The 2019 MLB All-Star Game will bring 64 of the game’s most talented players to Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio for the annual Midsummer Classic. Although the All-Star game is intended to showcase the top talent in the league, a variety of All-Star worthy players are snubbed each year.
With the use of fan voting, fan bias is bound to lead to inconsistent voting and roster results. During a time of celebration and outrage towards the players who did and did not qualify, let’s take a look at four of the biggest All-Star Game snubs.
After having a breakout season in 2018, Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Max Muncy is carrying last year’s momentum into 2019. He’s currently hitting .279/.380/.544 with 20 home runs and 58 RBI in 83 games. Although Muncy has shifted between playing second, first, and third, he has played the majority of his games at second base. Muncy has the ability to be on the All-Star team for various positions, and there’s no explanation as for why Muncy missed out.
Mike Moustakas has a lower batting average and on-base percentage than Muncy this season, yet is still the third NL All-Star reserve. Muncy will now be watching the Midsummer Classic from home, even though he deserves to be on the field. Still looking for his first All-Star Game bid, Muncy will have to try again next year. However, there’s not much more he can do on the field to prove he deserves a spot.
After signing a massive six-year, $132 million contract extension with the Boston Red Sox this summer, Xander Bogaerts has certainly lived up to the expectations. In 81 games this year, Bogaerts has slashed .299/.392/.540 with 16 homers and 57 RBI. He has the highest on-base percentage and second highest batting average on an offensively stacked Red Sox team, which is headlined with talents like Mookie Betts, JD Martinez and Rafael Devers.
Bogaerts has the second-highest WAR in the American League, only second to the consensus-best player in the game today, Mike Trout. With all this in mind, Bogaerts somehow still fell through the voting cracks and missed the All-Star Game. Although it’s hard to argue that he should be in ahead of All-Star Game starter Jorge Polanco, there’s no doubt that Bogaerts should be a reserve instead of Francisco Lindor. Instead, Bogaerts is snubbed from an honor he more than deserves.
Just one year ago, Luke Voit was bouncing back and forth between AAA and the MLB in the St. Louis Cardinals organization. Now, he’s the starting first baseman for the New York Yankees and has established himself as one of the top talents at his position. Through 78 games, Voit has hit .280/.393/.509 with 17 homers and 50 RBI’s. Although Carlos Santana more than deserves the start at first for the AL All-Star team, there is no explanation as to why Jose Abreu is a reserve over Voit.
While Abreu has a slight edge over Voit in home runs and RBI’s, he trails him in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. Based on these three key statistics, Voit has been a consistently more effective batter than Abreu during the 2019 season. For Voit, it’s a tough blow to come up just short on getting his first-ever All-Star bid. Although he won’t officially be a member of the 2019 MLB All-Star team, there’s no doubt that he’s been an All-Star caliber player this year.
Fernando Tatis Jr.
One of the more intriguing snubs for this year’s All-Star Game, rookie shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. has been a menace since making his MLB debut for the San Diego Padres this season. Through 49 games, Tatis Jr. is slugging .337/.407/.620 with 11 homers and 28 RBI’s. Although his numbers show that he is more than deserving to be an All-Star this year, he missed more than a month with a left hamstring injury.
It’s admittedly no debate that NL shortstop Javier Baez deserves the starting role, but it is hard to see how reserve shortstop Paul DeJong gained a roster spot over Tatis Jr. In 81 games, DeJung has posted a .260 batting average, .345 on-base percentage and .458 slugging percentage with 13 homers and 36 RBI’s. In almost half as many games, Tatis Jr. has posted similar home run and RBI statistics while also being a considerably better fielder than DeJung as well. The only explanation for Tatis Jr. missing the All-Star Game is his injury, but even considering this, it appears that he missed out on a spot he deserved. Luckily for Tatis Jr, it appears that he will be a household name in the league and future MLB All-Star for years to come.