Originally written on Baseball Professor  |  Last updated 7/9/13
It’s everyone’s favorite debate of the year. Every year, several deserving players are left off of the All-Star rosters. Some are due to lack of notoriety while others fall victim to the overwhelming hype behind some underachieving players. Some get left off the team because of “lifetime achievement” selections. Others fall victim to the rule that every team must be represented. Here are 10 players selected to the team and some players who are just as, if not more, deserving.Note: All stats end with games finished on Saturday, July 6.10. Bryce Harper should be replaced by Jay Bruce or Starling MarteHarper is a case of a player who is very popular yet who has slightly underachieved. He missed some time due to an injury and has posted 13 HR, 28 RBI and a “robust” .263 BA. Bruce has obviously played more than Harper, but he has 18 HR, 59 RBI, and a .271 BA. Marte (.294 BA, 56 R, 8 HR, 26 RBI and 27 SB) could just as easily be there as well.9. Travis Wood should be replaced by Stephen Strasburg or Mat LatosWood (16 QS) has been a good story for the Cubs in the first half of the season and he’s the lone Cubbie on the roster. His numbers aren’t overpowering — 5-6 record with 80 K, 33 BB, 2.69 ERA and 0.98 WHIP in 110.1 IP — but the ERA and WHIP are among the league’s best. However, Latos is 8-2 with 120 K in 116.0 IP, but he’s posted a worse ERA (3.18) and WHIP (1.22) than Wood. Strasburg has more strikeouts (98) than Wood along with a comparable 2.24 ERA and 1.04 WHIP, but he’s only won 4 games.8. Jose Fernandez should be replaced by Shelby MillerLike Wood, Fernandez is the only All-Star representative from his team. He’s a deserving rookie — 5-4 record with 94 K, 2.72 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in 98.2 IP — but Miller (9-6 record with 107 K, 2.80 ERA and 1.07 WHIP in 99.2 IP) has been just as good. This snub doesn’t annoy me like some of the others, but you have to feel for Fernandez either way. He just doesn’t have the supporting cast that Miller does.7. Mariano Rivera should be replaced by Greg HollandWelcome to a legacy choice who just happens to be having a good year in his potential final season. The Yankees aren’t their usual “take-the-league-by-storm” selves, but Rivera is still atop the league in saves (29) and has a nice 5:1 K:BB ratio. However, Holland has 20 saves in two less appearances, but his advantage in WHIP (0.94-1.21) and BAA (.172-.260) is significant. The Yanks are clearly more high-profile than low-market Kansas City, but should a reliever not attend, Holland should be next to get the call.6. J.J. Hardy should be replaced by Jed LowrieYeah, so Hardy’s slated to start at SS, but Lowrie tops him in OPS (.782-.726), R (37-33), and BA (.296-.254) in 20 fewer AB. Hardy’s power numbers are sexy (15 HR, 46 RBI) and SS is not the position it used to be with Derek Jeter, Nomar Garciaparra, Miguel Tejada, etc. The AL should move Jhonny Peralta, who has the best numbers of the trio, into the starting spot and Lowrie should be backing him up.5. Ben Zobrist should be replaced by Evan Longoria, Josh Donaldson, or Adrian BeltreThis has been a down year for Mr. Zobrist — 5 HR, 44 RBI, and .264 BA — but he is the lone Tampa Bay Ray on the roster. Filling the Ray requirement could be one of the next snubs — Longoria (another Ray), Donaldson, or Beltre. All three have a better batting average, more runs, homers, and RBI than Zobrist.4. Justin Verlander should be replaced by Ervin Santana, Matt Moore or Hiroki KurodaVerlander has had good numbers for a starting pitcher, but the numbers haven’t been Verlander-esque. Ervin Santana and Kuroda have fewer than Verlander’s 9 W, but Moore trumps them all with a dozen wins. Santana (2.90 ERA, 1.05 WHIP), Kuroda (2.77, 1.03) and Moore (3.42, 1.33) all have and ERA under Verlander’s 3.54 and a WHIP under Verlander’s 1.36. The AL roster is already laden with Tigers, so adding one of the other guys wouldn’t be too hard to do.3. Torii Hunter should be replaced by Jacoby Ellsbury or Nick MarkakisHunter is a case of the manager getting to pick the reserves. He’s hitting .307 with a .782 OPS, 5 HR, and 38 RBI. Other than that, Markakis and Ellsbury have been better producers. Ellsbury has 55 R and a .301 BA. Oh yeah, and he leads the MLB with 36 SB, not that it’s a big deal or anything. Markakis – .288 BA, 52 R, 8 HR, 43 RBI — often gets overlooked, especially in fantasy, because he’s a better real-life player, but he’s just as worthy of a spot as Ellsbury.2. Salvador Perez should be replaced by Carlos SantanaI get that Perez is loved by a lot of people who score for potential, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you make the All-Star roster in my book. Sure Perez is hitting for a better average (.302-.266), but that’s where it stops. Santana has scored 14 more runs and hit 6 more homers while posting a better OPS (.821 to .746) and BB% (14.5% to 2.9%).1. Marco Scutaro should be replaced by Ian DesmondDesmond is on the “Fan’s Choice” ballot, but I can’t see anyone other than Yasiel Puig making it due to the overwhelming attention he’s received so far this season. Scutaro’s basically on the roster because Giants’ manager Bruce Bochy got to pick the reserves. Although I enjoy that he’s hitting like a band I like (.311), Desmond is so much more deserving — he leads Scutaro in steals (10 to 0), , runs (40 to 35), homers (15 to 2), RBI (49 to 19), and OPS (.832 to .770). C’mon, do I need to say more?
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