2011 MLB All-Star Voting: 5 Worst Selections in 2011 Midsummer Classic
Earlier today, the 2011 MLB All-Stars were announced. In some cases, players were selected to their first Midsummer Classic squad. In others, veterans added yet another appearance to their resumes.
To name a few examples, New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez made his 14th All-Star game, while up-and-comers like Asdrubal Cabrera made the list for the first time.
Yet, some of the All-Star selections were, for lack of a better word, head-scratchers. Some players made the team despite not being among the best at their position.
The most notable case appears to be that of Derek Jeter, who was named an All-Star starter despite having a very subpar season.
Here are five players who were named to this year's All-Star teams, but probably shouldn't have made them.
No. 5: Matt Wieters, Baltimore Orioles
In the minor leagues, Matt Wieters was simply a stud. In just one season and change, he hit .343 with 32 home runs and 121 RBI. On the major league level, Wieters has not lived up to the hype.
This is his third season in the majors and in 297 career games, Wieters is batting just .265 with 27 homers and 131 RBI. Still, he has thrown out base stealers with great consistency, gunning down 45 percent of his targets this season. That stat probably punched his ticket to the All-Star Game.
Yet, on offense alone, I don't think Wieters deserved this selection. Call me a hater, but I'd much rather take a slumping Joe Mauer over Wieters. He is impatient at the plate and has done nothing but underachieve since reaching the majors.
Considering how Wieters is 6'5" and a switch-hitting catcher, his career marks of a .265 average and .325 OBP are unacceptable. Is he a solid player? Yes.
Is he an All-Star? Not by a long shot.
No. 4: Russell Martin, New York Yankees
The New York Yankees brought Russell Martin to the team on a one-year deal worth up to $5.4 million. He got off to a hot start for the team, batting .292 with six home runs and 19 RBI in the month of April.
Since then, however, Martin has been on a steep decline. In May and June, he hit just .192 with four homers and 15 RBI.
Despite his offensive struggles, Martin has played solid defense behind the plate and has thrown out about 27 percent of base stealers.
Don't get me wrong. I'm a big Russell Martin fan, but he's only hitting .224 with 10 home runs and 34 RBI. Thus, as good as the defense is, he shouldn't be an All-Star.
No. 3: Chipper Jones, Atlanta Braves
Chipper Jones is the prime case of a former All-Star whose career is on the decline, but he still gets voted onto the squad because of his name. Anywhere you go, baseball fans have heard of Chipper Jones. Yet, Jones is now 39 years old and his numbers have declined to the point where he shouldn't be an All-Star.
This season, Jones is batting .256 with seven home runs and 44 RBI. Keep in mind, this is a man who used to consistently hit over .300 and hit upwards of 30 home runs.
It's astounding that Jones has made the All-Star Team for the seventh time. It can be argued that Aramis Ramirez of the Chicago Cubs and Ryan Roberts of the Arizona Diamondbacks are having far superior seasons.
Chipper Jones is basically done, and voting him to the All-Star Team is just patronizing and not doing him any favors.
No. 2: C.J. Wilson, Texas Rangers
C.J. Wilson's All-Star berth is quite possibly the worst case of nepotism I have ever witnessed in my life. He is an average pitcher having a fairly average year, and the only reason he's on the team is because his manager, Ron Washington, is in charge of the AL squad this year.
This season, Wilson is 8-3 with a 3.14 ERA, but his stuff isn't exactly overwhelming. On top of that, he plays on a team that scores a lot of runs, so he gets more than enough support.
If there's anyone who should take Wilson's spot, it's CC Sabathia of the New York Yankees. He is en route to having another career year, while Wilson is only expected to top out at 15 wins.
On top of that, Wilson has only one full season as a starter under his belt. As good as he has been, I'm a man who believes in paying dues. If he can have one more good season, maybe two, then he can receive the honor of being an All-Star.
No. 1: Derek Jeter, New York Yankees
Derek Jeter is a future Hall-of-Famer. He is six hits away from reaching 3,000 for his career, and he is the all-time leader in postseason hits and runs scored. Yet, from last season up until now, age seems to have caught up with the 37-year-old shortstop, who was just named an All-Star starter.
This season, Jeter is batting just .260 with two home runs and 20 RBI. That's way too low for someone who is a .312 career hitter.
Not only should Jeter not be an All-Star starter, but he shouldn't be on the team at all. The AL starter should be Asdrubal Cabrera of the Cleveland Indians, who is batting .291 with 14 home runs and 49 RBI.
Yet, much like Chipper Jones, Derek Jeter's name will always keep him in All-Star lineups, probably until the end of his career.