500 Level Fan’s 2015 All-Stars and No-Stars

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The 2015 MLB All-Star game has come and gone, with Russell Martin and Josh Donaldson teaming up with Mike Trout and co. to help the AL secure home field advantage in the World Series.  Even though the game is over, it’s never too late to unveil my All-Star teams.  And just for fun, I’ll also be announcing the fifth annual 500 Level Fan No-Star teams, a list of players who are really, truly, and brutally awful.

So sit back and enjoy 500 Level Fan’s All-Star and No-Stars for 2015:

Catcher

All-Stars: – Stephen Vogt (Oakland, AL) and Buster Posey (San Francisco, NL)

– Vogt has seemingly come out of nowhere to lead AL catchers with a .287 AVG, .872 OPS, 3.3 WAR, and 14 HR.  Posey is the exact opposite, continuing to provide the Giants with amazing production year after year.  So far, with 14 HR and a 4.2 WAR, 2015 might be his best year yet.

No-Stars – Mike Zunino (Seattle, AL) and Carlos Ruiz (Philadelphia, NL)

– There are AL catchers with a lower WAR than Zunino’s 0.4, but it’s hard to overlook 100 strikeouts to only 17 walks with a .515 OPS in 250 AB.  Brutal.  Things are falling apart in Philly, and Ruiz’s -0.4 WAR is definitely not helping.

First Base

All-Stars: – Miguel Cabrera (Detroit, AL) and Paul Goldschmidt (Arizona, NL)

– Two of the best hitters in the game are picking up right where they left off last year.  Miggy’s injury is a shame as he was enjoying one of the best starts of his illustrious career (.350 AVG, 1.034 OPS), while Goldy is already nearly in the 20/20 club…in July.

No-Stars – Mike Napoli (Boston, AL) and Ryan Howard (Philadelphia, NL)

– Nothing has gone right for Napoli as he is lingering under the Mendoza line, but even less has gone right for Howard.  This is the second year in a row he has been named a No-Star, and this year his -0.8 WAR and untradeable contract make him one of the least valuable players in the league.

Second Base

All-Stars – Brian Dozier (Minnesota, AL) and Dee Gordon (Miami, NL)

– Kipnis has a better WAR and slightly higher rate stats, but I like Dozier’s AL best 67 runs, not to mention his 19 HR and 50 RBI.  You could make an argument for a bunch of NL guys (Joe Panik, Kolten Wong, DJ LeMahieu), but Gordon has maintained a high average and relatively high slugging percentage while adding 33 steals.

No-Stars – Stephen Drew (New York, AL) and Chase Utley (Philadelphia, NL)

– It’s been a tough fall from grace for former All-Star Drew, now languishing in the Bronx with a -0.4 WAR.  Utley gives the Phillies yet another member on the No-Star squad.  He has been having one of the worst seasons in the entire league, with a miniscule .275 SLG and .532 OPS.

Third Base

All-Stars: – Josh Donaldson (Toronto, AL) and Nolan Arenado (Colorado, NL)

– You can make a case for Machado as well, but Donaldson edges him in R, HR, and RBI, with OPS, WAR, and defensive metrics basically a wash.  Plus he’s a Jay – what do you expect?  Nolan Arenado’s bat has caught up with his glove in a big way, as he has posted 24 HR, 70 RBI, and a huge .926 OPS.

No-Stars – Lonnie Chisenhall (Cleveland, AL) and Casey McGehee (San Francisco, NL)

– It’s been a huge step back for Chisenhall in Cleveland, evidenced by his struggles to stay above the Mendoza line with very little power.  McGehee was brought into replace Pablo Sandoval, but after hitting only 2 HR with a sub .605 OPS he finds himself back in Miami after being DFA’d by SF.

Shortstop

All-Stars: – Carlos Correa (Houston, AL) and Jhonny Peralta (St. Louis, NL)

– He only has 134 AB, but Correa has made the most of them with a .820 OPS.  His 1.6 WAR is near the top for all SS, despite having less than half the at bats as everybody else.  Peralta has been magnificent for the first place Cardinals, leading all NL SS with 13 HR.

No-Stars – Alexei Ramirez (Chicago, AL) and Ian Desmond (Washington, NL)

– A huge ugh for these two.  Ramirez is supplementing his .541 OPS with a glove that is 15 runs below average, while Desmond is balancing his .589 OPS with an NL leading 20 errors.

Outfield

All-Stars: – Mike Trout (LA Angels, AL), J.D. Martinez (Detroit, AL), Lorenzo Cain (Kansas City, AL), and Bryce Harper (Washington, NL), Giancarlo Stanton (Miami, NL), Andrew McCutchen (Pittsburgh, NL)

– Just another MVP caliber season for Trout, while Martinez and Cain and proving that their breakouts in 2014 were no fluke.  Speaking of breakouts, looks like Bryce Harper is finally living up to the hype, with a massive 6.2 WAR.  McCutchen and Stanton continue to destroy opposing pitching, with Giancarlo’s 27 HR still leading the league despite missing time with a broken hand.

No-Stars – Mark Trumbo (Seattle, AL) and Andrew Lambo (Pittsburgh, NL)

– Acquired to improve Seattle’s lackluster offense, Trumbo has instead become part of the problem, with a .559 OPS.  Is it bad to put a guy with only 25 AB on the No-Star team?  Maybe.  But what a sample of 25 AB it was for Lambo: 1 for 25, .040 AVG, .191 OPS, -0.6 WAR.  Yikes.

Starting Pitcher

All-Stars: – Chris Sale (Chicago, AL) and Max Scherzer (Washington, NL)

– As always, a number of deserving candidates in both leagues, but nobody can quite touch Sale and Scherzer.  Sale edges out Sonny Gray and Dallas Keuchel with a league leading 157 K and 0.95 WHIP.  Meanwhile Scherzer gets the nod over Zack Greinke even with a higher ERA due his 150 K and miniscule 0.78 WHIP.  Oh, and the no-hitter helps too.

No-Stars – Rick Porcello (Boston, AL) and Kyle Lohse (Milwaukee, NL)

– 100.2 IP, 119 hits allowed, and a 5.90 ERA.  Yikes Rick Porcello.  But believe it or not, Lohse has actually been even worse: 108 IP, 128 hits allowed, 6.27 ERA.

Non-Closing Reliever

All-Stars: – Dellin Betances (New York, AL) and Carter Capps (Miami, NL)

– Apologies to Wade Davis, who is also deserving, but Betances has thrown eight more innings and posted a 1.53 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, and a whopping 77 K (14.74 K/9)!!!  Carter who?  He might not remain a mystery long if this production keeps up: 25.1 IP, 48 K to 6 BB, 1.42 ERA, and a 0.79 WHIP.

No-Stars – Tom Gorzelanny (Detroit, AL) and Dustin McGowan (Philadelphia, NL)

– The poor Tigers can’t buy a break in the bullpen.  Gorzelanny has been terrible this year, with 17 ER and 15 BB in only 24 IP.  Former Jay McGowan gives the Phillies yet another member of the No-Star squad, with 26 H and 16 BB allowed in only 20 IP.

Closer

All-Stars: – Glen Perkins (Minnesota, AL) and Mark Melancon (Pittsburgh, NL)

– Perkins leads all AL closers in saves (28), and ERA (1.28) and is second in WHIP (0.83) for the surprising Twins.  Melancon has been lights out for the Pirates with 29 saves and a 1.47 ERA, with only 8 walks allowed in 43 IP.

No-Stars – Fernando Rodney (Seattle, AL) and Steve Cishek (Miami, NL)

– After a dominant 2014, Rodney has been anything but in 2015, with 4 blown saves, a 5.50 ERA, and only 28 K to 17 BB.  Cishek didn’t last as the Marlins closer for long, not after blowing 4 of 7 save attempts with a 5.92 ERA.

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