Two Detroit Tigers That Should be All-Star Starters, Yet Might Not be


It is pretty clear that the Major League Baseball method of picking their All-Stars is clearly not the best. In fact two Detroit Tigers will more than likely not be starters even though they are statically deserving of it. Not aware of how the MLB All-Star game starters are selected? Well, let me explain real quick.

Each roster has 34 players on it. Fans vote online for the starters on both teams. For the American League they vote for nine players and the National League they vote for eight. The NL designated hitter is selected by the NL manager. Then 16 players are chosen through player vote. These are the back up position players, along with five starters and three relievers. The managers of each team then picks another set of starters. By this time, there are 33 players on both teams and every team in the league will also have at least one player on the All-Star team.

The 34th and final player is selected yet again, by the fans. However, the fans can only pick one player from a list of five players that is compiled by managers.

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At the moment if the game was tomorrow the AL would be Mike Trout, Miguel Cabrera, and seven players from the Kansas City Royals. Basically, it would be the Royals playing against the NL starters, who are a bit more spread out when it comes to teams that they are on. The Royals went to the World Series last season and it is pretty common that players from last seasons World Series teams are the majority of the starters on the next years All-Star team. This however, is a major problem because multiple players are getting snubbed of their rightful starting spots on the team.

Two Tigers players in particular could be snubbed of starting spots in this seasons midsummer classic. Shortstop Jose Iglesias and left fielder Yoenis Cespedes are those players. At the moment the starters in those spots would be Alcides Escobar at short and Alex Gordon in left. If you take numbers and play this season, well it is just cruelty that the two Royals may start over the Tigers.

Looking at statics alone, they clearly show that Cespedes and Iglesias should be starting over Escobar and Gordon. First take a look at the two left fielders;

Detroit Tigers
Detroit Tigers /

Detroit Tigers

In three different offensive categories; batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage, Cespedes and Gordon are sort of close. Of the three, Cespedes leads in BA by 39 points and a whopping 66 points in SLG. Gordon leads by 47 points when it comes to OBP, yet Cespedes has played in 7 more games than him. Looking at WAR, oWAR, and dWAR, again the Tigers outfielder leads in two categories. He leads in oWAR (2.2 vs 1.5) and WAR (3.0 vs 2.3), in dWAR the two are basically the same Gordon holds a 0.1 advantage over Cespedes.

Yet, the bigger snub would have to be the one that is at shortstop. Looking at the same statistical categories we looked at for Cespedes and Gordon, we see an even larger reason for Iglesias to be the starter. Of the three offensive categories, Iglesias leads in all three, leading in BA by 46 points, 60 points in OBP, and 19 points in SLG. Looking at the WAR stats again, the Tigers shortstop leads in all three categories. Yet, none of the stats mean a lot, when if you just watch Iglesias play on the field, he should just be given the starting spot. The kid already has a stuffed season highlight reel and we aren’t even halfway through the season.

I don’t have a solution to the problem, I understand they let fans vote because that is how you get them into the game. Yet, when one teams fans vote like crazy and a good amount of their team, deserving or not, are leading at almost all the positions it ruins it for a good chunk of fans. If the Royals had the best players at each position and the numbers proved it, well then I wouldn’t argue it, but they don’t and now two Tiger players could get snubbed of starting positions they deserve.

Don’t forget to vote for your All-Stars at

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