The All-Star rosters are beginning to shape up.
The methods change year after year, it seems. In my opinion, it seems they’ve overcomplicated matters, what with the fan vote, the player vote, and “The Commissioner’s Office” filling out the rosters for the American and National Leagues. The Miami Marlins didn’t have anyone in the “top three” vote getters at any one position. Regardless, they will have a representative in the 2019 All Star Game. According to MLB.COM’s All Star Game FAQ:
"Is every team represented?Yes, and it is the job of the Commissioner’s Office to ensure this stipulation is accounted for with its selections."
Who is most deserving of the selection? Most argue that Brian Anderson is the clear standout on the roster. He currently leads the Miami Marlins with 2.4 Wins Above Replacement. That’s a projection of roughly 5.0 WAR over the full season, which is noted at Fangraphs.com as somewhere between “All-Star,” and “Superstar.” Why not Anderson?
Unfortunately for Anderson, and by extension the Miami Marlins, third base is a crowded field this season in the N.L. Nolan Arenado of the Colorado Rockies and Anthony Rendon of the Washington Nationals are the two hot-corner guys currently in the N.L. with WAR figures higher than Anderson (3.2 and 2.8, respectively.). Eduardo Escobar of the Arizona Diamondbacks has a WAR rating identical to Anderson, however a glance at the counting and rate statistics suggest that Escobar has a leg up.
Josh Donaldson (ATL), Kris Bryant (CHC), Todd Frazier (NYM), Justin Turner (LAD), Evan Longoria (SF), and David Bote (also CHC) each have WAR ratings at or above 1.4, and all enjoy larger name-recognition than does Anderson. Incidentally, the finalists were Arenado, Bryant, and Donaldson.
Jorge Alfaro would be the clear choice to represent, but he’s out with a concussion. Garrett Cooper has certainly been hot enough lately, but has missed nearly half of the games due to injury. If we were to extrapolate his numbers, he’d certainly merit consideration.
Miami Marlins starting pitching is probably worth a look as well. Caleb Smith was amongst the hottest N.L. pitchers through the first two months of the season, but is currently injured. Ditto for Pablo Lopez. Trevor Richards continues to turn heads with his plus-plus changeup, but his 1.0 WAR for the season is tied with Jordan Yamamoto, who has played three games. In fairness, it was a pretty good three games – and I love Richards, who doesn’t?
The Miami Marlins second highest WAR rating may surprise some people. Shortstop Miguel Rojas clocks in at 2.2 WAR, ranked seventh in the N.L. but first in our hearts. Along with Martin Prado, Adam Conley, & Jose Urena, Rojas is one of the four longest tenured players with the team (each made their Marlins debut in 2014). His extrapolated 4.4 WAR ranks on Fangraphs page as “All-Star” material.
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Rojas’ .279 batting average is the fifth best in the N.L. amongst shortstops, although he has yet to go deep this season. He’s also one of only three players on the Miami Marlins to have appeared in at least 75 games this season (Starlin Castro leads with 77, Anderson has played in 76).
Rojas is the heart and soul of the Miami Marlins, and has hit .338 throughout the month of June. Not coincidentally, June is the month that the Marlins have played arguably their best baseball. As goes Rojas, so goes the Marlins. That’s just one of the many reasons why he should represent them at the 2019 MLB All Star Game.
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