Now that we know which players are heading to Minneapolis for the 2014 MLB All-Star Game, it's time for the early July baseball custom of rattling off a list of snubs.
As a whole, a lot of the under-the-radar players who might normally be considered "snubs" were selected this year and that's admirable. Among them: Jose Altuve of Houston Astros, Michael Brantley of the Cleveland Indians, Todd Frazier and Devin Mesoraco of the Cincinnati Reds, and Derek Norris of the Oakland Athletics. None of them is a household name, but the players and the All-Star managers made sure they were on the roster.
Then there are the players, five from each league, in the running for the MLB's Final Vote social media/text message contest. They are, essentially, acknowledged snubs who almost made it. So we won't put them on our this list, even though a few will wind up as "snubs" once the vote is over.
In the American League the Final Vote nominees are five pitchers: Dallas Keuchel, Corey Kluber, Rick Porcello, Garrett Richards and Chris Sale. In the NL, they're five hitters: Casey McGehee, Justin Morneau, Anthony Rendon, Anthony Rizzo and Justin Upton.
Taking them out of the mix, here are The Stew's top 10 All-Star snubs (five from each league) for 2014. Sorry, guys, you almost almost made it.
• Ian Kinsler: Back when the first round of All-Star voting was announced, Kinsler of the Detroit Tigers was the top AL second baseman. Over time, Robinson Cano overtook him and Altuve won the back-up spot. Kinsler certainly deserves some consideration, he's fourth among all AL position players in Wins Above Replacement (WAR), according to Fangraphs.
• Brian Dozier: Obviously second base is a deep position, as Kinsler's situation illustrates. But Dozier, a success story for the Minnesota Twins this season, would have been a nice All-Star selection in his home park. He's hit 16 homers and leads the AL with 63 runs scored.
• Sonny Gray: Not that the Oakland Athletics need another All-Star and not that there aren't already five deserving pitchers in the AL Final Vote, but Gray's great sophomore campaign in Oakland at least warrants a mention here. He's 8-3 with a .3.08 ERA (11th best in the AL).
• Kyle Seager: No disrespect to Adrian Beltre, who has been a fine player over his career and owns a spiffy .333 batting average in 2014, but Seager of the Seattle Mariners deserved to be the AL's backup third baseman. Seager has more homers, more RBIs, a higher WAR and he plays better defense.
• Brett Gardner: For all the preseason talk about how Gardner was expendable in New York with Jacoby Ellsbury now in town, it's Gardner who has been the Yankees' most valuable position player. He has the 14th highest WAR of any AL offensive player, which is also the highest of any outfielder not in the All-Star game.
• Alfredo Simon: He's 11-4 before the All-Star break with a 2.78 ERA. He's tied for the league lead in wins and eighth in ERA. Add the fact that he's been a total surprise for the Reds, and that's an All-Star story.
• Henderson Alvarez: The Marlins pitcher, their stand-in ace while Jose Fernandez is hurt, is fourth in ERA and he's thrown three shutouts. That's more than five teams have.
• Billy Hamilton: The most exciting NL rookie to have played all season, Hamilton has proven that he can greatly impact a game with his speed. He's hit better than expected for the Reds too. His WAR of 2.7 is tied with Freddie Freeman for 15th best in the NL, ahead of All-Star starters Yadier Molina and Chase Utley.
• Huston Street: The Padres closer is fifth in the NL for saves (23) but has a lower ERA (1.13) than everybody ahead of him on the list.
• Tim Hudson: Some folks might not love the 7-5 record, but wins and losses are so imprecise. A few other numbers tell the story of Hudson: his 2.53 ERA and his NL-low 16 walks. Plus he's 38 and he helped get the Giants back on track after a rough 2013.
Who are your All-Star snubs? Leave 'em in the comments.
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