After the All-Star teams are announced, there immediately is a debate over guys who were passed over and guys maybe not as deserving. Ben Gamel, Anthony Rendon, Justin Turner and Mike Moustakas are some of the names that jump out as players that should have made the teams, although everyone is going to argue that their teams player should have made it. That’s just the nature of the beast nowadays. Forget the best players for a moment though. Baseball has it’s best and it also has its worst, giving great reason to make a non-all star team based off this years performances.
NOTE: 100 AB’s is the minimium to make this list, and at least 10 starts as a starting pitcher.
Catcher: Jeff Mathis, Arizona, .185/.223/.315, 2 HR, 8 RBI
Water is wet, the sky is blue and Jeff Mathis is having a poor offensive year. All of those are pretty much the norm as the defensive minded Mathis is yet again lost at the plate this season. Defense pays it’s dues though, as Mathis has had a job as a backup catcher since 2006 when he broke in with the Angels as Mike Napoli’s defensive replacement. Mathis has never hit over .240 nor has he ever had an OBP over .290 and this year will be no different.
First Base: Chris Carter, New York, .203/.283/.374, 8 HR, 26 RBI
Notorious for huge power, huge strikeout numbers and no contact, Chris Carter’s 2017 campaign has been no different than the usual as the big man has struggled mightily for the Yankees. His struggles have been so extreme though, that they Yankees finally had enough and designated him for assignment for the second time in two weeks yesterday. Carter’s replacement Tyler Austin hasn’t been much better, even going down with an injury, giving Carter a second chance, which Carter screwed up.
Second Base: Danny Espinosa, Los Angels Angels, .166/.242/.283, 6 HR, 29 RBI
Danny Espinosa has never been known for his ability to put the ball in play but for the most part he’s been able to make up for it with respectable power numbers. This year, it hasn’t been the case and his average numbers are even more abysmal than usual. Espinosa was expected to be a versatile utility guy with power and while his ability to play multiple infield positions has benefited, it’s been tough to get him into the Angels lineup with the just miserable offensive year that he’s having.
Third Base: Ryan Schimpf, San Diego, .158/.284/.424, 14 HR, 25 RBI
Schimpf does have power unlike several guys on this list but that .158 mark is just painfully bad. Schimpf came out of nowhere last season, hitting 20 home runs in 89 games for the Padres while also driving in 51 runs. The power has stayed around this year, but so did the t so did the poor batting average and the sky high strikeout numbers. Schimpf has 26 hits and 70 strikeouts this season and 14 of those hits are home runs. Plain and simple, just having power isn’t going to bail you out if you are as bad of a contact hitter as Schimpf is.
Shortstop: J.J. Hardy, Baltimore, .211/.248/.308, 3 HR, 21 RBI
A few weeks back, I wrote that Alcides Escobar was having one of the worst seasons in baseball history, and at that time he would have been a shoo-in for this spot. Escobar is still having a horrible season, but a solid month of June has made his numbers a little more respectable. J.J. Hardy on the other hand has been just horrible. Once upon a time, Hardy was a great player and one of the better shortstops in baseball. He won a Silver Slugger in 2013 and also making two all-star teams while winning three straight gold gloves between 2012 and 2014. He was never a great average hitter, but always made up for it with his power, hitting over 20 home runs five different times in his career. At 34 years old though, the power is gone and his average is far worse than it has been in the past. He’s had trouble staying healthy too, missing games throughout the season and hasn’t been productive when he has been healthy enough to play.
Outfielders: Kyle Schwarber, Chicago, .171/.295/.378, 12 HR, 28 RBI
Alex Gordon, Kansas City, .198/.292/.306, 5 HR, 25 RBI
Michael Saunders, Philadelphia/Toronto .205/.257/.360, 6 HR, 20 RBI
Kyle Schwarber somehow ended up with a million votes to be an All-Star. Schwarber has been baseball’s most overrated player in the last two years, largely because of his power numbers and because of how the media adores anything that relates to the Cubs. The big outfielder has been horrible this year, so bad that the Cubs optioned him to Triple-A a few weeks ago. Speaking of overrated players, Alex Gordon was a darling for years for reasons that I still struggle to understand. He had a good glove, came up clutch and got on base fairly well but was never a real superstar. This year, Gordon has been awful not even breaking a .200 average so far. Michael Saunders was a brilliant last season, finally staying healthy and making his first All-Star team. Last year is something of the past though and Saunders has been horrible this season, and has actually wound up back in Toronto after being released by the Phillies on June 25th.
Pitcher: Sam Dyson, Texas/San Francisco, 1-7, 4 BSV, 8.31 ERA, 15 BB, 19 K, .339 BAA, 2.08 WHIP
It’s difficult to put into words just how bad Sam Dyson has been. Seven losses, four blown saves a sky high ERA and hardly more strikeouts than walks is hardly a recipe for success. It hasn’t been a good recipe for Dyson either who has been flat out horrible this year, leaving hitters licking their chops when he comes into a game. Three times in his 27 games, Dyson has sent down the opposing team in order. Every other appearance, he’s either walked someone, given up a hit or allowed to run. It’s fitting that Dyson wraps up this article as he’s having the definition of a horrible year.