Every season, the fans vote on which MLB players they believe are qualified to take part in the All-Star game festivities in July. The fans are typically reliable when selecting your everyday perennial superstars and ace pitchers. They do, however, sometimes value name and team popularity over stats, as seen with players like Bryce Harper with his subpar first half still placing 3rd in the National League outfield in votes. Although sometimes, a player is simply stuck behind multiple players who are just having better seasons.
Regardless, a player worthy of making the All-Star team who doesn’t is an inevitable happening, and these 10 snubbed players show that.
1 Blake Snell, Tampa Bay Rays
Typically, the American League ERA leader is selected to the Midsummer Classic. This was not the case for Tampa Bay starting pitcher Blake Snell.
Snell has dominated hitters to this point in the season, putting up a very intimidating 2.09 ERA, a 12-4 record, and 132 strikeouts over 116.0 innings spanning 19 starts. And yet, he fell short of both the roster and AL final vote list. Snell has shown that he not only deserves to be on the roster but that he easily could make a valid argument for starting the All-Star Game itself. His success is attributed to his growing maturity and his increased ability to locate his deadly fastball and increased off-speed pitch usage. However, look for Snell to make the roster eventually due to injuries.
2 Nick Castellanos, Detroit Tigers
Detroit Tigers right fielder Nick Castellanos has vastly improved on his career numbers in 2018. He's posted a sturdy line of .306/.360/.524 to go with 15 home runs and 55 runs driven in over 88 games this season. Castellanos was in the running for a reserve spot in the outfield but came up short, although it seems wildly unfair that Castellanos would miss the roster while Houston's George Springer, who is hitting at a .251/.335/.425 clip with 15 home runs and 43 RBI, would make the roster. This is another classic case of player name value and team popularity being represented more than the cold hard stats.
3 Charlie Morton, Houston Astros
Charlie Morton seemed like your average fringe fifth starter for most of his career, which he spent mostly in Pittsburgh. Though once Morton signed with Houston in 2017, he became a much better pitcher.
He owns a career 4.26 ERA, but a mere 3.29 with Houston. Morton has pitched outstandingly in 2018, owning an 11-2 record, a stellar 2.83 ERA, and 141 strikeouts over 108 innings across 18 starts. The 34-year-old Morton has completely reinvented himself and has been valuable to Houston in their effort to repeat as World Series champions. If injuries force an AL pitcher out of appearing in the All-Star Game, look for Morton to be on the shortlist of replacements as he entirely deserves to be an All-Star.
4 Jed Lowrie, Oakland A's
Oakland Athletics second baseman Jed Lowrie has enjoyed a breakout season but at age 34. He has been a huge factor in Oakland's ability to stay above .500 this season both with his defensive skills and newfound offense.
Lowrie, a switch-hitter, has been a real force at the plate all season. He's currently hitting .288/.358/.504 with a career-highs in home runs (16) and RBI (62). However, he got trampled in the voting by the reigning MVP Jose Altuve, and by the 21-year rookie phenom Gleyber Torres.
Despite not making the roster outright, look for Lowrie to possibly get his first career All-Star nod as Torres' replacement on the roster as the Yankee 2B has dealt with a hip problem and could miss the rest of the first half.
5 James Paxton, Seattle Mariners
James Paxton, also known as "Big Maple", has officially taken over Felix Hernandez's role as Seattle's ace. Paxton owns a solid 3.33 career ERA and in 2018, his ERA sits just north of that at 3.49 through 19 starts. His supporting numbers, however, show he's much better than a 3.49 ERA. He owns a strong 8-3 record to go with 154 strikeouts in 118.2 innings of work, with a whopping 11.7 K/9.
Oh, and he also threw a no-hitter in Toronto in his native Canada. In his first 13 starts this season he was 5-1 with a much more convincing 2.95 ERA. His last 6 starts were more troublesome, leading to a much more ugly 4.71 ERA and .341 BABIP. Expect Paxton to continue to be a stud for the Mariners and look for him to be an easy All-Star in 2019.
6 Anthony Rendon, Washington Nationals
Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon has been known as about as solid of a third baseman as you'll see in the game today. Coming off a tremendous 2017 campaign that saw him hit .301 with 25 home runs and 100 RBI, he was seen as a near lock to see action at the hot corner in his home ballpark in this year's All-Star Game.
Sadly, his chances were derailed by a fractured toe he suffered in April after fouling a ball off his foot. But even after missing extensive time, he's still managed a respectable .280/.346/.507 batting line, and his 12 home runs and 39 RBI, while not MLB leading, are still well regarded. Rendon is a great player regardless of what his numbers are, and there's no doubt his stats with his injury prove that.
7 Ross Stripling, Los Angeles Dodgers
Ross Stripling has really broken out for the Dodgers in 2018. Typically seen out of the bullpen in his first two seasons in MLB (55 relief appearances compared to 16 starts), he owned a 3.87 ERA coming into this season but has enjoyed a wonderful 2.22 ERA in 2018. He started the season as a relief pitcher and transferred to the rotation permanently in early May.
What the Dodgers didn't expect when they gave him a turn in the rotation is that he'd dominate for two straight months. Stripling owns a 2.19 ERA since becoming a full-time starter, owns a great 7-1 record and has allowed only 18 extra base hits. He also has an other-worldly 84/6 SO/BB ratio over 70 innings spanning 12 starts. Not being a starting pitcher hurt Stripling's chances at making the cut but with the season he's having, I'm sure he'll pass up an ASG appearance for another deep postseason run in October.
8 Albert Almora Jr., Chicago Cubs
This Cubs outfielder is breaking molds and throwing baseball back to the old days. The 24-year-old is great at getting on base, owning a .323 AVG and .362 OBP, but has just four home runs and 28 runs driven in through 83 games this season. He's also highly praised for his defensive ability in center field for Chicago.
Almora doesn't hit for power or drive in a lot of runs, and there's no doubt that his lack of extra-base hit ability has dampened his popularity among fans, but when you lead the National League in batting average and 6th in all of baseball, you definitely deserve recognition. Almora is still young and has his whole career ahead of him, so there's a good likelihood that this is the first and only time he makes this list.
9 Adam Ottavino, Colorado Rockies
Heaps of very qualified and extremely talented relief pitchers get snubbed from the All-Star Game every single year, but rarely does a relief pitcher post the numbers Ottavino has and not make the roster. Come to think of it, rarely does a pitcher post his numbers in half a season.
Ottavino has posted a ridiculous 1.79 ERA and even posted a nice 4-2 record. That's not to mention his "swing and miss" quality stuff leading to 63 strikeouts, and a rather astonishing 14.1 K/9 throughout 40.1 innings in his 37 relief appearances this season. While Ottavino isn't a closer and never has been, his numbers are no doubt All-Star worthy.
10 David Peralta, Arizona Diamondbacks
David Peralta has been a firm stake in the Diamondbacks offense this season, hitting to a healthy .291/.354/.508 batting line. Peralta has enjoyed an outburst in offense, hammering 15 first-half home runs and amassing 49 RBI.
Sadly, Peralta was stuck behind a multitude of well-deserving outfielders in the National League. Lorenzo Cain experienced a resurgence in his first year in Milwaukee as did Matt Kemp in his return to Los Angeles. Charlie Blackmon and Christian Yelich both put up their usual numbers, and Nick Markakis has had a career year in Atlanta. Bryce Harper is, well, Bryce Harper, even with his rather pedestrian first half performance. If Peralta can continue to be an epitome of consistency for Arizona like he has, expect an invitation to the 2019 All-Star Game in Cleveland.
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