The All-Star game for the MLB is actually a meaningful game and somewhat of an interesting watch in comparison to the other major sports’ games. However, like football, basketball and hockey the voting process in who makes the rosters becomes such a popularity contest that some of the guys that are actually producing for their team get left off.
Exhibit A: Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals OF
I realize this guy is supposed to be the future of the Nationals and for baseball in general, but the 19-year-old just isn’t producing all-star numbers just yet. I’m not saying that he won’t develop into a superstar, but right now he’s no Mike Trout. Harper’s stats show that he’s on the verge of becoming great, just not there yet. He’s batting .282, with eight homers, 25 RBI and a .354 OBP. Those stats are not bad, especially since he’s only played 63 games and also has 70 hits in 248 at-bats. However, not all-star caliber numbers in my mind.
Exhibit B: Brandon Phillips Cincinnati Reds 2B
One of the most under appreciated players in all of baseball, this guy to me is the Drew Brees of the MLB in that his accomplishments often go either unrecognized or their contributions are often undervalued. He was left off the roster by former St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa to the dismay of many Reds fans and he didn’t receive the final vote from the fans either. Phillips is batting .280 with 10 homers, 48 RBI, and a .322 OBP. While Harper may have a higher average by a hair and a higher OBP, Phillips has played in 78 games and has better RBI numbers than the starter for the NL, Dan Uggla (45 RBI). Another thing that people don’t realize with Phillips is his defensive prowess in the field. The guy is constantly making Sports Center “Top 10 Plays” for a miraculous diving stop or tricky double-play that he turned. Phillips is a leader on that team and is a cog that makes the “Big Red Offensive Machine” run. I know they play different positions, but Phillips provides a better case than Harper does especially for his position. I know even the lowly Houston Astros need an all-star, but Phillips was far more deserving than Jose Altuve (Sorry Houston, you have more than a problem). Phillips to me is a more all-around player than Uggla as well, but chicks dig the long ball and apparently so do National League voters.
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