On Sunday, Major League Baseball announced its complete rosters for the 2022 All-Star game to be held at Dodger Stadium on July 19, marking the first time that the game will be held in Los Angeles since 1980. Not surprisingly, the New York Yankees – owners of the best record in baseball – led the way with six all-star selections while reigning the World Series champions Atlanta Braves had five players chosen. It was the most all-star picks that the Yankees and Braves have gotten since 2011.
Other highlights of the MLB all-star selections included 30 first-time selections and for the first-time ever two legends choices – Albert Pujols and Miguel Cabrera. Earlier in the week, the Commissioners office announced the league’s starters for both leagues with Ronald Acuna and Aaron Judge, being the leading vote-getters in their respective leagues. So, which players were unfairly neglected in the selection process?
Positional Players: Austin Riley Is The Biggest All-Star Snub
As is the case every year, there were players that were chosen to the All-Star game for a variety of reasons. This year, Ty France, Freddy Freeman and Austin Riley were among the most deserving positional players that weren’t picked. Of course, a couple of players on these two lists could ultimately be a replacement for injured players, etc.
Riley earns the unwanted award of biggest snub this year. Riley, on-pace to produce similar numbers that earned him a 2021 Silver Slugger Award and a seventh place finish in MVP voting, has a slash line of .282/.349/.559 with 23 home runs and 56 RBI. The third baseman also has a 3.3 WAR and has been strong defensively.
Freeman is second on my list of players who should be an all-star. The 2020 NL MVP ranks fourth in the majors with 102 hits and ninth overall in extra-base knocks (40). He has accumulated a slash line of .302/.381/.503 with seven stolen bases and a 2.9 WAR.
France, third on the list, is the most deserving of the AL positional players that were snubbed. France ranks in the top 10 in several AL categories, including batting average, on-base percentage, total times on-base, and fielding percentage as well as several advance metrics. He has a 2.7 WAR and a BaBip of .336, which is well above the major league average of .293.
Tommy Edman is fourth on my list of the most deserving all-stars due to his 4.2 WAR (3rd NL), thanks to a NL-leading 2.2 defensive WAR,19 stolen bases, and a .303 BAbip. Josh Bell is at No. 5 followed by Corey Seager, Francisco Lindor, Brandon Drury, and Will Smith.
Who Was The Biggest Pitching Snub?
Analyzing who the biggest pitching snub was not as easy as the positional player as each league had three deserving throwers that were very deserving. Dylan Cease, Kevin Gausman and Logan Gilbert are among the candidates for the most unwanted award while Carlos Rodon, Zach Wheeler, and Aaron Nola top the list on the NL side.
I have Wheeler as my biggest snub, just edging out Rodon. Wheeler hasn’t been as dominant as last year, but he definitely deserves to be an all-star as he has been one of the most consistent starters in the league. He has a strong 8-4 record with a 2.45 ERA and 1.05 WHIP while striking out 104 batters in 95 innings.
Rodon is No. 2 on my list as he followed up a career season in 2022 with a strong first half in his initial NL campaign. The 29-year-old left-hander is coming off his best performance of the season, throwing a complete game in a 3-1 victory over the Padres where he permitted just three hits while tying a season-high with 12 strikeouts. Rodon has given up one or fewer runs in five of his last six contests and ranks in the top 20 of the majors in quality starts, wins, strikeouts, ERA, and WHIP.
Next is Cease, who is on pace for a career-year, going 7-4 with a 2.45 ERA, .205 BAA and .619 OPS. The 26-year-old right-hander has 133 strikeouts though he also has a major league-high 43 walks over 92 innings. He ranks in the top 10 of the AL in several categories, topping the junior circuit in strikeouts per 9 innings (13.0) and owns a 2.3 WAR.
No.4 on the list is Gilbert, who is having an outstanding season. Gilbert is 10-3 with a 2.80 ERA, 100 strikeouts, and 1.17 WHIP. The 25-year-old righty is also holding opponents to a .239 batting average and a .661 OPS.
Nola is fifth as his ERA and win-loss percentage (.455) is just a notch below the others, otherwise he is having a fine campaign. Gausman is No. 6 as strikeouts and keeping the ball in the ballpark are his best attributes.