MLB players who deserve more All-Star votes

The first round of all-star voting is over, and overall, congratulations baseball fans, I think you’ve done a pretty good job. There are no obvious groans here, no one who has no business being in the starting XI, nothing to be ashamed of.

I’ll admit, however, that looking at these results, I have a few quibbles. You were great, but you weren’t perfect. Allow me this opportunity to review your picks and let you know where you might have missed a little – to let you know which players may have significantly undercut you. Don’t worry: this is just the first phase of tuning, you still have a few chances to get it right.

Juan Soto, nationals, OF (5th)
Leader: Mookie Betts, BOY
Look, I know it’s not a lot of fun to watch the Nationals right now, and it’s not like Soto is having the best year of his career: He’s basically putting in his worst career numbers in every category. The thing is, though, Soto’s “worst career numbers” are still better than almost any other outfield player in the National League.

Soto leads the league as he always does, and the only NL outfielders with more bases overall than him are Mookie Betts (rightfully first in outfield votes) and Kyle Schwarber, who, uh, more than makes up for Soto by scoring wipes him out in defensive metrics. You can argue that Soto – once again having the worst year of his career – is still having the second-best year among NL outfielders. And he’s fifth in the vote? Behind Starling Marte?

CJ Cron, Rockies, 1B (8th)
Head: Paul Goldschmidt, STL
Being overlooked will come as no big surprise to Cron, who has been overlooked throughout his career from Anaheim to Tampa, Minnesota, Detroit to now Colorado. But he’s been scoring everywhere he’s played — here’s a fun fact: He’s four homers behind former MVP (and current teammate) Kris Bryant for his career — and he’s had a career-best year for the Rockies with 17 homers , 52 RBIs and an average of .298.

Sure, he’s doing it for Colorado, which always gets people flying right past him on their ballots, but they shouldn’t. First base is stacked, no question: He probably can’t get past Paul Goldschmidt, Pete Alonso, Freddie Freeman or Matt Olson. But pay attention? Behind Rowdy Tellez, Eric Hosmer and Joey Votto? Come on.

Tommy Edman, STL, SS (4th)
Leader: Trea Turner, LAD
FanGraphs has Edman as the seventh best player at the Majors by WAR this year, an extremely underwhelming company, and third overall in the National League (behind Manny Machado and Paul Goldschmidt, both of whom lead their respective positions). But the Baseball Reference version of WAR put Edman even higher: Would you believe bWAR said Edman was the best player in baseball when it came to offense and defense? Right, in front of Sandy Alcantara, Machado, Rafael Devers, Mike Trout and Goldschmidt.

Well, maybe you don’t think Edman is the best player in baseball. You might not even think that he is the seventh best player in baseball. But surely he’s better than the fourth-best National League shortstop, right? Edman may be hurt by the fact that he’s only recently become a shortstop. But he’s also been fantastic since he moved there. He’s just one spot ahead of Fernando Tatis Jr… who, of course, hasn’t played a single game all year.

Jeff McNeil, Mets, 2B (3rd)
Conductor: Jazz Chisholm, Jr., MIA

Okay, it’s not the third one the low, and it’s entirely understandable that Chisholm tops that category. But we’ll have McNeil — hitting .327, playing great defense, and basically sparking this entire lineup — here to answer any complaints Mets fans may have. (Seriously, the team is playing some of the best balls in 15 years and they don’t deserve a starter? Not one?) Pete Alonso second, Francisco Lindor third, Brandon Nimmo 11th; Wow I just wrote that I think it inspired some boos in Queens. Take your pick for your underrated mead, but there sure are plenty of them.

Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox, SS (3rd)
Conductor: Bo Bichette, TOR
Note that we haven’t mentioned the American League once. There’s a good reason for that: it’s quite difficult to argue with Vlad Jr./Altuve/Devers/Judge/Trout/Springer/Alvarez/Kirk (although you really have to make your choice on the catcher). But what’s going on over there at shortstop?

To be fair, Bichette leads the majors at bats. But lately I checked that it takes more than just showing up to make the all-star team. The shortstop position in the AL is stacked, and it’s stacked with players who have had better years than Bichette, from Bogaerts to Carlos Correa to Correa’s backup Jeremy Peña (who’s injured) to JP Crawford to Corey Seager to Tim Anderson . Bichette is a nice player and Blue Jays fans clearly like to make their voices heard. But it’s difficult to represent Bichette (.725 OPS) against one of these guys. Ultimately I’ll go with Bogaerts, but I’d prefer some of these guys over Bichette.

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