Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) -
Apparently there's a new show on HBO called The Leftovers. I assume it's about one of these two things:
1) All the food left over from 4th of July (How do we get rid of this potato salad?!)
2) All the players who didn't make the AL and NL All-Star teams
For argument's sake, let's say it's the latter.
Every year, 33 players are chosen to represent each league in the Mid-Summer Classic. Most of the players invited deserve to be there, but inevitably, there are always going to be a few snubs.
Fortunately for the snubs, they get their own article on SportsNetwork.com. Here is my list of the league's top non-All-Stars. They won't be in Minnesota next week but maybe they can all get together at Dave and Buster's to watch the game. Or Buffalo Wild Wings if it isn't too crowded. You know how it gets on Tuesday nights.
Note: I did not include players who are eligible for the final fan vote later this week.
Miguel Montero, C, Arizona Diamondbacks
In many respects, Montero is having a career year. He's on pace for 20 HR and 90 RBI, which would both be personal bests. The trouble is, so is every other catcher in the National League. If Montero was in the American League, he'd probably be starting but fate has led him to Arizona where the Diamondbacks are in last place by a comfortable margin. Montero did make the All-Star team once before back in 2011.
Other catchers to consider: Evan Gattis, Atlanta (injured) and Buster Posey, San Francisco
Albert Pujols, 1B, St. Louis Cardinals
Pujols (.268, 19 HR, 57 RBII) has been to plenty of All-Star games in his career but none since 2010. He actually deserved to go this year but was overlooked in favor of Miguel Cabrera, Jose Abreu and Brandon Moss. To be fair, the 34-year-old slugger could probably use the time off to rest his aching back and groin.
Other first basemen to consider: Matt Adams, St. Louis and Adam LaRoche, Washington
Brian Dozier, 2B, Minnesota Twins
Dozier's .234 batting average isn't the prettiest thing to look at but the rest of his numbers are solid. Most seasons 16 homers and 15 stolen bases would be enough to get in, but Robinson Cano and Jose Altuve were given the nod instead. The All-Star Game is in Minnesota so at least Dozier can score good seats if he chooses to be a spectator.
Other second basemen to consider: Scooter Gennett, Milwaukee and Neil Walker, Pittsburgh
Ian Desmond, SS, Washington Nationals
Desmond leads all shortstops in RBI (53) and is second in home runs (15). So where is his invite? Maybe it got lost in the mail. Or maybe Starlin Castro made it instead because every team has to have at least one All-Star. It's time for MLB to scrap this rule and invite the players that truly deserve to be there. But until that happens, Desmond will just have to watch it on his flat screen back home.
Other shortstops to consider: Alcides Escobar, Kansas City and Hanley Ramirez, Los Angeles
Kyle Seager, 3B, Seattle Mariners
You know who isn't getting enough credit for the Mariners' revival? This guy. Seager has been killing it lately with 26 RBI and a .305 batting average since June 1. His OPS is 52 points higher than Josh Donaldson, who was voted in by the fans. If somebody bows out of the game, Seager should be the first person manager John Farrell calls.
Other third basemen to consider: Lonnie Chisenhall, Cleveland and Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay
Melky Cabrera, LF, Toronto Blue Jays
Melky has been plugging along all season (.299, 11 HR, 44 RBI) and was nearly elected by the fans, losing his spot to Orioles outfielder Adam Jones on the final day of voting. Cabrera won All-Star Game MVP while representing the National League in 2012. If that's the last game Cabrera is ever invited to, at least he went out on top.
Other left fielders to consider: Corey Dickerson, Colorado and Brett Gardner, New York
Marcell Ozuna, CF, Miami Marlins
With everything Giancarlo Stanton has accomplished for the Marlins in right field this season, it's easy to overlook Ozuna's contributions in center. Ozuna has quietly generated 14 HR and 49 RBI, third and fourth-best respectively among big league center fielders. With the exception of a disappointing May (.200 AVG in 90 at bats), Ozuna has hit .302 this season. If Ozuna isn't a household name yet, he will be soon.
Other center fielders to consider: Jacoby Ellsbury, New York and Billy Hamilton, Cincinnati
Marlon Byrd, RF, Philadelphia Phillies
Many scoffed when the Phillies forked over $16 million for Byrd's services this past offseason. It turned out to be a good investment. Byrd led all National League hitters with eight homers last month and he already has three in July. Not bad for a guy who turns 37 in August.
Other right fielders to consider: Alex Rios, Texas and George Springer, Houston
David Ortiz, DH, Boston Red Sox
Ortiz's .261 batting average is lower than we're used to but you can't deny Papi's power. The 38-year-old has already clobbered 19 homers and 34 extra base hits. If he reaches 100 RBI (he's on pace for 101) it would be the eighth time he's reached that threshold since 2003. It's a shame Ortiz won't be around for this year's game in Minneapolis.
Other designated hitters to consider: Chris Carter, Houston and Adam Lind, Toronto
Henderson Alvarez, SP, Miami Marlins
The Marlins are only six games out of first place in the NL East. That's no small feat when you consider their payroll is the second-lowest in baseball. Alvarez is a perfect example of getting bang for your buck. He owns the National League's fourth-lowest ERA (2.27) despite a salary 30 times lower than Clayton Kershaw's. Somehow he's still available in 40 percent of ESPN fantasy leagues.
Other starters to consider: Tim Hudson, San Francisco and Stephen Strasburg, Washington
Huston Street, RP, San Diego Padres
Street didn't blow a save until Saturday and his 1.13 ERA is his lowest in ten big league seasons. Despite a fastball that rarely touches 90 mph, opposing hitters are still batting just .162 against him. The closer position wasn't short on All-Star snubs this year. Koji Uehara and Jonathan Papelbon both have ERAs under two and neither one made the guest list.
Other relievers to consider: Jonathan Papelbon, Philadelphia and Koji Uehara, Boston
Sorry to any snubs I just snubbed. See you at Buffalo Wild Wings.