The 2013 MLB All Star starters have been announced so lets follow up on the 2012 post and see how this year stacks up. I compared the 2013 All Star starters to their potential replacements based on Wins Above Replacement (WAR) for the first half of the 2013 season.
|NL Starter||NL WAR||NL WAR Leader||Leader WAR||Diff||AL Starter||AL WAR||AL WAR Leader||Leader WAR||Diff|
|C||Yadier Molina||4.2||Yadier Molina||4.2||0||Joe Mauer||3.9||Joe Mauer||3.9||0|
|1B||Joey Votto||3.7||Paul Goldschmidt||4.2||0.5||Chris Davis||5.1||Chris Davis||5.1||0|
|2B||Brandon Phillips||2||Matt Carpenter||4.4||2.4||Robinson Cano||3.7||Robinson Cano||3.7||0|
|3B||David Wright||4.9||David Wright||4.9||0||Miguel Cabrera||6||Miguel Cabrera||6||0|
|SS||Troy Tulowitzki||3.5||Troy Tulowitzki||3.5||0||J.J. Hardy||1.6||Jhonny Peralto||2.7||1.1|
|OF||Carlos Beltran||1.7||Carlos Gomez||4.6||2.9||Mike Trout||5.7||Mike Trout||5.7||0|
|OF||Carlos Gonzalez||4.5||Carlos Gonzalez||4.5||0||Adam Jones||2.5||Colby Rasmus||3.5||1|
|OF||Bryce Harper||1.6||Andrew McCutchen||4.2||2.6||Jose Bautista||3.1||Jacoby Ellsbury||3.5||0.4|
|DH||Michael Cuddyer||1.8||0||David Ortiz||2.9||David Ortiz||2.9||0|
|P||Matt Harvey||4.2||Matt Harvey||4.2||0||Max Sherzer||4||Felix Hernandez||4.2||0.2|
I’ll give the National League the benefit of the doubt for designated hitter again, although Goldschmidt seams like a better option to me. The American League got really close to an optimal starting roster nailing six positions and only losing 2.7 WAR on the other four. The National League did 2.3 WAR better than the 2012 starting roster at 8.4. Brandon Phillips, Carlos Gomez, and Andrew McCutchen (all from the NL) were the biggest starting snubs. They lost out to a couple All Star veterans and the popular youngster Bryce Harper. There were no big starting snubs for the American League, but Colby Rasmus and Jacoby Ellsbury didn’t even make the roster despite having better WARs than starters Adam Jones and Jose Bautista.
Mike Trout should have been a starter based on WAR last year, and this year he’s second only to Miguel Cabrera in WAR and rightfully gets the starting nod.
2012 All Star hero Pablo Sandoval didn’t make the roster this year. Met’s GM Sandy Alderson got his way this year with David Wright getting the start. Wright is coming into the break with the WAR lead at third base once again. We’ll see if he can produce like the Panda did. Another Giant, Buster Posey, made the roster but lost his starting spot to Yadier Molina after leading overall All Star voting in 2012.
Based on WAR there were only five rightful starters last year. This year the voting did better with eleven WAR-leading starters. That seems like a success for the voting process, especially with all the chance, favoritism, and other considerations involved. Most importantly, Yasiel Puig did not make the National League All Star roster this year.
Post Game Update: American League closer Mariano Rivera was the MVP of the game, but it was a sentimental choice so we won’t hold his 1.0 first half WAR against him. There were no stand out performances so he’s really as good a choice as anybody.
For the National League only Beltran, Goldschmidt, and Wright had hits. According to WAR Goldschmidt and Wright were rightful starters and Beltran was not. Wright was the National League WAR leader and seemed to be a great host so props to him. National League starting pitcher and WAR leader Matt Harvey gave up a hit, no runs, no walks and had three strikeouts in two innings. Nailing Cano in the knee and knocking him out of the game wasn’t a good look though. Jose Fernandez had two strikeouts and no hits allowed in one inning pitched with a first half WAR of 1.9.
The American League was more productive on offense with nine hits and three runs. It’s hard to pick a statistical MVP with the stats spread fairly evenly. Chris Sale had a good night with two inning pitched with no hits and two strikeouts. He came into the game with a 3.3 WAR. Lower then WAR leader Felix Hernandez and starter Max Sherzer, but still very high. I suppose Jason Kipnis had the best offensive line with an RBI double in his only at bat. His 4.0 WAR at second base is second only to Matt Carpenter, and much better than starter Brandon Phillips.
Overall I think it was a good night for our WAR All Stars.