Every year, the fans vote in their starting lineup for the All-Star game, and it seems every year it is just a popularity contest, with no eye for the players who actually deserve an All-Star nod. Has this year been different? The answer may depend on what league you are looking at. Inevitably, however, there will always be snubs more deserving to play in the game than those who were voted in or tapped by their peers as All-Stars. These are the top 10 snubs for the National League, including hitters and pitchers.
1) Andrew McCutchen – PIT
McCutchen has been featured in our NL Power Rankings a few times, and for good reason. The 5’ 10”, 190 pound centerfielder has hit .294 with 12 HRs, and 45 runs knocked in. McCutchen would have been a lock for the team, if it were not for the work of teammate Joel Hanrahan. Add the questionable decision of adding Jay Bruce to the roster, and McCutchen sits this game out.
2) Tommy Hanson – ATL
The team with the best ERA in the Major Leagues, surprisingly, is not the foursome that has dominated in Philadelphia; the honor belongs to the pitching staff in Atlanta. How, then, does that staff only have one starter elected in the All-Star Game, while the Phils have three? Tommy Hanson’s 2.62 ERA is 4th best in the league, and has won 9 games even after missing a few starts.
3) Shane Victorino – PHI
While fan-favorite Shane Victorino will probably be voted in on the Final Vote by the massive Philly fan base, he is another who fits in the Andrew McCutchen mold. Victorino is hitting .303 with 9 homers and 34 runs batted in. While the numbers are not as good as McCutchen’s, he still probably deserves more consideration.
4) Craig Kimbrel – ATL
The National League did the right thing by including Atlanta’s setup man Jonny Venters on the staff, but they made a blunder by snubbing the fireballer Craig Kimbrel. The rookie sports an ERA of 2.57, with 24 saves. He has struck out 67 batters over 42 innings, which, if you do that math, is 14.36 strikeouts per 9 innings. That mark is the best in the baseball.
5) Aramis Ramirez – CHC
You could make the case that this is one of the bigger snubs of the NL, not because Ramirez has put up incredible numbers, but because of who got in ahead of him. Ramirez’s .293 average is far better than what Placido Polanco and Chipper Jones have. Ramirez’s 12 homers are more than Polanco and Jones combined, and Ramirez’s 44 RBIs is 5 better than Polanco’s total, and tied with Chipper.
6) Mike Adams – SD
This is a case where the name and position may have influenced who will make the All-Star appearance. The Pad’s Heath Bell represents the club in the All-Star Game, but setup man Mike Adams may have been the more deserving candidate. Any time you see an ERA in the 1s, it should be an eye opener, but alas, Adams is left out.
7) Jordan Zimmerman – WAS
Fans have to ignore the record and consider the dysfunctional team that Zimmerman plays for. Then, look at the ERA and WHIP for this young Fantasy Baseball stud to see what he really brings to the mound. Zimmerman has posted an ERA of 2.63 and a WHIP of 1.07, both very good marks. Zimmerman deserved a shot over some of the bigger names that made the club.
8) Kyle Lohse – STL
Jordan Zimmerman and Kyle Lohse are in the same boat, although Zimmerman’s ERA is a little lower, and Lohse has the better record. Either way, they were both kept out by manager’s picks or the big names in the league. Perhaps they will find their way in as some pitchers find themselves unavailable, but these guys are quietly doing their job.
9) Wandy Rodriguez – HOU
Hunter Pence was the obvious choice out of Houston, but maybe it was too forgone a conclusion that the struggling Astros would only have one representative. Wandy Rodriguez has been a strong Fantasy Baseball Player this year, with an ERA under 3. I would be willing to bet he will not make the game regardless, but his name deserves some mention.
10) Eric O’Flaherty – ATL
This is a guy who will remain forgotten outside of those who watch him in Atlanta. He has become their 7th inning guy, and has done a spectacular job. He has posted an ERA of 1.16, which should be the talk of the league. However, he does not pitch in the more pressure (and publicized) 8th and 9th innings, so he is forgotten.
Tags: 2011 All Star Game, 2011 fantasy baseball, 2011 MLB All Star Game, All Star Snubs, Andrew McCutchen, Aramis Ramirez, craig kimbrel, Eric O’Flaherty, fantasy baseball power rankings, Jordan Zimmerman, Kyle Lohse, National League, NL Power Rankings, NL Snubs, Shane Victorino, Snubs, Tommy Hanson