clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

"All" "Star" "Game": Which Reds are deserving?

Is CoCo an All Star this year? Or just Ice-T's wife?
Is CoCo an All Star this year? Or just Ice-T's wife?

All Star voting is a big, dumb sham of a stupid, dumb popularity contest. We all know that. But while, in light of this truth, the selections don't garner quite the level of interest and righteous indignation from baseball nerds as those of the Hall of Fame, we still kinda care. It's nice to see your team get some recognition. And ever since the Mid-Summer Classic became the Mid-Summer Home Field Advantage Determiner for the Fall Classic Classic (that stationary is the worst), any fans harboring the delusion that their team has a shot at the World Series has an added incentive to kinda care.

The horrors of fan voting have their limits. Many times, a homer ballot works at cross-purposes. Fans will vote a straight ticket of their team's starting nine, which means electing a sub-optimal player at most positions. If there's enough ballot-stuffing goin' on, you end up with injured shells of formerly great players in the starting lineup. But coach and players selections of the bench, taken with the frequent line changes that happen in the game itself, help mitigate fan caprices. So a lot of the angry is just a lame excuse to get worked up about something other than the fact that no one is playing any real baseball for 3 days (4 in the Reds' case).

A quick review. Rosters are currently 34 players. Fans vote 8 starting position players. Players, coaches and managers vote 8 pitchers and a back-up at each position for a total of 16. The NL manager (this year, Bruce Bochy) selects nine additional players, including a DH. The MLB equivalent of the play-in game - or Joey Votto Award for East Coaste Snubbery - goes to the "Final Vote" recipient and that player gets spot #34.

Here's a look at all Reds players who registered a pulse on the All Star leaderboards (as of June 26, via


Albert Pujols, Cardinals: 3,358,432
Prince Fielder, Brewers: 2,903,584
Joey Votto, Reds: 2,832,857
Ryan Howard, Phillies: 1,881,711
Freddie Freeman, Braves: 702,911


Rickie Weeks, Brewers: 2,869,583
Brandon Phillips, Reds: 2,791,186
Chase Utley, Phillies: 2,406,965
Dan Uggla, Braves: 1,223,812
Freddy Sanchez, Giants: 1,184,145


Placido Polanco, Phillies: 3,261,718
Chipper Jones, Braves: 2,040,594
Pablo Sandoval, Giants: 1,584,671
David Wright, Mets: 1,497,778
Scott Rolen, Reds: 1,417,248


Ryan Braun, Brewers: 3,932,100
Lance Berkman, Cardinals: 3,208,183
Matt Holliday, Cardinals: 2,935,965
Matt Kemp, Dodgers: 2,743,927
Andre Ethier, Dodgers: 2,264,640
Jay Bruce, Reds: 2,119,267


Votto and BP are the only two with any chance at winning a starting job outright. With Pujols injured, 2nd place in fan-voting gets the start at first. A clear-eyed look at the second-base race would admit that Weeks deserves to start, but if Phillips were to regain the #1 spot in voting it would hardly be an historic miscarriage of ASG justice.

Here's my take on which Reds should rightfully be Arizona-bound and where they rank relative to their peers at their position in the National League:

(Tables don't seem to be working right now, so this is just a big stack o' numbers)

Definitely deserving

Joey Votto

fWAR: 2nd (Leader = Fielder)

bWAR: 2nd (Fielder)

OBP: 1st

SLG: 3rd (Fielder)

wOBA (NL-rank): 2nd (Fielder)

wRC+: 2nd (Fielder)

Brandon Phillips

fWAR: 3rd (Weeks)

bWAR: 3rd (Weeks)

OBP: 3rd (Carroll)

SLG: 3rd (Weeks)

wOBA: 3rd (Weeks)

wRC+: 3rd (Weeks)

Francisco Cordero 

ERA: 7th (Bastardo)**

WHIP: 2nd (Adams)


SV: 12th (Wilson)

WPA: 16th (Hanrahan)

** Cordero may not be objectively elite among all relief pitchers, but leverage is a moving target. He currently posts the second-lowest ERA of any "true closer."

Deserving, but possibly disqualified

Johnny Cueto

Cueto probably hasn't logged enough innings, but has certainly pitched well enough in his 60 2/3. Rankings are adjusted for starters with a minimum of 60 IP:

ERA: 2nd (Johnson)

WHIP: 1st

FIP: 26th (Halladay)

K/BB: 33rd (Halladay)

Ramon Hernandez

May not reach some arbitrary threshold, though if his production held over just 40-50 more PAs he'd easily deserve to be McCann's back-up. If fWAR is to be believed, Ramon is the second-most valuable catcher in the NL in just 177 PAs. All stats below remove Buster Posey and have a 150 PA minimum.

fWAR: 4th (McCann)

bWAR: 2nd (McCann)

OBP: 2nd (McCann)

SLG: 2nd (McCann)

wOBA: 2nd (McCann)

wRC+: 2nd (McCann)


Not deserving, unfortunately

Jay Bruce

Depends on what you think of his defense this season and how many top NL outfielders get injured in the next week or so.

fWAR: 19th (Kemp)

bWAR: NR (sub-Soriano)

OBP: 18th (Kemp)

SLG: 8th (Kemp)

wOBA: 13th (Kemp)

wRC+: 13th (Kemp)

Drew Stubbs

Depending on how highly you rate StubbHub's defense and value speed as a tool - in addition to not caring even a little bit about Ks - Stubbs is a respectable honorable mention

fWAR: 11th (Kemp)

bWAR: 10th (Kemp)

SB: 2nd (Bourn)