The full MLB All-Star teams have now been announced, which means it’s time to look at the most deserving players to miss the team. Remember, it’s not just the best players in each league. Every team must have a representative on their respective MLB All-Star team, which leaves more snubs off the team than in other leagues. There are more than 10 players who missed the team that are arguably deserving of a spot, but we’ll only be looking at the five biggest snubs. It’s still possible that any of these players make it as an injury replacement, but they were all left off of the original rosters. Before the list, I’d like to give a quick honorable mention to Dylan Cease, Tommy Edman, and Ty France who were all also snubbed of a trip to Los Angeles.
5. Brandon Nimmo, NYM
Brandon Nimmo ranks 2nd among National League outfielders in fWAR, but there were seven who made the team ahead of him. Mookie Betts leads all National League outfielders with 3.6 fWAR, and he’s easily the most deserving candidate. Brandon Nimmo isn’t the most exciting player, so it makes sense why the fans picked Betts, Joc Pederson, and Ronald Acuna Jr. over him. However, Juan Soto, Kyle Schwarber, Starling Marte, and Ian Happ all made it over Nimmo as reserves. Soto was his team’s only representative, but Marte, Schwarber, and Happ both made it as “at-large” MLB All-Stars.
Nimmo leads his teammate Marte in fWAR by over an entire win and has similar offensive numbers while blowing him out of the water defensively. Nimmo has four OAA in center field as opposed to Marte’s -3 in right. In 77 games this year, Nimmo has slashed .273/.357/.440 with a 132 wRC+ and 2.8 fWAR. He’s sacrificed some walks for some power, but his offensive production is right on par with his career average. He’s always been an MLB All-Star calibre player who couldn’t stay healthy, and he deserved to make his first appearance in 2022.
4. Jose Abreu, CWS
There’s been some outcry about Ty France missing the All-Star team, but he wasn’t even the most deserving American League first baseman to be left off the team. Jose Abreu leads all AL first basemen in fWAR, but Vladimir Guerrero Jr.‘s big name and strong fanbase got him the starting job instead. Abreu, a 35-year-old three-time MLB All-Star, has put up incredible numbers after a slow start to the season. His season numbers are starting to even out after he has slashed .358/.445/.563 with a 191 wRC+ since May 16th. Abreu has been one of the most consistent players in the league since he burst onto the scene in 2014, and he deserved a fourth MLB All-Star appearance this year.
3. Zack Wheeler, PHI
Zack Wheeler finished 2nd in Cy Young voting in 2021 and hasn’t taken any steps back thus far in 2022. He missed a couple of starts at the beginning of the season but has a 2.46 ERA, 2.45 FIP, 3.12 SIERA, and 3.1 fWAR through his first 16 starts of the season. He and his teammate Aaron Nola both missed the All-Star team despite both being in the top five in the National League in the fWAR. Seven starting pitchers made the National League All-Star team over Wheeler, only Luis Castillo was his team’s only representative. Wheeler would rank 3rd in fWAR, 6th in ERA, 1st in FIP, 4th in xFIP, and 3rd in SIERA among those National League MLB All-Star starting pitchers.
The voters always favor players with low ERAs, but he doesn’t even have a lower ERA than Max Fried, who made the team ahead of him. If the argument against Wheeler is his lack of innings, then Clayton Kershaw should have been the one left off the team. If you favor advanced numbers, then Wheeler should have easily gotten the nod. You get the point: however you argue that the MLB All-Star teams should be selected, Zack Wheeler should have been one of them.
2. Carlos Rodon, SFG
Carlos Rodon leads National League starting pitchers in fWAR, but was also left off of the team. Like Wheeler, he was a Cy Young candidate in 2021 and also hasn’t taken a step back. Through 17 starts, Rodon has thrown 100.0 innings to the tune of a 2.70 ERA, 2.13 FIP, 3.06 xFIP, 3.09 SIERA, and 3.7 fWAR. Compared to those same seven starting pitchers, Rodon ranks 1st in fWAR, 7th in ERA, 1st in FIP, 4th in xFIP, 2nd in K%, 2nd in K-BB%, and 3rd in SIERA. There’s really no argument against Rodon making the all-star team, making him one of the biggest MLB All-Star snubs this year.
1. Kevin Gausman, TOR
Like Rodon, Kevin Gausman leads American League starting pitchers in fWAR, but was left off of the All-Star team. If the season ended today and Kevin Gausman won the American League Cy Young Award, I don’t know how many people would have a problem with it. Compared to the nine starting pitchers who made the All-Star team ahead of him, Gausman ranks 1st in fWAR, 8th in ERA, 1st in FIP, 3rd in xFIP, 4th in K%, 1st in BB%, and 4th in SIERA. It’s interesting to see that all three of the top three FIP leaders in the league missed the All-Star teams, and turned out to be the three biggest snubs for the MLB All-Star Games.
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