Before I became enamored with the gyrations of my league peers in National League LABR and Tout Wars in their attempts to acquire Jose Quintana last week, I had begun a feature highlighting the best players to not be selected to this year’s All-Star Game.
My twist on the tired “All-Star Snub” storyline is to compile my list based on the two half-seasons since the 2016 Midsummer Classic. This process especially reminds us of those who finished last season strongly but maybe did not match that high level in the first half of 2017.
Last time, the subject was position players, leaving the starting pitchers for this time around. My population consists of the 176 starting pitchers with at least 60 innings pitched from last July 12 until this season’s break.
Here are the two-half year top 10 leaders in key categories not invited to Miami.
The only two members of the ten ERA-leading starters not selected as All-Stars were both injured during the first half. Still, I believe the numbers justify the selection of both Kyle Hendricks and Noah Syndergaard. Put them on the team and immediately announce their replacements. That way, they are still recognized.
Strikeouts per nine innings
|Starters||K/9 IP||MLB rank|
The exclusion just happens to be the major league strikeout rate king among all starting pitchers over the last year, Cleveland’s Danny Salazar. Again, we have a pitcher injured during part of the first half, but put him on the team!
Cy Young Award points
|Starters||Cy Young Pts||MLB rank|
As you probably know, there is a formula created from the numbers of prior Cy Young Award winners to predict future ones. Of course, there is no second half 2016-first half 2017 award. But if there was, the winners would have been Max Scherzer and Chris Sale, who not coincidentally, were the two All-Star starting pitchers this year. Bravo! They got it right!
But this is about those overlooked. Old warhorses Jon Lester and Justin Verlander are joined by dark horse Dan Straily and Hendricks as top 10 Cy Young point scorers not named All-Stars.
Originally, I was not going to include wins, but I added them, as the list is really illustrative. It shows how far we have come. Of the top 13 pitchers in wins (due to ties), 10 of them are not All-Stars – and I am good with that. It is nothing against the names on the list above, but none of them have a sure-fire case as an “All-Star Snub.”
Brian Walton was the 2009 National League Tout Wars champion, scoring the most points in the league’s 18-year history. He also holds the all-time NL Tout single-season records for wins and saves. His work can also be found daily at TheCardinalNation.com. Follow Brian on Twitter @B_Walton.