All-Star Positional Analysis
In light of the All-Star selections, I figured I’d take a look at the pBRAA and RSAA of the players. pBRAA is the position-adjusted batting runs above average and evaluates players based on their offensive production relative to other players at their position. 0 is the middle line and anything above that should be considered decent. The higher the better. RSAA is runs saved above average, defensively. Add the two numbers together and you get a decent evaluation of how valuable a player has been. An asterisk denotes an All-Star, a double-asterisk denotes the starter.
AL SECOND BASEMAN
1. *Ian Kinsler, TEX – pBRAA (28), RSAA (-1) = 27
2. *Brian Roberts, BAL – pBRAA (16), RSAA (-1) = 15
3. Mark Ellis, OAK – pBRAA (2), RSAA (11) = 13
4. **Dustin Pedroia, BOS – pBRAA (10), RSAA (3) = 13
5. Joe Inglett, TOR – pBRAA (5), RSAA (2) = 7
17. Robinson Cano, NYY – pBRAA (-16), RSAA (11) = -5
>For as bad as Robinson Cano has been offensively, he’s been downright great in the field. His RSAA is tied for the lead league even without Larry Bowa constantly in his ear. Statistically, the AL’s starting second baseman is the fourth-best player at his position, considering multiple facets of the game. He’s certainly handled the bat this year and has definitely been passable in the field, but he isn’t an All-Star this year, let alone the deserved starter. Mark Ellis can call himself snubbed.
1. **Joe Mauer, MIN – pBRAA (18), RSAA (-1) = -17
2. *Dioner Navarro, TB – pBRAA (6), RSAA (2) = 8
3. Miguel Olivo, KC – pBRAA (4), RSAA (3) = 7
4. Gerald Laird, TEX – pBRAA (6), RSAA (0)
28. Kevin Cash, BOS – pBRAA (-2), RSAA (-2) = -4
29. AJ Pierzynski, CWS – pBRAA (6), RSAA (-10) = -4
36. *Jason Varitek, BOS – pBRAA (-6), RSAA (-3) = -9
Keith Law said it best when asked what the biggest surprise in the all-star game selections when he said “Jason Varitek over various multicellular organisms capable of wearing a catcher’s mitt…” Varitek has been the 36th best catcher in the American league this year, and remember that their are only fourteen teams in the AL. And for all the experts that say AJ Pierzynski was snubbed, I disagree. Leaving the 29th-ranked catcher off the All-Star game roster is no crime.
1. *Michael Young, TEX – pBRAA (13), RSAA (-1) = 12
2. Orlando Cabrera, CWS – pBRAA (6), RSAA (4) = 10
3. **Derek Jeter, NYY – pBRAA (7), RSAA (2) = 9
Yes, Michael Young deserves to start the All-Star game (along with his double-play partner) but Derek Jeter isn’t that far off for those that look past home runs and RBI. Cabrera has a case for an all-star selection, but by no means is he a snub.
AL THIRD BASMEN
1. **Alex Rodriguez, NYY – pBRAA (27), RSAA (-1) = 26
2. Scott Rolen, TOR – pBRAA (5), RSAA (13) = 18
3. Mike Lowell, BOS – pBRAA (10), RSAA (6) = 16
4. Evan Longoria, TB – pBRAA (15), RSAA (1) = 16
5. *Carlos Guillen, DET – pBRAA (7), RSAA (6) = 13
9. *Joe Crede, CWS – pBRAA (3), RSAA (1) = 4
This is a confusing selection of players. No doubt A-Rod is far and away the best third baseman of a deep group of players, but Scott Rolen’s defense shoots him way up the list (advantage, Toronto in the offseason swap of 3B). Guillen’s not a horrible choice, as he’s fairly comparable with the three players just ahead of him, but Crede’s selection is seriously questionable. Terry Francona said it was tough not to take his own guy in Mike Lowell, and it’s obvious that he didn’t choose Lowell to avoid looking like a homer, but Francona already looks like a homer for taking his closer over half a dozen more deserving AL pitchers.