447. His four home runs are much less than Napoli's total, but his 36 RBI are six higher.

    This leaves one conclusion to be drawn: Not only should Napoli not have been starting, but he probably shouldn't have made the team. His 2011 campaign was marvelous, but Mauer, Saltalalamacchia and Matt Wieters have all performed better in 2012.

    2012 Season Averages

    .238/.338/.444, 12 HR, 30 RBI, 29 BB, 80 SO

Snub: Jason Kipnis, Cleveland Indians

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    Position: Second Base

    Age: 25

    Experience: One Year

    Ian Kinsler deserves his spot on the roster. It just so happens that Jason Kipnis does as well, which brings for an unfortunate snubbing of the Cleveland Indians' promising second baseman.

    Kipnis has fielded well and hit the ball even better. He's hitting a respectable .273 while powering out 11 home runs and driving in 46 RBI. Kipnis has also been a menace on the base paths, swiping 19 bags on 20 attempts.

    As stated, Kinsler deserved his spot. To exclude Jason Kipnis, however, is as tragic as any snub this season.

    2012 Season Statistics

    .273/.334/.422, 11 HR, 46 RBI, 19 SB

Surprise: Not Starting David Wright, New York Mets

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    Position: Third Base

    Age: 29

    Experience: Eight Years

    Pablo Sandoval has had one heck of a season. Despite missing 34 games due to injury, Kung Fu Panda has hit .307 with six home runs and 25 RBI, tallying 11 doubles along the way. The question is, how in the world could he be starting over David Wright?

    Sandoval may be playing well, but Wright is playing stellar.

    David Wright is hitting .355 with nine home runs, 50 RBI and 26 doubles. He's also led the Mets to a surprising start that has them in the thick of the early playoff hunt. While Sandoval has played well-rounded baseball, Wright has been flat out dominant and has the numbers to start over almost any player in the league.

    If that's not enough to convince you, answer this: What other player who has missed 30-plus games is starting over an MVP candidate? I'll give you a hint: His name is Kemp, and he's actually earned it.

    Sandoval's 2012 Season Statistics

    45 GP, .307/.366/.482, 51 H, 6 HR, 25 RBI, 11 2B, 15 BB

    Wright's 2012 Season Statistics

    75 GP, .355/.449/.564, 97 H, 9 HR, 50 RBI, 26 2B, 2 3B, 48 BB

Snub: Chris Capuano, Los Angeles Dodgers

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    Position: Starting Pitcher

    Age: 33

    Experience: 16 Years

    Chris Capuano is yet another example of a player whose reputation trumps his production.

    In 16 starts this season, Chris Capuano has gone 9-3 with a 2.69 ERA. He's holding batters to a .219 average while posting an impressive 1.10 WHIP. Nevertheless, Capuano has been left off of the All-Star team.

    The Dodgers' new ace has thrown 11 quality starts, tied with Cy Young candidates Gio Gonzalez, Matt Cain and Clayton Kershaw, Capuano's teammate. Unfortunately, Capuano's inconsistent career has led to an inability to gain recognition.

    Quite a shame, as we may never see him pitch this well again.

    2012 Season Averages

    16 GS, 100.1 IP, 9-3, 89 SO, 2.69 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, .219 BAA