If it were up to fans of the Boston Red Sox, the All-Star Game would feature 25 Red Sox players and nobody else. That is not how the rest of the voting public (including the players) see it. Even though they didn’t get 25 players on the roster, they did get five, which is still pretty great. Congratulations to Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez, Mitch Moreland, Chris Sale and Craig Kimbrel.
Even if it would be crazy to put 25 players from one team on an All Star, there were a few players from the Red Sox that had legitimate All-Star arguments. The two guys who got snubbed the most were Andrew Benintendi and Xander Bogaerts.
Starting with Benintendi, his snub status could be erased if you all do the right thing and #VoteBenny every minute of every day. If it is not, then this will be a major snub. The AL has a ton of outfield talent, and Benintendi is among the top of that pool. He is tied for fourth in the league among outfielders in fWAR behind Mike Trout, Betts and Aaron Judge, sitting evenly with Martinez. The outfielders that made it above him (besides the four I just mentioned) are George Springer, Mitch Haniger, Michael Brantley and Shin-Soo Choo. All four are having fine, even great, seasons and its heartening to see Choo make the roster for the first time in his career, but Benintendi is having a better year than all of them. Choo is the only one of those four to have Benintendi beat in wOBA and wRC+, but Benintendi has been the superior base runner and defender, which is clearly shown in his fWAR total. As for the other five contenders on the Final Vote ballot with him, don’t make me laugh.
Andrew Benintendi leads all American League final vote candidates in on-base percentage (.379), OPS (.894), runs scored per game (0.75), weighted on-base average (.388), runs (65), RBI (55), and stolen bases (16). #VoteBenny https://t.co/8FFfvtuFaT— Jared Carrabis (@Jared_Carrabis) July 9, 2018
Now let’s turn our attention to the X-Man. The AL has a lot of great shortstops. Manny Machado, Francisco Lindor, Jean Segura and Andrelton Simmons are just a few of the great options out there. Machado and Lindor both made the All Star team, while Simmons and Segura are on the Final Vote and Bogaerts is ... well he’s not. Bogaerts is having a sensational year, thanks to a big increase in his power numbers. He is third in the AL among shortstops in wRC+ and wOBA. There is a narrative that can be made that he should be in the Final Vote and not Simmons.
But, as much as it pains me to say it, Bogaerts wasn’t snubbed. He is fifth in the AL among shortstops in fWAr, and even if he has superior power numbers to Simmons and Segura, those two bring some other fantastic things to the table. Simmons is one of the greatest defenders of his generation and Segura is batting .330 and has 14 stolen bases, which ranks second in the AL among shortstops.
Bogaerts and Benintendi will both be on future All Star rosters. I’m sure of that. Also, as long as the Red Sox keep winning, does it really matter all that much that they didn’t this year? Still, as long as we are wrapped up in All Star fever, the level-headed response should be that Benintendi was snubbed a bit and Bogaerts just lost out to some other exceptional candidates.
Now go #VoteBenny.
Mookie Betts is the best right fielder in baseball right now. Is he the best... ever... for the Red Sox? (Matthew Kory; The Athletic) ($$)
Christian Vazquez is going to miss nearly two months after surgery for a broken finger. (Jason Mastrodonato; Boston Herald)
Stop complaining about David Price. (Chad Finn; Boston Globe)
Hold on. The All Star snub we’re not talking about is Steve Pearce. I mean, he’s been pretty incredible with the Red Sox so far. That’s enough for me. I’m kidding, of course. I think. (Chris Cotillo; MassLive)
The rest of the Red Sox’s schedule is going to be heavy on home games. (Nick Cafardo; Boston Globe)
Let’s look at the push to get Andrew Benintendi into the All Star game. (Chad Jennings; The Athletic) ($$)
Brian Johnson talks with the rest of the pitching staff about pitching and then follows some of his friends around the league. Plus insights from other players about their baseball conversations with teammates and fellow players. (David Laurila; FanGraphs)