ROTISSERIE: Full-season stats reveal true All-Stars

This article first appeared in the July 3 issue of SportsWeekly.

Major League Baseball tweaked its All-Star voting process again this year. By most accounts, the switch to a two-stage voting process ended up producing a relatively controversy-free group of starters for the American and National Leagues for the July 9 game in Cleveland.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t have a few quibbles with the results. While the fan voting seems to be weighted heavily on what players have done over the first three months of 2019, we prefer to focus on those who have proved themselves over a full season’s worth of games.

So, let's combine stats from July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019, to make a case for the most deserving All-Stars. (Players are listed at their primary position in 2019. Our picks for AL and NL starters are in bold.)

CATCHER BA   CATCHER HR   CATCHER RBI
Ramos, Wilson .293   Grandal, Yasmani 31   Molina, Yadier 77
Narvaez, Omar .290   Sanchez, Gary 27   Realmuto, Jacob 76
Garver, Mitch* .284   Contreras, Willson 21   Grandal, Yasmani 75
Diaz, Elias* .281   Realmuto, Jacob 21   Contreras, Willson 72
Alfaro, Jorge .266   Chirinos, Robinson 19   Chirinos, Robinson 70
McCann, James .265   Narvaez, Omar 19   Garver, Mitch 69
Suzuki, Kurt .262   Hedges, Austin 18   Ramos, Wilson 68
Grandal, Yasmani .261   Garver, Mitch 17   Sanchez, Gary 66
Molina, Yadier .261   Alfaro, Jorge 15   Suzuki, Kurt 57
Posey, Buster .260   Perez, Roberto 15   Lucroy, Jonathan 54
               
CATCHER SB   CATCHER Runs      
Molina, Yadier 6   Realmuto, Jacob 84      
Realmuto, Jacob 5   Grandal, Yasmani 72      
Alfaro, Jorge 4   Narvaez, Omar 61      
Barnes, Austin 4   Contreras, Willson 60      
Grandal, Yasmani 4   Molina, Yadier 59      
Hedges, Austin 4   Chirinos, Robinson 58      
McCann, James 4   Sanchez, Gary 53      
Swihart, Blake 4   Garver, Mitch 52      
Vazquez, Christian 4   McCann, James 50      
Cervelli, Francisco 3   Ramos, Wilson 50      

Gary Sanchez has the power numbers (an AL-leading 27 home runs) and the high profile to make it seem like he has no serious competition. However, Robinson Chirinos tops Sanchez in both RBI (70 to 66) and runs scored (58 to 53) over the past full season. A sub-.240 batting average is a problem for both, which allows Omar Narvaez to steal the starting spot.

With the White Sox in 2018 and the Mariners this year, Narvaez leads all AL catchers with a .290 average and 61 runs scored. His 19 homers and 49 RBI are close enough to the leaders to give him the overall edge.

In the National League, J.T. Realmuto was the consensus No. 1 fantasy catcher this spring after joining a stacked Philadelphia Phillies lineup. He has delivered a solid half-season but hasn’t shown the power surge his change in home parks might have suggested. Yasmani Grandal leads all catchers with 31 home runs and ranks in the top three in all four counting categories.

 

FIRST BASE BA   FIRST BASE HR   FIRST BASE RBI
Freeman, Freddie .307   Hoskins, Rhys 39   Freeman, Freddie 109
Murphy, Daniel .302   Muncy, Max 38   Encarnacion, Edwin 108
Voit, Luke .296   Encarnacion, Edwin 37   Muncy, Max 102
Rizzo, Anthony .292   Rizzo, Anthony 32   Rizzo, Anthony 102
Bell, Josh .291   Cron, C.J. 31   Hoskins, Rhys 101
Goldschmidt, Paul .280   Voit, Luke 31   Hosmer, Eric 93
Alonso, Peter .278   Freeman, Freddie 30   Abreu, Jose 91
Cron, C.J. .276   Goldschmidt, Paul 30   Bell, Josh 91
Flores, Wilmer .276   Abreu, Jose 29   Cron, C.J. 88
Gurriel, Yulieski .275   Bell, Josh 29   Santana, Carlos 88
               
FIRST BASE SB   FIRST BASE Runs      
Bauers, Jake 7   Freeman, Freddie 105      
Freeman, Freddie 7   Muncy, Max 97      
Gurriel, Yulieski 6   Bell, Josh 95      
Rizzo, Anthony 6   Rizzo, Anthony 93      
Goldschmidt, Paul 5   Encarnacion, Edwin 92      
Walker, Christian 5   Santana, Carlos 90      
Belt, Brandon 4   Hoskins, Rhys 87      
Hosmer, Eric 4   Goldschmidt, Paul 85      
Muncy, Max 4   Hosmer, Eric 83      
Murphy, Daniel 4   Voit, Luke 81      

Power rules at first base, and in the AL, no one delivers power more consistently than Edwin Encarnacion. No one else in the league is close to his 37 homers or 108 RBI over the past full year, and he’s first with 92 runs scored as well. The top challenger for Encarnacion is his New York Yankees teammate Luke Voit, who leads AL first basemen with a .296 average to go along with 31 homers, 83 RBI and 81 runs scored.

While the competition has been fierce in recent years, the gap between Freddie Freeman and the rest of the NL first basemen now seems to be getting wider. He leads in batting average (.307), RBI (109) and runs scored (105), while also hitting 30 homers and tying for the lead with seven steals. The NL runner-up isn’t Anthony Rizzo or Paul Goldschmidt, but Max Muncy (38 HRs, 102 RBI, 97 runs).

 

SECOND BASE BA   SECOND BASE HR   SECOND BASE RBI
McNeil, Jeff .339   Moustakas, Mike 35   LeMahieu, DJ 93
LeMahieu, DJ .312   Marte, Ketel 28   Moustakas, Mike 91
Merrifield, Whit .309   Schoop, Jonathan 26   Odor, Rougned 81
Wendle, Joey .299   Odor, Rougned 24   Marte, Ketel 80
Marte, Ketel .296   Dietrich, Derek 23   Merrifield, Whit 78
Zobrist, Ben .294   Dozier, Brian 22   Schoop, Jonathan 74
La Stella, Tommy .294   Profar, Jurickson 22   Profar, Jurickson 73
Diaz, Aledmys .280   Lowe, Brandon 21   Kipnis, Jason 72
Frazier, Adam .274   Albies, Ozzie 20   Lowe, Brandon 72
Cano, Robinson .272   Hernandez, Enrique 20   3 with 70
               
SECOND BASE SB   SECOND BASE Runs      
Merrifield, Whit 40   Merrifield, Whit 115      
Villar, Jonathan 40   LeMahieu, DJ 110      
Gordon, Dee 23   Albies, Ozzie 92      
Wong, Kolten 19   Odor, Rougned 86      
Odor, Rougned 16   Villar, Jonathan 86      
Peraza, Jose 14   Marte, Ketel 85      
Albies, Ozzie 13   Moustakas, Mike 80      
Hernandez, Cesar 12   Hernandez, Cesar 75      
Kinsler, Ian 11   McNeil, Jeff 72      
Wendle, Joe 11   Schoop, Jonathan 69      

Jose Altuve’s injury woes have opened the door for a new standard-bearer among AL second basemen. Although he’s been playing more outfield lately, Whit Merrifield is an easy choice as the league leader in runs scored (115) and stolen bases (40), as well as the runner-up in batting average (.309). Despite hitting primarily in the leadoff spot, Merrifield still ranks in the AL’s top three with 78 RBI.

The fans’ All-Star starter, DJ LeMahieu, is a close second, ranking just ahead of Merrifield in batting average and just behind him in runs scored, while leading all second basemen with 93 RBI.

Already selected by the fans as the NL starter, Ketel Marte has stats that back it up. His .296 average is second in the league to Jeff McNeil’s .339. His 80 RBI trail only Mike Moustakas’ 91. His 85 runs are just behind Ozzie Albies’ 92.

That kind of well-rounded production is enough to give him the edge over Moustakas and his position-leading 35 homers.

 

THIRD BASE BA   THIRD BASE HR   THIRD BASE RBI
Turner, Justin .319   Arenado, Nolan 38   Arenado, Nolan 118
Rendon, Anthony .316   Bregman, Alex 37   Rendon, Anthony 115
Arenado, Nolan .304   Machado, Manny 37   Machado, Manny 106
Diaz, Yandy .293   Chapman, Matt 35   Bregman, Alex 102
Devers, Rafael .290   Suarez, Eugenio 35   Escobar, Eduardo 99
Andujar, Miguel .287   Rendon, Anthony 32   Chapman, Matt 94
Chapman, Matt .285   Carpenter, Matt 31   Suarez, Eugenio 92
Machado, Manny .282   Escobar, Eduardo 29   Ramirez, Jose 82
Escobar, Eduardo .281   Nunez, Renato 25   Cabrera, Asdrubal 74
Bregman, Alex .281   Franco/Shaw 24   Carpenter/Moran 73
               
               
THIRD BASE SB   THIRD BASE Runs      
Ramirez, Jose 38   Rendon, Anthony 117      
Machado, Manny 12   Chapman, Matt 117      
Carpenter, Matt 10   Arenado, Nolan 110      
Moncada, Yoan 9   Bregman, Alex 108      
Devers, Rafael 8   Carpenter, Matt 107      
Nunez, Eduardo 8   Machado, Manny 95      
Fletcher, David 7   Escobar, Eduardo 94      
Bote, David 6   Turner, Justin 90      
Bregman, Alex 6   Ramirez, Jose 86      
3 with  5   Bryant/Devers 82      

Over the past full season, only one AL third baseman has accumulated at least 100 runs scored and 100 RBI: Alex Bregman. With Jose Ramirez enduring a season-long hitting slump and Manny Machado and Eduardo Escobar moving to the NL, Bregman is an easy selection. His league-leading 37 homers are just icing on the cake.

Don’t forget about Oakland’s Matt Chapman, though. He leads the AL with 117 runs scored, in addition to hitting 35 homers and driving in 94 runs.

In the NL, the Rockies’ Nolan Arenado is still king of the mountain. He tops everyone at the position with 38 homers and 118 RBI and ranks third in batting average at .304.

However, Anthony Rendon is gaining ground. The first-time All-Star this season has a higher batting average (.316) than Arenado, is right behind him in RBI (115) and is tied with Chapman for the most runs scored at the position over the past full season.

 

SHORTSTOP BA   SHORTSTOP HR   SHORTSTOP RBI
Polanco, Jorge .305   Story, Trevor 38   Bogaerts, Xander 116
Story, Trevor .302   Baez, Javier 38   Baez, Javier 108
Bogaerts, Xander .299   Lindor, Francisco 30   Story, Trevor 98
Baez, Javier .289   Torres, Gleyber 29   DeJong, Paul 85
Andrus, Elvis .281   Bogaerts, Xander 27   Torres, Gleyber 85
Iglesias, Jose .280   DeJong, Paul 24   Polanco, Jorge 81
Torres, Gleyber .278   Beckham, Tim 23   Semien, Marcus 81
Mondesi, Adalberto .277   Swanson, Dansby 22   Swanson, Dansby 80
Lindor, Francisco .276   Galvis, Freddy 21   Mondesi, Adalberto 77
Simmons, Andrelton .275   Mondesi/Semien 19   Galvis, Freddy 76
               
SHORTSTOP SB   SHORTSTOP Runs      
Mondesi, Adalberto 56   Story, Trevor 109      
Turner, Trea 38   Baez, Javier 105      
Rosario, Amed 30   Lindor, Francisco 104      
Story, Trevor 29   Semien, Marcus 100      
Lindor, Francisco 27   Bogaerts, Xander 99      
Anderson, Tim 24   DeJong, Paul 99      
Andrus, Elvis 21   Polanco, Jorge 93      
Peraza, Jose 14   Turner, Trea 88      
Swanson, Dansby 14   Andrus, Elvis 87      
Baez, Javier 13   Rosario, Amed 83      

Picking the AL’s top shortstop might be the toughest call of all. Jorge Polanco is tops in batting average at .305. Francisco Lindor is the only one to hit 30 homers. And Adalberto Mondesi has 56 stolen bases, more than twice as many as anyone else.

In the end, Xander Bogaerts’ dominance in RBI — his 116 are 31 more than runner-up Gleyber Torres — and his top-five ranking in four of the five statistical categories give him the nod.

In the NL, it’s a two-horse race between Javier Baez and Trevor Story. They’re dead even with 38 home runs apiece. Baez has a slight lead in RBI, but Story has scored more runs. Based on overall offensive numbers, Story wins in a photo finish thanks to a 13-point edge in batting average (.302 to .289) and his 29 stolen bases.

 

OUTFIELD BA   OUTFIELD HR   OUTFIELD RBI
Yelich, Christian .343   Yelich, Christian 54   Yelich, Christian 139
Blackmon, Charlie .323   Renfroe, Hunter 46   Harper, Bryce 110
Bellinger, Cody .316   Acuna, Ronald 40   Martinez, J.D. 110
Martinez, J.D. .315   Gallo, Joey 40   Ozuna, Marcell 106
Brantley, Michael .312   Trout, Mike 37   Bellinger, Cody 103
Gurriel, Lourdes .307   Bellinger, Cody 36   Acuna, Ronald 101
Cabrera, Melky .304   Martinez, J.D. 36   Soto, Juan 101
Betts, Mookie .302   Blackmon, Charlie 35   Conforto, Michael 99
Dahl, David .301   Conforto, Michael 34   Gallo, Joey 94
Trout, Mike .300   Pederson, Joc 34   Renfroe, Hunter 93
Acuna, Ronald .299   Reyes, Franmil 34   Blackmon, Charlie 91
Martinez, Jose .297   Calhoun, Kole 33   Gordon, Alex 91
Pham, Tommy .297   Kepler, Max 33   Piscotty, Stephen 89
Peralta, David .295   Ozuna, Marcell 33   Peralta, David 87
Springer, George .294   Mancini/Puig 31   Trout, Mike 87
               
OUTFIELD SB   OUTFIELD Runs      
Smith,  Mallex 46   Betts, Mookie 131      
Hamilton, Billy 35   Yelich, Christian 130      
Yelich, Christian 30   Blackmon, Charlie 124      
Acuna, Ronald 27   Acuna, Ronald 120      
Marte, Starling 27   Harper, Bryce 106      
Betts, Mookie 24   Bellinger, Cody 102      
Cain, Lorenzo 24   Martinez, J.D. 102      
Dyson, Jarrod 21   Kepler, Max 101      
Puig, Yasiel 21   Soto, Juan 101      
Kiermaier, Kevin 20   Gardner, Brett 100      
Myers, Wil 20   Calhoun, Kole 99      
Trout, Mike 19   Trout, Mike 98      
Gore, Terrance 18   Haniger, Mitch 94      
Allen, Greg 17   Conforto, Michael 93      
Bellinger, Cody 17   Castellanos, Nick 92      

No All-Star team is complete without Mike Trout in the outfield. A wrist injury that cost him three weeks last August kept Trout from dominating the leaderboard, but he still hit .300 with 37 homers (second in the AL to Joey Gallo’s 40), 98 runs scored and 87 RBI.

J.D. Martinez is the only AL outfielder to hit at least .300 with 35 homers, 100 RBI and 100 runs scored over the past full season.

Although his 2019 has been far below the standard he set in winning AL MVP honors last year, Mookie Betts is still hitting .302 over the past full season and he leads all outfielders with 131 runs scored.

Christian Yelich’s numbers from his MVP season in 2018 were impressive. But, as crazy as it sounds, his numbers over the past calendar year have been even better.

The Brewers’ outfielder leads the majors in batting average (.343), home runs (54) and RBI (139) and it’s not even particularly close in any of those categories. And just to round things out, he leads the NL in runs scored (130) and ranks first among NL outfielders in stolen bases (30).

Cody Bellinger is doing his best to keep pace with Yelich, ranking third overall in batting average (.316), hitting 36 homers and joining Yelich with at least 100 runs and 100 RBI.

A third member of that club, Ronald Acuna Jr., snags the last NL outfield spot. He’s among the outfield leaders in all five fantasy categories, including third in homers with 40 and tied for fourth in steals with 27.

(Washington’s Juan Soto is the NL’s fourth 100/100 club member, but with only 28 home runs, his position is “left out.”)

 

PITCHER ERA   PITCHER WHIP   PITCHER Wins
Ryu, Hyun-Jin    1.85   Verlander, Justin    0.87   Verlander, Justin 17
Chavez, Jesse    2.40   Buehler, Walker    0.94   Gibson, Kyle 16
deGrom, Jacob    2.41   deGrom, Jacob    0.95   Giolito, Lucas 16
Castillo, Luis    2.55   Sale, Chris    0.96   Greinke, Zack 16
Scherzer, Max    2.72   Ryu, Hyun-Jin    0.96   Hendricks, Kyle 16
Buehler, Walker    2.82   Scherzer, Max    0.99   Marquez, German 16
Minor, Mike    2.88   Greinke, Zack    0.99   Scherzer, Max 16
Williams, Trevor    2.92   Kershaw, Clayton    1.02   Snell, Blake 16
Verlander, Justin    2.93   Hill, Rich    1.03   Wheeler, Zack 16
Kershaw, Clayton    2.93   Chavez, Jesse    1.08   Yarbrough, Ryan 16
Bauer, Trevor    2.94   Chirinos, Yonny    1.08   Bieber, Shane 15
Greinke, Zack    2.95   Castillo, Luis    1.09   Fiers, Mike 15
Hill, Rich    2.95   Price, David    1.09   Kershaw, Clayton 15
Taillon, Jameson    2.97   Boyd, Matt    1.09   Lester, Jon 15
Hendricks, Kyle    3.04   Snell, Blake    1.09   Lynn/Mikolas 15
               
PITCHER Strikeouts   PITCHER Saves      
Scherzer, Max 305   Diaz, Edwin 43      
Verlander, Justin 293   Jansen, Kenley 40      
Cole, Gerrit 286   Vazquez, Felipe 40      
deGrom, Jacob 263   Yates, Kirby 37      
Marquez, German 250   Greene, Shane 35      
Ray, Robbie 243   Smith, Will 34      
Nola, Aaron 227   Romo, Sergio 33      
Snell, Blake 225   Treinen, Blake 33      
Bieber, Shane 224   Chapman, Aroldis 32      
Corbin, Patrick 223   Davis, Wade 32      
Sale, Chris 221   Hand, Brad 32      
Carrasco, Carlos 214   Iglesias, Raisel 29      
Boyd, Matt 212   Osuna, Roberto 29      
Wheeler, Zack 208   Giles, Kenneth 27      
Bauer, Trevor 207   Hader, Joshua 25      

From a statistical point of view, Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer are the slam-dunk choices to start the All-Star Game on the mound. Verlander leads the majors with 17 wins and a miserly 0.87 WHIP over the past full season, while Scherzer ranks first in strikeouts with 305 and fifth in ERA (2.72).

It’s a little more difficult to choose the second and third starters for each league. Mike Minor doesn’t strike many batters out (just 172), but he’s been extremely effective with a 2.88 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 14 wins. Meanwhile, Gerrit Cole’s 286 strikeouts carry enough weight to offset a 3.31 ERA.

Hyun-Jin Ryu gets the nod for his major league-leading 1.85 ERA and stellar 0.96 WHIP. Reigning Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom rounds out the NL trio on the strength of his 263 strikeouts, 2.41 ERA and 0.95 WHIP.

Brad Hand is tied for fourth in the AL with 32 saves, but he leads the league’s closers with 101 strikeouts.

Edwin Diaz has more saves than anyone over the past year (43), but Felipe Vazquez gets the NL nod when you combine his 40 saves with 102 strikeouts and a 1.76 ERA.

 

  BA     HR     RBI
Yelich, Christian .343   Yelich, Christian 54   Yelich, Christian 139
McNeil, Jeff .339   Renfroe, Hunter 46   Arenado, Nolan 118
Blackmon, Charlie .323   Davis, Khristopher 44   Bogaerts, Xander 116
Turner, Justin .319   Acuna, Ronald 40   Rendon, Anthony 115
Rendon, Anthony .316   Gallo, Joey 40   Davis, Khristopher 111
Bellinger, Cody .316   Hoskins, Rhys 39   Harper, Bryce 110
Martinez, J.D. .315   Arenado, Nolan 38   Martinez, J.D. 110
Brantley, Michael .312   Baez, Javier 38   Freeman, Freddie 109
LeMahieu, DJ .312   Muncy, Max 38   Baez, Javier 108
Merrifield, Whit .309   Story, Trevor 38   Encarnacion, Edwin 108
Freeman, Freddie .307   Bregman, Alex 37   Machado, Manny 106
Gurriel, Lourdes .307   Encarnacion, Edwin 37   Ozuna, Marcell 106
Polanco, Jorge .305   Machado, Manny 37   Bellinger, Cody 103
Arenado, Nolan .304   Trout, Mike 37   Bregman, Alex 102
Cabrera, Melky .304   Bellinger/Martinez, J.D. 36   Muncy/Rizzo 102
               
  SB     Runs      
Mondesi, Adalberto 56   Betts, Mookie 131      
Smith, Mallex 46   Yelich, Christian 130      
Merrifield, Whit 40   Blackmon, Charlie 124      
Villar, Jonathan 40   Acuna, Ronald 120      
Ramirez, Jose 38   Chapman, Matt 117      
Turner, Trea 38   Rendon, Anthony 117      
Hamilton, Billy 35   Merrifield, Whit 115      
Rosario, Amed 30   Arenado, Nolan 110      
Yelich, Christian 30   LeMahieu, DJ 110      
Story, Trevor 29   Story, Trevor 109      
Acuna, Ronald 27   Bregman, Alex 108      
Lindor, Francisco 27   Carpenter, Matt 107      
Marte, Starling 27   Harper, Bryce 106      
Anderson, Tim 24   Baez, Javier 105      
Betts/Cain 24   Freeman, Freddie 105      

Note: Minimum 300 AB to qualify for BA; Minimum 100 IP to qualify for ERA and WHIP

*- Had at least 290 AB, but did not reach 300 AB minimum 

Statistics compiled by Matt Cederholm, BaseballHQ.com.


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  For more information about the terms used in this article, see our Glossary Primer.