Eddie Rosario Proves All-Star Selections Are a Popularity Contest

As many know, both the AL and NL All-Star teams were announced on Sunday, and much like every year, there were a handful of players who got snubbed. Whether it be from the starting roster, or the All-Star team as a whole.

JT Realmuto, who since coming off the DL, after missing the first 13 games of the year due to a bone bruise in his back, has produced eye-popping numbers at a position where offensive production is difficult to find. In fact, Realmuto currently leads all MLB catchers in hits, runs, doubles and batting average, and is tied for third in RBIs, yet finds himself sitting on the bench behind Willson Contreras.

In addition, Rays phenom Blake Snell currently holds an AL-best 2.09 ERA, and is second in the MLB in wins with a 12-4 record. His 14 quality starts trail behind only Corey Kluber, Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander, who are three of the best in today’s game. Yet for some reason, J.A. Happ, who is worse in every pitching metric (except walks) will be the one representing his conference on July 17th.

There is one player in specific I want to touch base on though, who should not only be on the All-Star team, but should be starting over Aaron Judge in right field. That player is Minnesota Twins’ Eddie Rosario, who has somehow found himself fighting to stay alive in the AL Final Vote against the likes of Giancarlo Stanton, Jean Segura and Andrew Benintendi.

The All-Star voting process is just as much a popularity contest as it is an award to the league’s brightest stars. Don’t get me wrong, I fully believe Aaron Judge should represent the New York Yankees in the All-Star game, but he should do so from the bench.

Eddie Rosario came out of the gates extremely slow, batting only .241 with a 3/20 BB/K ratio. Meanwhile, Judge did quite the opposite, batting .337 with 7 HR’s and an astounding 24 walks. There is no debate who won the month of April, but I believe a lot of Rosario’s faults the first month of the year had less to do with a slow start, and more to do with the weather he had to endure.

During the month of April, the Minnesota Twins were forced to play in the coldest recorded month of April in its respective state since 1950, with temperature high’s reaching as low as 28 degrees. This wouldn’t be an issue if it was 2009 and their games were still played in the Metrodome, but that isn’t the case anymore. Luckily for Rosario, the month of May included warmer weather, as well as a much warmer bat.

Once the calendar flipped from April to May, Rosario’s bat took no time to thaw, going 2/6 with a double and a HR on May 1st. By the end of the week, he had already put together a 14/31 (.452), 8 R, 6 2B, 4 HR, 13 RBI slash line to raise his average from .242 to .287 in a mere seven days. Rosario then followed that up by batting .368 for the month with 43 hits, second behind only Francisco Lindor, raising his season average to .308. On the other hand, Judge dropped his average nearly 40 points in May. He did however retain his power stroke, with 8 HR and 22 RBI for the month.

It was a similar June for Rosario, who compiled a .330 BA with 9 HR’s and 19 RBI’s along with an 11/15 BB/K ratio, which had been his biggest knock against him the first two months of the year. By the end of the month, we were nearly halfway through the season and Rosario’s numbers started to resemble none other than Mike Trout. To give you an idea of how good Rosario has been through the first three months of the season, here is his numbers next to Trout’s  and Judge’s as of July 1st:

Mike Trout – 275 AB, 62 R, 88 H, 14 2B, 3 3B, 23 HR, 46 RBI, 74 BB, 70 K, 12 SB .320 BA

Eddie Rosario – 303 AB, 55 R, 97 H, 23 2B, 2 3B, 18 HR, 52 RBI, 18 BB, 53 K, 5 SB .320 BA

Aaron Judge – 278 AB, 53 R, 77 H, 17 2B, 0 3B, 21 HR, 54 RBI, 55 BB, 105 K, 4 SB .277 BA

Rosario should not be compared to Trout as a player by any means, but from a statistical standpoint, his numbers are on par with Trout this season for the most part, with BB/K ratio being the only real disparity. Some might say that is because Rosario lacks plate discipline, which might be true, but he has actually dropped his swing rate on pitches outside of the zone from 46.3% last year, to below 40% this year. This has resulted in Rosario ranking second in the MLB in exit velocity out of the zone, and third in wOBA out of the zone.

Rosario isn’t surrounded with nearly the same amount of talent as Aaron Judge, and the ballpark isn’t as hitter-friendly, but he has still continued to outplay Judge for most of the season. Unfortunately, Rosario having to compete with names like Stanton and Benintendi will probably keep him on the outskirts of the AL All-Star roster. Considering the popularity contest at hand, the MLB has run into an issue when it comes to the selection process of All-Star representatives.

At the end of the day, Eddie Rosario’s May/June far outweigh Aaron Judge’s hot April, and the numbers tell you he should be representing right field during the All-Star game, not Judge.

 

Jason Miller/Getty Images North America

 

 

 

 

 

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