Who should be in the All Star game?

We’re over a month away from the All Star game but voting has begun and lots of Cubs top the list. Let’s look at rankings for the various positions.

Shortstop

+016+ 3.38 Xander_Bogaerts_BOS SS
+048+ 2.35 Aledmys_Diaz_SLN SS
+051+ 2.29 Manny_Machado_BAL SS-3B
+066+ 2.08 Trevor_Story_COL SS
+109+ 1.51 Corey_Seager_LAN SS
+179+ 0.97 Francisco_Lindor_CLE SS
XXXXX 0.63 Addison_Russell_CHN SS

This model is batting only so whatever your opinion on defensive capabilities of these players should move them up or down. Without event data I can’t count numbers of unearned runs given up by a fielder.

The last news blurb I read said Russell is leading the SS pack for NL. Too bad Aledmys Diaz and  Trevor Story.  Russell is currently out of the top 200 but still above average with WAA=0.63..

3B

+007+ 4.26 Nolan_Arenado_COL 3B
+012+ 3.44 Josh_Donaldson_TOR 3B
+020+ 3.09 Kris_Bryant_CHN 3B-LF
+028+ 2.77 Matt_Carpenter_SLN 3B
+055+ 2.21 Todd_Frazier_CHA 3B
+063+ 2.10 Kyle_Seager_SEA 3B
+071+ 1.95 Jake_Lamb_ARI 3B

Yikes. Even Bryant is being beat but both players are fairly close. Frazier won’t get picked  because he has a low batting average so the Fangraph crowd probably won’t like him.  The Fangraph crowd also doesn’t like anyone on the Rockies because they think it’s the ballpark that gives them all the hits.  This is fodder for another discussion about proving your crackpot theories which Fangraph folks never do.

2B

+010+ 3.76 Ian_Kinsler_DET 2B
+011+ 3.72 Robinson_Cano_SEA 2B
+030+ 2.75 Ben_Zobrist_CHN 2B
+058+ 2.16 Daniel_Murphy_WAS 2B
+070+ 1.95 Jose_Altuve_HOU 2B
+080+ 1.85 Rougned_Odor_TEX 2B

Hooray for Zobrist but Murphy is right on his heels. Cano is earning his salary this season by having a career year even though WAR doesn’t think so.

1B

+025+ 2.79 Anthony_Rizzo_CHN 1B
+026+ 2.79 Mike_Napoli_CLE 1B-DH
+032+ 2.73 Brandon_Moss_SLN 1B-LF-RF
+045+ 2.37 Chris_Davis_BAL 1B
+079+ 1.85 Wil_Myers_SDN 1B
+083+ 1.85 Matt_Adams_SLN 1B

Hooray for Rizzo. He used to be in the top ten a few weeks ago.

Catcher

+085+ 1.83 Wilson_Ramos_WAS CR
+094+ 1.68 Chris_Herrmann_ARI CR
+134+ 1.34 Buster_Posey_SFN CR
+150+ 1.22 Craig_Kimbrel_BOS PITCH
+198+ 0.86 David_Ross_CHN CR

Catcher is the most important defensive position other than pitcher so batting numbers should not matter as much. That said Ross is having a far better year than last season and Cubs pitchers seem to like him and have been pitching well with him.

LF

+027+ 2.79 Adam_Duvall_CIN LF
+097+ 1.62 Khris_Davis_OAK LF-DH
+098+ 1.60 Jayson_Werth_WAS LF
...
+160+ 1.11 Ryan_Braun_MIL LF

Left Fielders aren’t too good this season. Now you see how Braun performs when not hopped up on roids.

CF

+033+ 2.65 Ian_Desmond_TEX CF-LF
+036+ 2.58 Jackie_Bradley_BOS CF
+037+ 2.56 Mike_Trout_ANA CF
+056+ 2.21 Yoenis_Cespedes_NYN CF-LF
+074+ 1.91 Marcell_Ozuna_MIA CF

Before someone asks where’s Dexter Fowler, he’s slipping. No way he should beat
Cespedes.

XXXXX 0.48 Dexter_Fowler_CHN CF

He fell out of the top 200 and his WAA is falling. His OPS is good however. :-)

RF

+009+ 4.16 Mookie_Betts_BOS RF
+013+ 3.42 Jay_Bruce_CIN RF
+039+ 2.50 Gregory_Polanco_PIT RF-LF
+047+ 2.35 Carlos_Beltran_NYA RF-DH
+062+ 2.12 Carlos_Gonzalez_COL RF
+073+ 1.93 Jose_Bautista_TOR RF
+076+ 1.89 Bryce_Harper_WAS RF
+082+ 1.85 Hunter_Pence_SFN RF
+090+ 1.74 George_Springer_HOU RF
+096+ 1.62 Stephen_Piscotty_SLN RF

No Cubs but a lot of good Right Fielders this season.
<anti jinx on>
For once the Cubs will have a vested interest in the outcome of an All Star game.
</anti jinx off>