Which Pittsburgh Pirates were Snubbed from the All-Star Game?

Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Pittsburgh Pirates with a Tenuous Case

David Freese

A cursory glance at Freese’s stats suggests that he may have a case for inclusion on the team. He has a higher batting average (.296) than both the selected third basemen (Nolan Arenado and starter Kris Bryant) and a comparable on-base percentage (.369 sandwiched between Arenado’s .365 and Bryant’s .370).

However, once again the lack of power is what prevents Freese from garnering serious consideration. Though Freese has a respectable nine home runs, Arenado and Bryant have 23 and 25 respectively. This gives them significantly higher slugging, OPS, and wOBA. However, Freese’s wRC+ is comparable to Arenado’s (128 vs. 130).

Jordy Mercer

Mercer, or at least another shortstop, does have a legitimate case to be included over starter Addison Russell. Corey Seager of the Los Angeles Dodgers should be the starter at this position, but fan voting ruined that by forcing the inclusion of Russell in the game. Seager leads both Mercer and Russell significantly in all major categories, however the two players are comparable statistically.

Though Russell has more home runs (11 vs. 5), Mercer leads in both batting average (.278 vs. .242) and On-Base Percentage (.363 vs. .338). Finally, their respective wOBA (.322 vs. .323) and wRC+ (103 vs. 100) are comparable. Unfortunately for Mercer the fan vote which selected Russell forced Seager to be selected as a reserve and left no room for Mercer. Realistically though, another shortstop would have likely been selected still above Mercer or Russell if it was based purely on statistics.

Neftali Feliz and Tony Watson

If any Pittsburgh Pirates pitchers other than Melancon had any chance of being selected, it was likely one of these two relievers. Feliz has been a nice addition to the bullpen this season, striking out nearly 10 batters per 9 innings pitched (9.95 K/9) and with a WHIP under 1 (0.92). Watson has been his normally dominant self after a rough start to the season. Watson’s WHIP is exactly 1.00 and he is striking out 8 batters per 9 innings pitched.

Unfortunately for Feliz and Watson relievers who get selected for the All-Star game are typically closers. Typically, middle relievers who get selected are either 1) especially dominant as Watson was in 2014 or 2) on poor performing teams for which no better option is available as Evan Meek was for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2010. Neither of these applies to Feliz and Watson this season.

Next: Possibly Snubbed