Alex Murphy contributed to this article.
On Sunday, the MLB announced the 2018 All-Star rosters. Like always, the reveal came with plenty of drama and anger from both fans and players around the league. Let’s take a look and see what the fans and the MLB got right and wrong.
C – Willson Contreras (Cubs)
I feel like people think Willson isn’t good because he only has seven homers right now. He has been a consistent hitter and caught more innings than basically everyone in baseball. Also, do you see how humble he is? I love you Willy.
Contreras is more than deserving of an All Star Game selection. He grinded in the minors for over six years to get here, kudos to him.
1B – Freddie Freeman (Braves)
I wouldn’t have been angry if Joey Votto got it, but Freeman deserves it due to the sole fact that he still rakes while wearing long sleeves in 100 degree weather.
More than deserving, Freeman is one of the favorites to win the NL MVP this year, having helped guide the surprising Braves to the top of the NL East.
2B – Javy Baez (Cubs)
Ryan: No 😦
I am so happy that Javy is starting because he has had such a strong season, figured things out, and is the most electric guy in baseball. However, Scooter Gennett deserves to start.
Alex: Yes and No
Javy is having a breakout year for the Cubbies. He’s bound to set career highs in most offensive categories and his defense is second-to-none in the league. However, Scooter Gennett was as deserving, maybe even more deserving. You could go either way and still be satisfied.
SS – Brandon Crawford (Giants)
I get Trea Turner is statistically the best shortstop in the NL and all that, but Crawford has finally shown life on offense and is a big reason the Giants are still afloat. That makes him deserving in my eyes. Plus, that hair is sooooo wavy.
Crawford, not known for his bat, is having a great offensive season, batting .300 with 10 home runs and 92 hits. Plus, it’s hard to find a better defensive shortstop in the MLB.
3B – Nolan Arenado (Rockies)
I saw Bleacher Report write an article the other day saying Arenado may be a trade deadline piece and I literally cried of laughter because that is insane and whatever contender possibly gets him automatically wins the World Series in my eyes.
Alex: Damn thin air in Colorado and humidors. No respect. smh.
If he wasn’t playing in Colorado, Arenado would get significantly more MVP consideration, but he’s on pace to win the NL home run crown again and bag his sixth Gold Glove Award. Arenado might be the most complete player in the NL right now.
OF – Bryce Harper (Nationals)
I don’t think Harper deserves to start based on stats, but I respect it for a few reasons.
- He basically got himself voted in by saying he’d do the HR Derby only if he started, such a baller move.
- It’s in his team’s city so it’s okay.
- I have to say only nice things about someone who could potentially be a Cub next year (his dog’s name is Wrigley).
Alex: Worse than Blake Snell not making the AL squad. Home cooking at its lowest point.
He’s batting .218 and has an overall WAR of 0.2 with a defensive WAR of -1.6. I question whether he would’ve made the team if the game wasn’t at Nationals Park this year. Harper knew he wasn’t good enough to get in, so he pleaded to Nats fans to vote him in as a starter so he would participate in the Home Run Derby. Also, THE GOLDEN KNIGHTS BLEW A 1-0 LEAD!
OF – Matt Kemp (Dodgers)
It’s 2018 and this makes no sense.
A player that a few years ago was considered washed up and in the decline of his career, Kemp has proved skeptics wrong, slimming down and bulking up in his second stint with the Dodgers. Along with playing an above average left field, Kemp is batting .317 with 15 home runs, 57 RBI and .549 slugging.
OF – Nick Markakis
Same as Kemp. Also, it’s pretty cool to see one of the more consistent players in baseball finally get an All-Star nod when some people thought he may be better off retiring.
Alex: Good Choice: Finally. Never doubt a man who almost broke your finger with a baseball.
It’s taken Nick 13 years to finally get recognized at the Midsummer Classic, and he more than deserves it, leading NL outfielders in fan voting. Markakis leads the league with 113 hits, and he’s batting .322 with 10 home runs and 59 RBI. He’s been a spark-plug for the Braves, and without him, they wouldn’t nearly be as good.
C – Wilson Ramos (Rays)
The Blake Snell news plus Ramos not making it would have made the Alex and the 12 other Rays’ fans on Twitter super angry.
Alex: Rays Up, but Blake Snell should not only be on the roster, he should be the starting pitcher for the AL.
Ramos is a deserving candidate, having a great bounce-back season after tearing his ACL two years ago. If Gary Sanchez wasn’t on the DL or currently batting below .200, Ramos wouldn’t be starting, but his .289 average with 12 home runs, 47 RBI and 124 OPS+ say otherwise. A Rays player is voted in as a starter for the second straight year.
1B – Jose Abreu (White Sox)
The White Sox really needed this considering they have an average home attendance of about 100 this year. He’s been sneaky good and a treat to watch for those four fans at the game.
Alex: I guess
I don’t really follow the White Sox close, and I don’t think many do, including White Sox fans, but you can count on Abreu for batting close to .300 with 30 home runs and 100 RBI a season, so it’s no surprise he was picked here in a weak race in the AL.
2B – Jose Altuve (Astros)
Jose Altuve is so good I just assumed he was batting over .300 this year and I was right. As long as he’s breathing he deserves to start. Also we’ve got two Jose’s with about a six-foot height difference right next to each other, awesome.
Alex: No doubt
The overall leading vote getter this year, Altuve has become of the stars of baseball despite standing at a modest 5’6”. You don’t need to be tall to rake or field well, you just need to be Jose Altuve.
SS – Manny Machado (Orioles)
He’s been an MVP candidate and some team is going to get so lucky at the trade deadline. I’m happy the Orioles get one last moment of watching their best player ball out while not helping the team win.
Alex: Yes, but you won’t be seeing him in an Orioles uniform for long.
The Orioles are literally the worst baseball team I’ve ever seen play, but Manny is a stud muffin and got off to the best offensive start of his career while playing great defensively at shortstop, though I still don’t understand why he moved from third base, where he won Gold Gloves.
3B – Jose Ramirez (Indians)
I have always loved Ramirez since Noah brainwashed me into respecting all things Cleveland. This adorable, chubby cheeked third baseman may be the most underrated player in baseball. Bonus: ANOTHER JOSE.
The most underrated left side of the infield in the MLB, Ramirez and Francisco Lindor are killing it right now and Ramirez, in particular, has continued his tear since last year. He has come into his own after finishing in the top-5 for AL MVP last year and I expect him to continue that way.
OF – Mookie Betts (Red Sox)
The AL pretty much nailed their lineup in my opinion. Please mic Mookie Betts up again mid-game so we can get another one of these gems.
Alex: Yes, if he can get to this one, boys.
Just an absolute tank in the outfield of the Red Sox, home to the Killer B’s. Betts is the best of the three and currently leads the MLB in OPS right now above Mike Trout, so when you’re better than the best, you deserve an All-Star selection.
OF – Mike Trout (Angels)
Just kidding :).
Alex: If it wasn’t, there would be major problems in this league, like how Blake Snell wasn’t voted in.
Best player in baseball, on pace to be one of the greatest of all-time, and he still manages to get off to the best start of his career. Mike Trout, you are a god who no one knows because you play on the west coast. Damn time difference.
OF – Aaron Judge (Yankees)
Ryan: No comment
Whatever Aaron, you win this round.
Alex: You can’t say no to a judge.
All rise. He’s doing the same stuff he did last year, hit home runs, draw walks and drive in runs. He’s a no-brainer.
Biggest snub not named Blake Snell
Ryan: Albert Almora Jr.
Whatever I’m a homer blah blah. Almora is toward the top of the NL in batting and didn’t even get his name on the ballot. He doesn’t play enough, you say? If he can qualify for a batting title he can qualify for the All-Star game.
Alex: Blake Snell
Read my article. I’m going to not include him even though I’m breaking the rule. The MLB broke my heart and brain. I deserve to get even.
Who should win the Final Vote
Ryan: Anyone but Giancarlo Stanton.
Please please please please.
Alex: Blake Snell
Ryan: Jesus Aguilar
Max Muncy is probably also deserving, but Aguilar is having an incredible season and it’s kind of a slap in the face that he’s even in this position.
Alex: Jesus Aguilar
An absolute tank at first base for the Brewers, Aguilar has been raking this year. He’s currently leading the NL in home runs, 22, with 63 RBI, .633 slugging and a 1.001 OPS right now. Beast mode activated.