Washington Nationals’ SS Trea Turner – why isn’t he on the list? (Photo by the U.S. Navy, via Wikipedia)
This year – for the first time – MLB is allowing fans to vote for the “All-MLB Team.” According to MLB.com, this is “baseball’s first-of-its-kind foray into a star squad that covers the full breadth of the Major League season and does not separate players by league.” In other words, it’s the post-season determination of the best players, kind of like the All-Star teams, but given a full year’s performance. Fans can vote through December 3 at 5 p.m. using this website:
Fifty percent of the vote will come from fan voting and 50 percent will come from a panel of experts. The “inaugural” All-MLB team will be announced on December 10 during the annual Winter Meetings.
My problem with this “election” is that I’m not sure how the players that made the list were selected. I’ve read a bunch of articles – all complimentary – about the voting, but none of them explained the origin of the lists. If you check their stats on the MLB stats page, they are not necessarily the top ranked players at each position (depending on which stat you sort on). I compared the list of players you can vote for to a few who didn’t make the list – and still can’t figure out how they came up with the list. (If someone knows, please let me know!)
Yankees’ SS Gleyber Torres made the list. (Photo by DR Buddie, via Wikipedia)
For example, the players you can vote for as the All-MLB Team shortstop appear below (with their stats):
- Tim Anderson (CWS) .335 AVG, 18 HR, 56 RBI, 17 SB, .865 OPS
- Xander Bogaerts (BOS) .309 AVG, 33 HR, 117 RBI, 4 SB, .939 OPS
- Jorge Polanco (MIN) .295 AVG, 22 HR, 79 RBI, 4 SB, .841 OPS
- Trevor Story (COL) .294 AVG, 35 HR, 85 RBI, 23 SB, .917 OPS
- Marcus Semien (OAK) .285 AVG, 33 HR, 92 RBI, 10 SB, .892 OPS
- Francisco Lindor (CLE) .284 AVG, 32 HR, 74 RBI, 22 SB, .854 OPS
- Javier Báez (CHC) .281 AVG, 29 HR, 85 RBI, 11 SB, .847 OPS
- Gleyber Torres (NYY) .278 AVG, 38 HR, 90 RBI, 5 SB, .871 OPS
But what about Trea Turner who is ranked #10 (in terms of batting average among shortstops) on the MLB stats page? (This was higher than Polanco, Story, Semien, Lindor, Baez, and Torres, who ranked 11, 12, 16, 17, 20, and 23, respectively.) Trea had a .295 average with 19 home runs, 57 RBI, 35 stolen bases, and a .850 OPS. Seems like he stacks up pretty well against these guys. And let’s not forget Fernando Tatis, Jr., who, despite injuries, hit .317 with 22 HR, 53 RBI, 16 SB, and an OPS of .969 – note that his OPS is higher than anyone else on the list!
I’m sure we can make arguments for other players in other positions (Adam Jones? Manny Machado?), but I’ll just save that for another day. If you want to vote for this new award, you have until December 3 at 5 pm.