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Giancarlo Stanton Joins The 50 HR Club

In the 8th inning of last night’s San Diego Padres at Miami Marlins game, Giancarlo Stanton broke a 2-2 tie with a laser beam home run. The Marlins won the game 6-2, with Stanton’s blast being the deciding factor. This was a special home run for Stanton, more than just helping the Marlins win their game. This was his 50th home run of the season, and we are not yet into September.

MLB’s 50 Home Run Club

With his 50th home run of the season, Giancarlo Stanton has joined an elite club. In MLB history, there have only been 44 individual seasons of 50 or more home runs hit. These 44 seasons have been produced by 28 different players, with only nine players (Alex Rodriguez, Babe Ruth, Jimmie Foxx, Ken Griffey Jr., Mark McGwire, Mickey Mantle, Ralph Kiner, Sammy Sosa, Willie Mays) having accomplished the feat multiple times. Babe Ruth, Mark McGwire, and Sammy Sosa are all tied for the lead with four seasons each of 50 or more home runs.

Yesterday’s game for Stanton was his 127th of the season, putting him as having played the fewest games of any other player in the 50 home run club. The next lowest is Mark McGwire in 1996, having hit 52 home runs in just 130 games. As it stands today, the Marlins have 33 games remaining. Stanton has, so far, played 127 of their 129 games. While the Marlins do not have a realistic shot at the playoffs, it is likely that Stanton will play nearly every remaining game, though not all, with a realistic shot at 60-plus home runs.

Recently, I wrote about Stanton becoming the Marlins all-time home run leader and the pace he would have to keep up to reach 60 home runs. At the time, he had 43 home runs for a pace of 60 for the season. Since then, he’s hit 7 home runs in just 12 games and sits on a pace of 63, which would tie him for sixth all-time with Sammy Sosa’s 1999 season.

Stanton’s Ridiculous Hot Streak

Not only has Stanton been blasting home run after home run, but he has been hitting incredibly well in general. Going from 7/5 to 8/27, he has hit .353/.461/.935 with 12 2B, 29 HR, and an astounding 244 wRC+ in 204 plate appearances. With the 29 home runs hit, that is an absolutely absurd pace of 1 HR every 7 plate appearances. Even better than that, in the 46 games played in that time span, Stanton has homered in 23 of them.

Thanks to this recent amazing play, if you consider nearly 1/3 of the season recent, Stanton has become one of the best players in the MLB. He now sits at 5.7 fWAR, just behind Jose Altuve, Aaron Judge, and Anthony Rendon.

Overall, Stanton is hitting .296/.389/.670 with a 167 wRC+. As it stands, his .670 slugging percentage is the best in the MLB since Albert Pujols slugged .671 more than a decade ago in 2006. His 167 wRC+ leads the MLB just three points ahead of Jose Altuve and Joey Votto, with Harper and Judge just a bit back of them. Perhaps best of all, Stanton currently has a 13 home run lead over the next closest player Aaron Judge.

Best Hitter of the First Half Vs. The Best Hitter of the Second Half

Speaking of Aaron Judge, we all remember how excellent he was in the first half of the season and how many home runs he had hit. For a quick comparison, below are each player’s numbers before and after 7/5 when Stanton’s hottest streak began:

Start of season – 7/4:

Judge – .329/.447/.689 197 wRC+ 28 HR in 347 PA

Stanton – .265/.347/.523 123 wRC+ 21 HR in 346 PA

7/5 – Today:

Judge – .194/.353/.388 96 wRC+ 9 HR in 201 PA

Stanton – .353/.461/.935 244 wRC+ 29 HR in 204 PA

As electric as Judge was in the second half, Stanton is absolutely blowing those numbers away in about 140 fewer plate appearances.

Looking even closer at the second half numbers for Stanton, he has hit .338/.448/.881 with a 228 wRC+, giving him the 4th best second half wRC+ going back to the 2002 season (as far as back as the Fangraphs Splits Leaderboards go). In fact, the only name above him on that list is the all-time home run leader Barry Bonds, appearing in 2002, 2003, and 2004 at 256, 241, and 234 wRC+ respectively. There are only 13 second half seasons of 200 or better wRC+, making what Stanton is doing historically significant.

Single Season Home Run Record

When talking about the all-time home run leader, we are also talking about the single season home run leader in Barry Bonds. While Bonds only hit 50-plus home runs the one time, he made sure it counted by crushing 73 bombs in 2001. He actually did this in only 153 games played, which seems even crazier looking at it now.

To think about just how impossible it seems to hit that many home runs, Stanton would need to hit 23 home runs in the final 33 games of the season just to tie the single season record, let alone hit 24 and break it. By hitting 24 home runs from this point on, that would give him 53 home runs hit in his final 79 games played of the season.

With how blazing hot he has been, I can’t say he won’t be able to do it, but shooting for 60 or more seems far more practical. If Stanton does hit 60 or more home runs, he will be the first player outside of the Steroid Era (I.E. Bonds, McGwire, Sosa) to have done it since Roger Maris’ 61 in 1961. The achievement of this would not be anywhere near the spectacle of the 1998 home run race, but it would still mean a lot to a large portion of MLB fans, and Stanton just may give it to us.

Baseball’s Second Best Position Player: Jose Altuve

So far the 2017 MLB season has been one of the more fun ones in recent memory. Despite some of the game’s brightest starts missing big stretches of time like Mike Trout, Freddie Freeman, and Josh Donaldson, these and other superstars have been putting on quite the show this season.

After overcoming a mediocre final five months in 2016, Bryce Harper has regained his 2015 MVP form hitting .336/.441/.634.

Two previously overlooked 3B, Jose Ramirez and Justin Turner, have inserted themselves into their respective MVP races hitting .322/.377/.569 and .369/.463/.569.

Paul Goldschmidt and Joey Votto are having some of their best seasons ever hitting .308/.427/.561 and .298/.419/.582.

Corey Seager and Mookie Betts have not backed down from their top three MVP finishes from a year ago, both using good offense and great defense to be top 10 in fWAR.

Rookie sensations Aaron Judge and Cody Bellinger are breaking franchise rookie records and aiming for more than just Rookie of the Year awards.

Teammates Carlos Correa and George Springer are a huge part of the driving force for the Astros, 8th and 9th in fWAR this season, turning themselves into MVP candidates.

However, the player that seems to be getting far less recognition than he deserves is the teammate of Correa and Springer. This is the man who just took over the MLB lead in fWAR from Aaron Judge last night, 2B Jose Altuve.

Jose Altuve’s 2017

Jose Altuve is a hitting machine. As seen above, from The Ace Of Spaeder Twitter account (a must follow for Baseball fans), Altuve has been hitting out of his mind! Going back his last 59 games, Altuve is hitting .412/.474/.655 with 10 HR, 24 2B, and 12 SB. Going back his last 21 games, he is hitting an absurd .511/.554/.744 with 4 HR, 9 2B, and 9 SB.

Altuve’s overall season has him hitting .365/.431/.574 with 15 HR, 30 2B, 21 SB, a 172 wRC+ and 5.5 fWAR. The chart below shows his rank in several statistical categories:

Stat Rank
BA 0.365 2nd
OBP 0.431 4th
SLG 0.574 13th
2B 30 T/2nd
SB 21 6th
wRC+ 172 T/3rd
H 138 1st
fWAR 5.5 1st

So meanwhile Aaron Judge has been leading in fWAR since Trout went down and getting most of the headlines, Jose Altuve has been biding his time and quietly putting up a monster season of his own.

Nothing New For Altuve

As excellent as Altuve has been in 2017, this isn’t exactly a first for him. Going back to 2014, Altuve hit .341/.377/.453 with 56 SB and a 5.1 fWAR. He followed that up by hitting .313/.353/.459 with 38 SB and 4.5 fWAR in 2015. Last season he upped his power game hitting .338/.396/.531 with another 30 SB. But even better he put up a career high 24 HR and career high 6.7 fWAR.

In fact, going from 2014-present, Altuve isn’t just a superstar, he is a 5’6” juggernaut. In that time, Mike Trout leads baseball in fWAR at 30.1, with Josh Donaldson a good amount behind in second place at 24.2 fWAR. But who follows these two? Is it Bryce Harper? Buster Posey? Paul Goldschmidt? Manny Machado?

No, it is Jose Altuve at 21.8 fWAR.

Stat Rank
fWAR 21.8 3rd
BA 0.336 1st
OBP 0.385 7th
SLG 0.496 27th
SB 145 3rd
2B 159 1st
H 779 1st

Once again we see Altuve near or at the very top of some significant statistical categories here. Not only does he lead in BA, 2B, and H, he leads in BA and H by an insane margin. The next closest BA in that time frame is Michael Brantley more than .020 points away at .314. It gets even more comical by hits, with Charlie Blackmon in second place more than 100 hits behind at 668! Altuve is an absolute hitting machine.

American League Most Valuable Player Award

In his career to this point, Jose Altuve has placed 13th in voting in 2014, 10th in voting in 2015, and then all the way up to 3rd in voting in 2016. In 2017, with his biggest obstacles Mike Trout and Josh Donaldson both having missed about 40 or so games, this could be Altuve’s year to shine.

Of course, even with Trout and Donaldson essentially out of the picture, the path is nowhere near clear to the MVP. Altuve still has to contend with the most popular story of 2017, the real life behemoth in Aaron Judge. After all, it was just yesterday that Altuve was able to overtake Judge with a bit of a slump post All-Star break to help him. The next closest AL players in fWAR to these two are Mookie Betts at 4.5, then Correa and Springer at 4.0. Even then Jose Ramirez is lurking just behind them with 3.8 fWAR.

Going forward, here are the rest of season projections by Steamer for these players:

Altuve – .317/.374/.488 7 HR 15 2B 10 SB 132 wRC+ and 1.8 fWAR

Judge – .260/.359/.505 13 HR 8 2B 127 WRC+ and 1.5 fWAR

Betts – .306/.371/.524 10 HR 15 2B 9 SB 133 wRC+ and 2.3 fWAR

Correa – Currently injured, Steamer only projects 8 more games, taking him out of the race.

Springer – .274/.367/.508 13 HR 11 2B 136 wRC+ and 1.9 fWAR

Ramirez – .296/.356/.470 7 HR 15 2B 7 SB 118 wRC+ and 1.7 fWAR

If Altuve can pull off these rest of season projections, he will be in a great position to take home the 2017 AL MVP. If he does indeed play that well, his overall stats would put him at .347/.410/.541 22 HR 45 2B 31 SB 157 wRC+ and 7.4 fWAR.

Baseball’s Second Best Position Player

As we have seen this season, there are plenty of excellent position players in the MLB. Mike Trout is not only the best position player in baseball by a wide margin, but the best player overall. Much like Clayton Kershaw when it comes to pitchers, Trout is the one that players aim to one day overtake.

But when it comes to the spot after Trout, there is a lot of very good competition from players like Harper, Donaldson, Bryant, Goldschmidt, Machado, Betts, and more players coming for the title each new year. However, I believe at this point, you can say with total confidence that the only player better than Jose Altuve is Mike Trout.

Aaron Judge Ties Yankees Rookie HR Record

In tonight’s 7-6 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees rookie phenom Aaron Judge hit his 29th home run of the season. Judge has been blasting home runs all season, but this one is special. With his 29th home run of the season hit tonight, it ties Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio for the Yankee rookie home run record.

When DiMaggio hit his 29 home runs in 1936, he did so in 138 games played. Judge has played just 81 games to reach 29 home runs.

Judge Setting His Sights On Yankee Legends

With the 57 home run pace Aaron Judge is on, he is on pace to challenge some other historic Yankees such as Mantle, Rodriguez, Ruth, and Maris.

With the torrid pace Aaron Judge is on, it seems possible he could challenge some historic Yankees by the end of this season. At his current pace, Judge would hit 57 home runs in 158 games played. Only four Yankees have ever hit 50-plus home runs, with Alex Rodriguez (54) once, Mickey Mantle (52 and 54) twice, Babe Ruth (54, 54, 59, and 60) a whopping four times, then Roger Maris (61) once at the top with his magical 1961 season.

Taking a look at Judge’s overall offense in 2017, he sits at 15th in Yankee history in wRC+ at 196. The only three names he is looking up at here are three of the very best to ever play the game: Mantle, Gehrig, and Ruth. The only other players in their top 50 and since 1980 are Alex Rodriguez and Jason Giambi, both appearing on the list twice.

Lastly by looking at fWAR, Judge is currently sitting at 5.5 through his 81 games to this point. If he were to keep up that pace, he would end up around 10.5 fWAR for the full season. All-time, the Yankees have had 14 seasons from position players with 10 or higher fWAR. In no surprise to anyone, we see the same legends on this list with two from Gehrig, three from Mantle, and an unbelievable NINE from Ruth.

All-Star Game and Home Run Derby

We are around a week from the All-Star game, and Aaron Judge is by far the best position player in the MLB this season. Currently, he is sitting nearly a win and a half higher than the next closet player in fWAR, over the perennially underrated Paul Goldschmidt. Baseball fans, writers, and players alike are all buzzing about seeing Judge not only in the All-Star game, but seeing him participate in the Home Run Derby.

As far as the Home Run Derby goes, we will see a stacked power lineup:

Despite many interesting power hitters in the derby, including another rookie phenom in Cody Bellinger, most people are salivating at the prospect of Aaron Judge vs defending 2016 Home Run Derby champion Giancarlo Stanton.

Aaron Judge Going Forward

2017 has been superb for Judge to this point. We are now more than halfway through the season, and he has not slowed down a single bit. People are clamoring to do things as simple as essentially taking batting practice, as with the Home Run Derby. Tonight he has tied Joe DiMaggio for the Yankees rookie home run record, but we could see season records fall by the end of this season that don’t have the qualifier of “rookie” in them.

Judge has been great for everyone in or surrounding the sport of baseball, outside of opposing pitchers, that is. If we could see him hanging around with all-time Yankee greats in the record books by the end of 2017, we all will have been treated to something incredibly special.

AL All-Star Selections: Are They Deserving?

On Sunday, July 2nd, the MLB revealed the end results of the 2017 All-Star Game fan voting, as well as player and manager selections. A quick look at both the AL and NL rosters looks as though the fans voted in most of the players deserving to start in the game, minus a couple of spots. Of course, there were some very good players left off of the rosters and not even considered for the final vote.

What I would like to do is take a look at both the AL and NL All-Star rosters to see how they could have been improved. I will start with the American League.

AL All-Star Game Starters

Catcher Fan Vote Winner:

Salvador Perez – 74 G, 293 PA, 16 HR, .290/.318/.525 117 wRC+, 1.7 fWAR

Catcher Better Choice:

Alex Avila  – 58 G, 204 PA, 11 HR, .310/.431/.571 167 wRC+, 2.4 fWAR

Perez has the advantage in games played, home runs hit, and overall defensive value, but is back a whopping 50 points in wRC+ and more than half a win in overall value. Avila did not make the team as a reserve nor is on the final fan vote.

First Base Fan Vote Winner:

Justin Smoak – 80 G, 303 PA, 22 HR, .303/.370/.594, 151 wRC+,  2.1 fWAR

First Base Better Choice:

Logan Morrison – 80 G, 325 PA, 24 HR, .256/.366/.579, 146 wRC+,  2.8 fWAR

Justin Smoak is having an admittedly fantastic season. This has been by far the best of his career. But to see Logan Morrison, a man with a 0.7 leading AL 1B in fWAR not only not starting, not as a reserve, but as one of the Final Vote players? It doesn’t seem quite right. In all reality, the gap is not that huge, and both players are hitting equally well (151 wRC+ for Smoak to 146 for Morrison). I do not have Morrison here because he is much better than Smoak, but merely because they are both deserving of making the team.

Second Base Fan Vote Winner:

Jose Altuve – 81 G, 353 PA, 11 HR, .326/.398/.519, 147 wRC+, 3.5 fWAR

Second Base Better Choice:

None. Altuve is clearly the best 2B in the AL by a country mile. He holds the fWAR lead over the next closest 2B, Robinson Cano and Jed Lowrie, by a full win and a half at 3.5 to 2.0.

Third Base Fan Vote Winner:

Jose Ramirez – 80 G, 335 PA, 15 HR, .325/.379/.584, 151 wRC+, 3.4 fWAR

Third Base Better Choice:

None. Just like Altuve at 2B, Ramirez is dominating the hot corner in the AL. Ramirez has a full win lead over All-Star reserve Miguel Sano, and almost two wins over Final Vote candidate Mike Moustakas.

Shortstop Fan Vote Winner:

Carlos Correa – 76 G, 340 PA, 17 HR, .319/.394/.554, 153 wRC+, 3.5 fWAR

Shortstop Better Choice:

None. Although All-Star reserve Xander Bogaerts is having a very good season, Correa is better in every way this season outside of a slight edge to Bogaerts in fielding. Andrelton Simmons and Didi Gregorius have been arguably the best fielding shortstops in the AL, but don’t have the offensive numbers to compete with Correa.

Outfield Fan Vote Winners:

Aaron Judge – 78 G, 339 PA, 27 HR, .327/.448/.687, 196 wRC+, 5.1 fWAR

Mike Trout – 47 G, 206 PA, 16 HR, .337/.461/.742, 208 wRC+, 3.3 fWAR

George Springer – 77 G, 349 PA, 24 HR, .287/.363/.577, 150 wRC+, 3.3 fWAR

Better Outfield Choices:

If Mike Trout were healthy and could play the All-Star Game in Miami, then I would say the fans nailed the AL outfield. Even with Trout’s injury, the next starter I would have up on the roster would be Mookie Betts, who is already an All-Star reserve.

Designated Hitter Fan Vote:

Corey Dickerson – 79 G, 17 HR, .321/.363/.562, 146 wRC+, 2.8 fWAR

Better Designated Hitter Choice:

None. Once again the fans made a great choice here, with Dickerson as the standout DH in the AL this season.

AL All-Star Game Position Player Reserves

Up next we have the All-Star game reserve players. These are players chosen by either the player vote or the manager vote.

Mookie Betts – 79 G, 365 PA, 15 HR, .286/.364/.509, 125 wRC+, 3.4 fWAR

  • As mentioned above, Betts should be the one to take Trout’s outfield spot. This is a well deserved pick.

Michael Brantley – 60 G, 252 PA, 5 HR, .303/.365/.434, 114 wRC+, 1.0 fWAR

  • It is a big wonder why Brantley is on the All-Star team rather than some others. So many others could be in this spot instead without as much question as to why, such as Lorenzo Cain, Brett Gardner, Jackie Bradley Jr., Steven Souza Jr., J.D. Martinez, or even his own teammate Lonnie Chisenhall.

Avisail Garcia – 75 G, 309 PA, 11 HR, .318/.362/.512, 131 wRC+, 21 fWAR

  • Garcia has been one of the lone bright spots for the Chicago White Sox. Although he’s the lone White Sock representative, which is required, he’s earned the spot as one of the AL’s top OF.

Gary Sanchez – 51 G, 13 HR, .289/.378/.526, 142 wRC+, 1.9 fWAR

  • Sanchez, much like Alex Avila, may be hurt from having missed playing time compared to Salvador Perez. However both have been more valuable in fewer games played, and Sanchez definitely deserves the roster spot.

Yonder Alonzo – 72 G, 268 PA, 17 HR, .280/.377/.566, 148 wRC+, 2.0 fWAR

  • In a year filled with former big time prospects finally fulfilling their potential years after their debuts (Smoak, Morrsion, Hicks), Alonzo is among the league’s better hitters. There is an argument to be made to put him up in the conversation to start with Morrison and Smoak, it just shows that all three men are worthy of a spot.

Jonathan Schoop – 79 G, 322 PA, 16 HR, .293/.348/.538, 130 wRC+, 1.9 fWAR

  • Schoop is having a wonderful year at 2B for the Baltimore Orioles, putting up the offensive numbers of an All-Star caliber player. Couple that with the fact that the Orioles don’t have much else in the way of All-Star level performance this year, and Schoop is a lock.

Starlin Castro – 73 G, 313 PA, 12 HR, .313/.348/.486, 121 wRC+, 1.7 fWAR

  • Castro is one of five Yankees to make the All-Star team, six if Gregorius wins the Final Vote. I see no problem with this due to the lack of production at 2B this season compared to last. Robinson Cano could be here in his place, but they are pretty even at this point.

Francisco Lindor – 79 G, 357 PA, 14 HR, .248/.309/.457, 98 wRC+, 1.8 fWAR

  • Although Lindor is having a very nice season overall, his offense has taken a large step backwards. He may have sold out for power this season, sitting only one HR back of his career high of 15 last season, with a plummeting batting average more than .050 points below his 2015 total and his OBP nearly .040 points below. His defense is a huge reason why he made the team, but if you wanted a great fielding SS who has hit better this year you could go with Andrelton Simmons.

Miguel Sano – 75 G, 315 PA, 20 HR, .272/.371/.548, 139 wRC+, 2.4 fWAR

  • Sano is easily the second best 3B in the AL, and there is no way he wouldn’t deserve this spot. Easy choice.

Nelson Cruz – 78 G, 319 PA, 14 HR, .287/.370/.502, 134 wRC+, 1.3 fWAR

  • Cruz is likely the second best DH in the league, though very far behind Corey Dickerson so far. He is also the only Mariner to make the All-Star team. If Robinson Cano was not to make the team, it makes Cruz necessary to the team to give the Mariners their required player on the team. Although Cruz isn’t putting up the monster power numbers of the last few seasons, he’s still all-star worthy in his own right.

AL All-Star Pitchers

Chris Sale – 11-3, 120.2 IP, 2.61 ERA, 2.01 FIP, 5.1 fWAR

  • Sale is the best pitcher in the MLB in 2017, and should rightfully be starting in Miami.

Ervin Santana – 10-5, 111.1 IP, 3.07 ERA, 4.71 FIP, 1.1 fWAR

  • Santana has the widest gap in the AL between ERA and FIP, which is a Grand Canyon-wide -1.64 difference. However this is the All-Star game we are talking about, and he does have a 10-5 record and low 3.00 ERA. Still, with Sano on the roster, the AL could get rid of Santana and add someone much more deserving such as Chris Archer, who is oddly absent from this team.

Jason Vargas – 12-3, 101.1 IP, 2.22 ERA, 3.48 FIP, 2.3 fWAR

  • Vargas is not only the qualified ERA leader in the AL, but leads in wins as well. Like Santana, his gap between ERA and FIP is quite large, but he’s been so much better in both categories that even with some regression Vargas would like quite good this season.

Corey Kluber – 7-2, 80.1 IP , 3.02 ERA, 2.61 FIP, 2.7 fWAR

  • Kluber has yet to catch up enough in innings pitched to qualify for the leader-boards, but with minimum 80 innings Kluber is second in the AL in FIP, fourth in ERA, and second in K/9. Kluber is a stud and deserves to be there.

Andrew Miller – 3-2, 2 S, 42.1 IP, 1.49 ERA, 1.61 FIP, 1.8 fWAR

  • Miller has been one of the top relief pitchers in baseball for the last few years, and nothing has changed in 2017. He isn’t the closer in Cleveland, but he’s still one of the few most valuable relievers in not only the AL, but all of the MLB.

Craig Kimbrel – 2-0, 23 S, 35.2 IP, 1.01 ERA, 0.42 FIP, 2.4 fWAR

  • Not only is Kimbrel objectively the best relief pitcher in the AL, but likely in all of the MLB with apologies to Kenley Jansen.

Dallas Keuchel – 9-0, 75.2 IP, 1.67 ERA, 3.10 FIP, 1.9 fWAR

  • Keuchel is much like Kluber in that he’s missed a decent chunk of the season due to injury, but in the time he’s actually pitched he’s been excellent. Minimum 70 IP he leads baseball in ERA and he’s yet to be defeated this season.

Luis Severino – 5-4, 99.2 IP, 3.52 ERA, 3.13 FIP, 2.8 fWAR

  • Although his record does not show it, Severino has been one of the better starting pitchers in the AL in 2017. His 3.52 ERA is a little misleading with his FIP being a good deal lower at 3.13, and is a great addition to the roster.

Yu Darvish – 6-6, 107 IP, 3.11 ERA, 3.75 FIP, 2.0 fWAR

  • Darvish is the only Texas representative as of this moment with Elvis Andrus in the Final Vote, but is a deserving member of the roster with only one other pitcher I think may deserve it more (Archer).

Michael Fulmer – 7-6, 101.2 IP, 3.19 ERA, 2.95 FIP, 3.1 fWAR

  • Fulmer won the 2016 AL Rookie of the Year award last season with a 3.06 ERA, 3.76 FIP, and 3.0 fWAR. This season in 57 less innings Fulmer has around the same ERA, three-quarters of a point better FIP and the same fWAR value. He is near the top of the league in value to this point.

Lance McCullers Jr. – 7-1, 87 IP, 2.69 ERA, 2.71 FIP, 2.6 fWAR

  • McCullers falls into the Kluber and Keuchel group of pitchers who have missed time due to injury, but have been excellent while playing. He is a dominating presence on the mound, and a huge addition to the AL All-Star team.

Dellin Betances – 3-3, 6 S, 26 IP, 3.12 ERA, 2.60 FIP, 0.7 fWAR

  • Betances is having an incredibly interesting season, leading the MLB in both K/9 at 16.62 and BB/9 at 7.27. He’s still been good despite the walks, but someone like Chris Devenski of the Houston Astros would be a great replacement on the team.

My AL All-Star Replacements:

  • Alex Avila, remove Salvador Perez.
  • Lorenzo Cain, remove Mike Trout due to injury.
  • Andrelton Simmons, remove Francisco Lindor.
  • Chris Archer, remove Ervin Santana.
  • Chris Devenski, remove Dellin Betances.
  • Hope that the fans vote in Logan Morrison. If they don’t, remove whoever wins the Final Vote and add Logan Morrison.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the team does look pretty great, and there are really only a two snubs that seem like real oversights. Alex Avila and Chris Archer should absolutely be on this team somewhere. They have been too impressive not to be. Otherwise the AL All-Star team is quite impressively built.