Over at Beyond the Box Score, Ben Horrow surveyed the top players and pitchers over the last calendar year, and found a few surprising names. Check it out.
Looking at stats from the last 365 days, as you can at FanGraphs, is a great way to pick your All-Star team, and a compromise between the two dominant poles of All-Star voting.
- Pole #1 says that the All-Star Game is for, well, All-Stars -- the Evan Longorias and Andrew McCutchens and Joey Vottos of the game.
- Pole #2 says that the All-Star Game is for whichever player has the best batting statistics at his position since April 1st.
The second position has prevailed in the popular mind, leading to such outstanding selections as...
- Greg Jeffries starting at first base for the NL in 1994 over Jeff Bagwell or Fred McGriff.
- Paul Lo Duca starting over Brian McCann in 2006.
- Michael Young starting over Longoria in 2009.
- Rafael Furcal starting over Jose Reyes or Jimmy Rollins last year.
If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times: Democracy doesn't work.
The first position is not without its faults, however. Taken to its extreme, it's how you end up with a 50-year old Cal Ripken on the squad. How many years after he retired did St. Cal receive write-in votes for the All-Star Game? Somebody's probably writing his name on a ballot this very minute.
Looking at stats from the last ~162 games not only recognizes players who excelled in the second half of last season (thus helping the Tim Salmons of the world), but it curbs the excesses of the two dominant voting philosophies.
So keep this in mind when filling out your All-Star ballot. And remember, every vote counts. Even though there are no election monitors or anything, I'm sure the vote totals as reported by MLB, with absolutely no oversight from anyone whatsoever, are totally legit. I mean, why would they even want to--[TEXT GARBLED IN TRANSMISSION]