The 2022 MLB All-Star Game rosters have been announced! Like always, the position player starters were voted in by fans, while the league and player voting picked reserves and pitchers. And like always, they created plenty of conversations on social media. There was no shortage of players snubbed by the fans and the league. Injuries could lead to some of them joining shortly, but for now, they are not all-stars. Here are three snubs, along with the players that were a tad undeserving. There are some rules for the latter:
- Albert Pujols and Miguel Cabrera made it as special selections, so they are ineligible.
- No players can be taken off if they are their team’s lone representative, as all teams must have at least one player. This could be excused if a teammate is replacing them.
- Starters voted in by the fans cannot be included, since fans being careless and shallow is a known entity at this point.
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Snub: Ty France, Seattle Mariners
The only Mariner traveling to Dodger Stadium during the break will be Julio Rodriguez, the lone rookie in the game. While Rodriguez has been fantastic this year, the best hitter in Seattle has been France. The first baseman currently has a .310 batting average with a .384 OBP, not to mention 10 home runs and a team-high 45 RBIs. France also has an OPS of .851 and a remarkable 150 wRC+. Among qualified American League hitters, France is eighth in wRC+. His positional value does lower his WAR a bit, but he still has a 2.1 fWAR and a 2.8 bWAR.
Who He Should Replace: George Springer, Toronto Blue Jays
The positions are not 1:1, but France was much more distinguished than Springer. Jays fans launched a huge voting campaign for their stars this summer. It worked for Alejandro Kirk and Vladimir Guerrero Jr., while Springer lost as a finalist before making it as a reserve. Springer has more home runs and stolen bases than France, but he has a .807 OPS and just a 124 wRC+. Even while playing a more important position than France, both Springer’s bWAR and fWAR are lower.
Snub: Dylan Cease, Chicago White Sox, and Kevin Gausman, Toronto Blue Jays
Pick your poison here. Toronto starter Alek Manoah made the team, maybe at the expense of Gausman, whose 3.7 fWAR leads AL starting pitchers. His 1.67 FIP leads the league, with a 2.86 ERA and 100 strikeouts in 88 innings. He’s allowed just two home runs. Cease has 133 strikeouts on the season, which is third in all of baseball. His 13.0 K/9 is first. The fourth-year White Sox stud has a 2.45 ERA with a 161 ERA+ and a 2.81 FIP. Both pitchers are incredibly deserving.
Who They Should Replace: Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees
Only one of Cease and Gausman could make it under these revised circumstances, with Cole exiting. The Yankees had six all-stars this year, which was the most. The Yankees’ ace has name value on his side, an insurmountable hill to climb for the lesser-known Cease and Gausman. Cole has a 3.26 ERA with 124 strikeouts. However, he has allowed 16 home runs already with a 3.60 FIP. His ERA+ is only 115, hardly all-star worthy. That is not to say that Cole is not good, but given the amount of Yankees already in, his inclusion feels forced.
Snub: Brandon Drury, Cincinnati Reds
The lowly Reds will only be represented by Luis Castillo, their ace who also could be traded by the game. Another potential trade chip is Drury, a third baseman who re-tooled his stance and swing since coming to Cincinnati as a free agent in the offseason. The results have been incredible. Drury has hit 18 home runs with 50 RBIs and an OPS of .878. His .542 slugging is sixth in the National League. Part of the charm of the all-star game is seeing guys that no one ever thought would be all-stars, especially those who might not make it again. Drury deserved to get it.
Who He Should Replace: Jeff McNeil, New York Mets
This is a bit unfair to McNeil, who does have a higher WAR than Drury. Still, you could use arguments for Drury or Tommy Edman against McNeil, who similarly plays a lot of positions with a high WAR. McNeil does have a .376 OBP, which trumps Drury’s .335. However, his offensive production is overall lacking. He has just four home runs and 35 RBIs, two big points for all-star decision-makers. McNeil’s OPS is .819, with a slugging exactly 100 points lower than Drury.
The Mets have four all-stars, including Pete Alonso, Edwin Diaz, and Starling Marte. Marte could also be mentioned here, but McNeil is a better positional fit compared to Drury. Plus, swapping Drury for McNeil could allow Castillo to be swapped for Met Taijuan Walker (although San Francisco’s Carlos Rodon may object). It would be a win-win for both fan bases.
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There are always snubs. There’s simply not enough room for all deserving players. Part of balancing an all-star squad requires having the right number of players at this or that position with the right kinds of skill sets. McNeil is good fit with high BP, high OBP, low K’s, game smart, and a guy who gets the job done defensively. He also has proven power when he opts to swing for the fences which is what he did in second half of 2019 with 23 homers that season. He’s returned to choosing hits and on base over home runs.