This was a brutal weekend for the Red Sox in London, but the baseball world moves on. With that in mind, Sunday night featured the announcement of the All-Star rosters. The Red Sox will have a couple of representatives making their way out to Cleveland to participate in the 2019 All-Star game, but it’s probably not the two most would say deserve it. The two who will make it are Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez.
We’ll start with those two before getting into the snubs, though the latter is probably more notable at this point. Still, for as much as the snubs might deserve it more than Betts and Martinez, it’s not as though we’re talking about a couple of scrubs here. I talked about Betts in length earlier this week, but it’s worth mentioning again that he has indeed been outstanding this year even in a down season. He has been getting on base at a high clip, walking 16 percent of the time and putting up a .381 OBP. His quality of contact has gone down a bit, however, and his 119 wRC+ is certainly below expectations. Even with all of that, though, he is 13th in the American League in terms of position player fWAR. This will be the fourth consecutive All-Star appearance for Betts.
As for Martinez, like Betts he has taken a step back compared to 2018. That said, he has still been tremendous at the plate. The Red Sox designated hitter has hit .298/.374/.549 to this point for a wRC+ of 137. For context, that ties him with Gleyber Torres as the eighth-best hitter in the American League by that measure. This will be Martinez’ third All-Star selection. If for no other reason, these two certainly bring the star power, even if the performance is below the massive preseason expectations.
Still, as I said, the snubs certainly seem more relevant than the two who actually made it. Those would, of course, be Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers. The left side of the infield for the Red Sox has been outstanding this season. The former is picking up right where he left off last year and has been the most consistent force in Boston’s lineup all year. He’s hitting .299/.392/.540 for a 141 wRC+. Devers, meanwhile, is having a massive breakout season hitting .322/.372/.525 for a 132 wRC+. Making it over these two were Francisco Lindor as the backup shortstop and Matt Chapman as the backup third baseman.
Bogaerts should absolutely be in over Lindor. The latter is a better player in a vacuum, is having a good season and is one of the game’s brightest starts. Bogaerts is having a much, much better season, though. As for third base, Chapman does have a strong case over Devers. That said, it’s strange that they are carrying two backup DH’s and just one third baseman. Either way, it’s a bummer for Devers, who not only misses out on the All-Star experience but also will miss a bit of a pay bump that comes with each All-Star appearance in arbitration talks.