Every year, the release of the All-Star Game rosters is promptly followed by discussions on who was snubbed from the game. There are valid reasons for the inclusion of some and the exclusion of others, but at the end of the day, not every player that deserves to be an All Star, gets to be one. This year, the biggest snub is Luke Voit.
AL All-Star First Basemen
Voit, first basemen for the New York Yankees, was a finalist to start the game at first base for the American League. His season has certainly been worthy of a trip to Cleveland for the game.
His slash line is .280/.393/.509 (.901 OPS), and he has 17 home runs and 50 RBI. He lost the vote to Cleveland Indian Carlos Santana. No qualms there as Santana will get to start in front of the hometown Cleveland crowd, and also best Voit offensively. His slash line is .291/.411/.536 (.947 OPS) with 18 home runs and 48 RBI.
Santana bests Luke Voit defensively as well with a defensive runs saved of one versus Voit’s negative seven.
Santana definitely deserves to be the starter, but Voit definitely deserves to be the reserve. Instead, that honor went to Jose Abreu of the Chicago White Sox. Abreu is a fine first basemen and a two time All Star. That being said, it is asinine that he will be heading to Cleveland instead of Luke Voit.
The Clearly Better Season
Jose Abreu has a slash line of .262/.304/.505 (.809 OPS) on the season with 19 home runs and 60 RBI. Voit bests Abreu in batting average, on base percentage, slugging percentage, and OPS. He only has two less home runs, and one less hit than Abreu.
While Abreu has more RBI, he also bats in the middle of the order where he should see more RBI opportunities. Voit, on the other hand, bats all up and down the lineup for the Yankees and spent a lot of time batting second when Aaron Judge was injured. Voit tends to hit in a lot of spots in the order that do not compare as favorably to where Abreu bats in terms of RBI opportunities.
Defensively, Abreu is better than Voit on paper although Abreu’s DRS is still negative one. Therefore, the difference does not appear to be as substantial since both players’ DRS is negative. Overall, Luke Voit is having a far superior season to Jose Abreu, making it odd that the Abreu will be backing up Santana instead of Voit.
Not all fans like diving heavily into the advanced metrics although those side with Luke Voit, as well. Voit has the higher WAR (1.6 versus 0.7) as well as a higher OPS+ (139 versus 112).
Unfortunately, there does not appear to be a viable explanation as to why the players voted for Abreu over Voit. While Abreu is already an established All-Star player, his name does not carry the same weight as a Mike Trout or a Clayton Kershaw. These are players who the fans want to see in the game at all costs, and it feels almost necessary for them to be selected even if there is a more deserving player. Jose Abreu is not one of those players.
Additionally, every team needs at least one representative in the All-Star Game. The White Sox have been playing well of late although their record still sits below .500. As a result, it would be plausible to think Abreu would be the team’s lone representative. That would not be the case as the team is also sending pitcher Lucas Giolito and catch James McCann.
That’s right, a sub-.500 team has as many All Stars as a team with a 54-28 record.
So Voit has a clear advantage in terms of statistics and Abreu is not going as the lone representative for his team. This just does not add up, and it is a shame that Voit has to be on the outside looking in.
Luke Voit deserves to be an All Star in 2019, but instead he will be known as someone headlining the snubs of the All-Star Game.
Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images