MLB All-Star Roster 2021: Top Snubs After Final Voting Results
AP Photo/Julio Cortez
There’s nothing quite like enjoying a good Fourth of July barbecue with family and arguing over the MLB All-Star Game’s biggest snubs.
The starters for the 2021 installment of the Midsummer Classic were revealed on Thursday.
The rollout for the full squads coincided with the July 4 holiday, so the ASG discourse could be especially spicy this year with most fans enjoying their three-day weekend.
Here are some of the top position players from the American and National Leagues who are–for now–slated to miss out on the All-Star Game. The rosters are likely to be reshuffled slightly to account for those unable to make the trip to Coors Field in Denver on July 13.
- Yasmani Grandal, C, Chicago White Sox: .190/.388/.441, 14 HR, 38 RBI, 2.0 fWAR
- Yuli Gurriel, 1B, Houston Astros: .326/.393/.502, 10 HR, 53 RBI, 2.3 fWAR
The American League only has one reserve catcher on the 2021 All-Star team, and Mike Zunino became one of the more obvious choices to represent the Tampa Bay Rays because of Tyler Glasnow’s injury.
That’s all to say Yasmani Grandal’s omission wasn’t too surprising.
Still, the performance of the Chicago White Sox catcher is probably a little too skewed by his .190 batting average. His .388 on-base percentage is on pace to be the second-best of his career, and he’s first on his team in home runs. Grandal is also second in weighted on-base average (.367) among catchers with at least 100 plate appearances.
Yuli Gurriel arguably has more reason to feel aggrieved than any other position player in the AL.
The Houston Astros first baseman boasts a .381 weighted on-base average and 147 weighted runs created plus. Gurriel’s strikeout rate (8.9 percent) is also the lowest in the league. He has bounced back in a big way from a 2020 season in which he slugged just .384.
One can at least make a strong case for leaving him off by simply pointing to the depth of options at first base.
Jake Kaplan @jakemkaplan
Yuli Gurriel and Yordan Alvarez are having great seasons, but both play at pretty loaded positions. FWIW, both rank 4th in OPS among AL players at their position. The three ahead of each of them — Vlad Jr., Olson and Walsh & Ohtani, Cruz and Martinez — were the ones selected.
In general, it’s tough to take much issue with the AL offense when considering every team has to be represented.
- Will Smith, C, Los Angeles Dodgers: .261/.363/.469, 10 HR, 29 RBI, 2.8 fWAR
- Justin Turner, 3B, Los Angeles Dodgers: .295/.387/.484, 13 HR, 41 RBI, 2.5 fWAR
- Starling Marte, CF, Miami Marlins: .289/.396/.452, six HR, 18 RBI, 2.7 fWAR
The National League is another story, and it starts with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Despite being tied with the San Francisco Giants for first place in the National League West, the Dodgers didn’t get the requisite respect from the ASG voting pool.
Will Smith is second in WAR among NL catchers behind Buster Posey (3.1), who was voted in as a starter. Posey’s election should’ve cleared the way for his NL West counterpart, but J.T. Realmuto got the nod instead.
By almost any metric, Smith is out-performing Realmuto. He has more home runs and a better slash line in all three categories.
Since the Philadelphia Phillies are sending Zack Wheeler to Coors Field as well, Realmuto’s inclusion becomes a little more difficult to understand.
When it comes to Justin Turner, his candidacy was hindered somewhat by the fact Eduardo Escobar was the logical representative from the Arizona Diamondbacks. That narrowed the options at the hot corner for the NL.
Nonetheless, Turner leads all NL third basemen in WAR. He can’t match the power of Nolan Arenado (16 home runs, .506 slugging percentage) or Kris Bryant (16 home runs, .513 slugging percentage), but he remains one of the best at the position.
Starling Marte only made 46 appearances entering Sunday thanks to a left rib fracture. He hasn’t torn the cover off the ball, either, in a league that has plenty of big-hitting outfielders.
With that said, the 32-year-old is out-slugging Juan Soto (.433) while playing far better defense. No NL outfielder is higher than Marte in FanGraphs’ defensive runs above average.
Marte has been the total package.
Stats via FanGraphs
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