I would like to take this opportunity (highjack the opening paragraph of this post) to rant about Bryce Harper’s current All-Star vote total. At the moment, a phrase I’ve chosen instead of “currently”, Harper is second in voting for National League Outfielders. With approximately a little more than one million votes, he is not far behind Nick Markakis. Allow me to remind you that just a few weeks ago I referred to Markakis as the current points league MVP. Given his draft position, or lack thereof considering he as undrafted in most leagues, I stand by that comment. It’s not the players you draft in the first two rounds that win you the championship. They are supposed to be superstars. In reality they have a better chance of helping you lose the championship by not living up to their draft status. An early round flub can put you in a serious hole. This concept is a bit more pronounced in fantasy football where rosters are smaller and losing your first round running back can pretty much doom your entire season. It’s undrafted players like Nick Markakis, whom I’ve been patting on the back in points leagues since I started writing for Razzball, that give you the boosts you need to win your league.
Let’s try and put Nick’s 2018 season into perspective. Right now he has 228 points and a 0.73 points per plate appearance. Ignoring Mike Trout who is having another Mike Trout season, Markakis is only 40 or so points behind Jose Ramirez who is second in points amongst hitters. Do you know what Jose Altuve, Nolan Arenado, Francisco Lindor, George Springer, Aaron Judge, Joey Votto and Bryce Harper all have in common. If you guessed that they all read Grey’s posts you’d probably be right, but it’s not what I was looking for. The correct answer is that they all have less fantasy points than Markakis. Another acceptable answer would have been that they were all drafted in the first two (maybe three) rounds.
I’m really happy to see the that Markakis’s success is being recognized. Personally I’ve always hated the fact that the fans get to vote for the starters in the All-Star game. It’s a stupid tradition that I wish would be ended. The results often reek of favoritism, and as a result, some well deserving players are denied the opportunity to be announced as a starter, which is an honor any player would relish.
Bryce Harper has little business even being in the All-Star game let alone a starter. I don’t care if he has 19 home runs. He’s batting .212 and I don’t think he should get the nod simply because his name is Bryce Harper and he is supposed to be awesome. David Peralta, A.J. Pollock and Christian Yelich are all better choices. I’d even go with late blooming Marcel Ozuna.
Harper: .212 AVG, 19 HR, 43 RBI, 6, SB, 245 AB
Peralta: .277 AVG, 14 HR, 37 RBI, 2 SB 256 AB
Pollock: .293 AVG, 11 HR, 33 RBI, 9 SB, 150 AB
Yelich: .297 AVG, 9 HR, 31 RBI, 8 SB, 236 AB
Ozuna: .288 AVG, 10 HR, 40 RBI, 2 SB, 257 AB
While I’m on the topic, here are a few other players currently leading the vote at the position that shouldn’t be.
Aaron Judge should overrule the voting and sentence himself to the bench. There’s more to being an All-Star than being able to swat home runs. Can someone other than me please tell the fans. I realize Judge plays for the Yankees (I am a Yankees fan) and has the support of 80 percent of the New York area. The other 20 percent are either Mets fans, fans of some non-NY team or just don’t care about baseball (aka losers). In place of Judge I’m going with Eddie Rosario, but Andrew Benintendi and Michael Brantley are also better choice IMHO. The fact that Rosario is 12th amongst AL outfielders is just appalling.
Judge: .275 AVG, 18 HR, 47 RBI, 4 SB, 255 AB
Rosario: .321 AVG, 16 HR, 46 RBI, 6 SB, 271 AB
Brantley: .321 AVG, 11 HR, 40 RBI, 4 SB, 246 AB
Benintendi: .299 AVG, 12 HR, 47 RBI, 12 SB, 264 AB
Had I written this post a few days ago I would have been shitting on Gary Sanchez (another Yankee), who up until yesterday, was leading American League catchers. Sanchez has a .194 batting average. That alone should be grounds for being ineligible altogether. Fortunately the fans have righted the ship and the voting has shifted in favor of my pick, Wilson Ramos.
Ronald Acuna Jr. is fifth in voting amongst NL outfielders. Seriously? That’s two spots out of a starting spot. I prove my point about fan involvement in the process.
The above players are based on all around performance and not points leagues. If I were casting my ballot for the points league All-Star teams it would look like the following:
C: Evan Gattis (150 points)
1B: Jose Abreu (187 points)
2B: Jose Altuve (217 points)
3B: Jose Ramirez (272 points)
SS: Manny Machado (233 points)
OF: Mike Trout (310 points)
OF: Mookie Betts (253 points)
OF: Andrew Benintendi (245 points)
DH: J.D. Martinez (230 points)
If Manny Machado would change his name to Jose Machado we’d have an all Jose infield (excluding catcher).
C: J.T. Realmuto (143 points)
1B: Freddie Freeman (254 points)
2B: Ozzie Albies (211 points)
3B: Nolan Arenado (212 points)
SS: Trevor Story (191 points)
OF: Nick Markakis (228 points)
OF: Bryce Harper (198 points)
OF: Charlie Blackmon (191 points)
Yes, I realize I’ve include Bryce Harper in this list which goes against me earlier remarks, but this is based purely on fantasy points for a fake fantasy team. However Lorenzo Cain and Scooter Gennett were very close substitutes.
Some non All-Star players you might want to consider moving forward include Joc Pederson who has averaged over 20 points per week over the last three weeks and already has 9 points so far this week.
The buy low window on Marcel Ozuna has closed. For good measure Paul Goldschmidt hit a home run a broke the window once it was closed. He now has nine homers in the month of June and more points than I can even count.
Brandon Nimmo is on pace for 28 home runs and 16 stolen bases.
Ross Stripling has been one of the best points league starting pitcher over the last three weeks. He is 4-0 in four starts and is averaging 25 points per start. The other two are Max Scherzer and Luis Severino. Both have averaged 25 points per start as well, but since they were preseason studs, their performances are not quite as impressive.
Follow malamoney on Twitter at @malamoney.