With the MLB All-Star voting complete and the starters and reserves decided, I thought I would take this opportunity to pick the real points league All-Stars. What do I mean by “real” All-Stars? Well it’s easy to spot the superstar players that are performing above the board, but when it’s a player that you drafted in the early rounds that is only doing what he was expected to do, it’s not nearly as impressive as a guy that you drafted late or picked up off the waiver wire. I’ve said this several times before and I’ll say it again, it’s not the studs you draft early that win you the championship, it’s the players that outperform their draft day value and the waiver wire wonders that do that.
Buster Posey – Now I know this one might seem like a strange pick given he has been one of the top two catchers this season and the NL starting backstop, but it all comes down to the fact that his ADP was round 18. Drafting one of the top two catchers that late in the draft is a huge win. Instead of drafting J.T. Realmuto in the 5th round, you could have taken Ozzie Albies, Whit Merrifield, Brandon Woodruff or Zach Wheeler. Only Salvador Perez (181) has more points than Buster (162), but Posey’s points per plate appearance (0.70) is reasonably higher than every other catcher.
Honorable Mention: Omar Narvaez
Yuli Gurriel – Based on the stats, I probably should have gone with Matt Olson, who has the slight edge in points. But when you factor in ADP, Gurriel is a no brainer. Like Buster, Yuli was an 18th round pick. Olson went in the 11th. Gurriel has 250 points. Only Olson (260) and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (334) have more. His .322 batting average is directly translating into points. Instead of drafting Freddie Freeman in the first round, you could have taken Jose Ramirez or Trea Turner.
Honorable Mention: Matt Olson
Adam Frazier – I was tempted to go with Jake Cronenworth, but the fact that Frazier went largely undrafted made the decision easier. With an ADP of round 12, Cronenworth is currently the third best second baseman, behind only Ozzie Albies and Jose Altuve. And those guys were drafted in the 5th and 4th rounds respectively. Frazier, however, is only a few fantasy points behind Cronenworth and has actually earned the NL 2B starting nod. So he’s both a “real” and actual All-Star. For a guy with only 4 home runs he’s really getting things done, to the tune of a .322 average.
Honorable Mention: Jake Cronenworth
Tommy Edman – Edman is doing it with quantity. He is second in the league in plate appearances behind Marcus Semien. That means that his point total is largely due to the fact that he’s getting lots of chances to get points, but at the end of the day that doesn’t mean his points are worth any less because of it. 202 points for a 17th round pick ain’t too shabby.
Honorable Mention: Justin Turner
Brandon Crawford – Shortstop is a very stacked position. I remember the days when it was Troy Tulowitzki or bust. Fast forward to 2021 and there are more than plenty of options to go around. Lots of potential first round picks at that. Crawford is only the 7th ranked SS based on points with 210 points, but his PPPA (0.76) is second best to Fernando Tatis Jr. (0.96). He currently has 17 home runs. His career high is 21 back in 2015. If I were a betting man, I’d say he’s going to top that considering he’s on pace for 33. If he can somehow maintain his pace, and stay healthy, he might top 100 RBIs for the first time ever. In a year that he went undrafted in most leagues, he is having the best year of his career. Glad to see him actually make the NL team.
Honorable Mention: Marcus Semien
Jesse Winker – Not only is Winker starting for the National League, but he’s also in my starting roster. Only Ronald Acuna Jr. (288) and Whit Merrifield (264) have more points than Winker. He’s actually tied with his Cincinnati teammate, Nick Castellanos (257). But when it comes to points per plate appearance, only Acuna is ahead. Winker has 19 home runs and is batting .306. Considering he was a 17th round pick, it seems that not many saw this coming.
Cedric Mullins – Talk about no one seeing it coming. I’m not sure many even knew who he was on draft day. That might explain why he was undrafted in most leagues. I guess the joke was on us as CM Punk is currently a top five outfielder. The fact that Mike Trout, Aaron Judge and Teoscar Hernandez outvoted Mullins makes me sick. If you voted for any of those guys over Mullins you are a dipsh!t. Stop reading my posts. Cedric the Entertainer is one of only five hitters with at least 100 hits so far this season.
Bryan Reynolds – If you wanted to draft this guy you could have done so in the 21st round. If you are drafted in the 21st round does that even count as being drafted? That question reminds me of the tree falling in the woods with no one around to hear it fall question. How about this one. Which is worth more, 15 home runs from Bryan Reynolds or 15 home runs from Bryce Harper? If you remember the question about which is heavier a pound of bricks or pound of feathers, you might be inclined to say that 15 home runs is the same as 15 home runs. However, you’d be wrong. Fifteen home runs from a 21st rounder is worth far more than 15 home runs from a second round pick. It’s that simple.
Shohei Ohtani – Not much to say here.
So now let’s say you assembled the above players on draft day, here’s what the later rounds of draft might have looked like.
11th Round: Shohei Ohtani
14th Round: Kevin Gausman
15th Round: Jesse Winker
16th Round: Tommy Edman
17th Round: Buster Posey
18th Round: Yuli Gurriel
19th Round: Adam Frazier
20th Round: Bryan Reynolds
21st Round: Brandon Crawford
22nd Round: Cedric Mullins
Waiver Wire Pickups: Carlos Rodon and Chris Bassitt
Had you managed to fill your 14th through 22nd rounds with the above picks, which was very possible to do, you would likely have the best team in your league. Isn’t it crazy to think that your first 13 picks were largely unimportant! That’s not entirely true, but you should get the point. You could have gone on auto draft for those rounds and you’d be sitting in first place right now. Maybe come off auto pilot in the 11th to grab Ohtani. Obviously hindsight is 20/20, but it sure is interesting to look at.
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