Category Archives: All-Stars

The Very Few Elite-Hitting Shortstops

The Los Angeles Dodgers Hanley Ramirez is on a very short list of historically awesome hitting shortstops.  In all of MLB history only three guys have played 500 games at SS while posting a career .300 batting average + .500 slugging percentage.

Rockies defensive extraordinaire Troy Tulowitzki is within spitting distance of making the list.  In his short career Tulo has hit .296 + .512 SLG%.

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NL Starting Pitcher 2nd half #AllStar

Jordan Zimmerman‘s two seasons in one:

17 starts to begin 2012: 16% K Rate, 50% GB

final 14 starts: 23% K rate, 35% GB

I will take the strikeouts as they are probably part of a more established trend.

The Nats should be freakin’ fun in 2013!

Kyle Kendrick first time All-Star

Kyle Kendrick posted a sub 3.00 ERA and 3-to-1 K/BB rate in the 2nd half while earning his first roster spot on an MLB All-Star team.

While besting his career high in strikeouts by 32 this year the Phillies 7th round pick in 2003 is their ideal #4 starter for next year.  A $4.5 million invoice for a quality starter in a big market is a nice get for the Philadelphia management.

Chris Davis flexing his power #Orioles

The Flying Showalter’s are the potential story of the year in MLB.  Their primary power threat has been former Rangers prospect Chris Davis who has finally actualized into what many scouts expected.  His 2012 season qualifies him as big league talent while still only 26 years of age.  In fact he is on a 39 HR pace in his last 64 games.

While still a big strikeout risk Davis has proven his supporters and the Orioles front office correct this year.  Whether Davis turns into Greg Vaughn or Butch Huskey is TBD but either way he will always be a 2012 2nd half All-Star.

another Braves starter throwing bee bees

Split      W L  ERA GS   IP  R HR BB SO  BF SO/BB
1st Half   5 6 5.97 16 92.0 67 19 40 78 397  1.95
2nd Half   6 4 2.16 14 87.1 21  7 16 67 331  4.19

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com

Mike Minor‘s newly found pinpoint control has earned him a spot on the 2nd half NL All-Star team.  If he keeps his walk rate in the 5% range the Braves youngster will find his way onto many more All-Star squads.

the third best reliever in the NL

Relief pitching performance is challenging to evaluate and even tougher to predict.  I’ve always liked Rafael Betancourt and he’s raised his game in the second half this season, posting a 7-to-1 K/BB rate and 1.5 runs allowed/9.

The Rockies closer has been the best pitcher on the team during a season where they could use an award.  Congrats to Rafael for the first-time All-Star selection.

Doug Fister dealing down the stretch

Pitching your team into the playoffs is a great way to get notice from the 2nd Half All-Star voters.

With a 23% strikeout rate and only 5% walk rate Doug Fister has been the second half ace for the Detroit Tigers.  Add that he’s allowing only 1 HR every two starts and you’ve got yourself a first time All-Star.

The King is back #Felix

The early season struggles of Felix Hernandez are clearly behind him.  Here are his runs allowed/start over his last 19 outings:

0 runs – 5 starts

1 run – 6

2 runs – 3

3+ runs – 5

That’s fewer than 3 runs allowed in three-quarter of his starts since the middle-of June.  With a perfect game to boot, King Felix secures a slot on the AL 2nd Half All-Stars and the shutout crown for the first time in his career (5 shutouts).

Jeff Keppinger’s anti-strikeout crusade

The Rays jack-of-all trades Jeff Keppinger has forced me to include an additional roster spot on the 2nd Half AL All-Star team.  Starring at first, second and third base for Tampa Bay this season while posting a .342 Batting Average with 26 Doubles (pace) during their playoff chase really leaves me no choice.

Also, I really respect Jeff’s unstated goal of eliminating the strikeout:

Rk            Player   AB/SO   AB From   To  BB  SO
1        Juan  Pierre 16.0781 7203 2000 2012 450 448
2      Fernando Vina 15.1000 2114 2000 2004 132 140
3     Jeff  Keppinger 14.4464 2427 2004 2012 177 168
4    Placido  Polanco 13.7194 6503 2000 2012 386 474
5       Paul  Lo  Duca 13.2737 3783 2000 2008 256 285

Anti-K leaders of the past 13 years provided by Baseball-Reference.com

first time #AllStar, NL starting pitcher

 

Kyle Lohse has been absolutely dealing for the Cardinals all season long.

Here’s an average start over his last 14 outings:

6.3 Innings

2.2 Runs

0.5 HR

4.8 K

1.2 BB

Lohse, a 29th round pick in 1996, makes his first big league All-Star team after a dozen seasons.