With some teams having reached the mid-point of this 60-game sprint, media members and other websites are trying to fill the All-Star Game void by celebrating the best players of the abbreviated first half.
While others are using standard statistics, popularity, or the eye test to make their selections, Stats Perform, of course, is using data to reveal who the top players in each league have been so far.
We’ve analyzed several different metrics to pick our All-Stats teams, including Raw Value+ (RV+), Discipline+, Contact+, and BIP+ for the position players and Raw Value- (RV-), Command+ and Whiff+ to build our seven-man pitching staffs. Position players needed 89 at-bats to qualify, while starting pitchers needed to face at least 100 batters and relievers had to face a minimum of 30.
Let’s start in the National League, where there was stiff competition at shortstop and in the outfield. The Padres, Dodgers and Reds each lead the way with three selections (all metric data through Aug. 26):
C – J.T. REALMUTO, PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
1B – FREDDIE FREEMAN, ATLANTA BRAVES
2B – DONOVAN SOLANO, SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
SS – FERNANDO TATIS JR., SAN DIEGO PADRES
3B – MANNY MACHADO, SAN DIEGO PADRES
OF – JESSE WINKER, CINCINNATI REDS
OF – BRYCE HARPER, PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
OF – MOOKIE BETTS, LOS ANGELES DODGERS
DH – COREY SEAGER, LOS ANGELES DODGERS
3B – EVAN LONGORIA, SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
OF – IAN HAPP, CHICAGO CUBS
SS – TREVOR STORY, COLORADO ROCKIES
We took the liberty of making Seager our DH in what was a tough-to-call shortstop position. Tatis ultimately got the starting nod over Seager and Story, ranking third in the majors in RV+ (181), fifth in BIP+ (232), 12th in Discipline+ (125) and he’s committed only one error in 100 chances defensively.
Some players we’re not used to seeing made the NL outfield. Winker certainly earned his starting spot, ranking second in the majors in RV+ (182), sixth in Discipline+ (129) and ninth in BIP+ (217). Happ has been a bright spot for the Cubs as he’s seven in the NL in RV+ (160).
Longoria is enjoying a bit of a throw-back season with the fourth-highest RV+ (178) in MLB over his first 25 games.
SP – JACOB DEGROM, NEW YORK METS
SP – LUIS CASTILLO, CINCINNATI REDS
SP – MAX FRIED, ATLANTA BRAVES
SP – YU DARVISH, CHICAGO CUBS
SP – TREVOR BAUER, CINCINNATI REDS
RP – DREW POMERANZ, SAN DIEGO PADRES
RP – KENLEY JANSEN, LOS ANGELES DODGERS
The Reds were rewarded for having the second-lowest starting rotation ERA in the majors with Castillo and Bauer earning the honors. If we were to choose one, deGrom would be our starting pitcher after ranking first in the majors in RV- (29), second in Whiff+ (159) and 13th in Command+ (114) in the “first half.”
Pomeranz is third in RV- (minus-4) among relievers and he has four saves without allowing a run over 10 appearances. Jansen is having a bounce-back season with a 1.32 ERA and eight saves while ranking fourth in RV- (5) among relievers.
C – SALVADOR PEREZ, KANSAS CITY ROYALS
1B – LUKE VOIT, NEW YORK YANKEES
2B – BRANDON LOWE, TAMPA BAY RAYS
SS – XANDER BOGAERTS, BOSTON RED SOX
3B – ANTHONY RENDON, LOS ANGELES ANGELS
OF – ELOY JIMENEZ, CHICAGO WHITE SOX
OF – TEOSCAR HERNANDEZ, TORONTO BLUE JAYS
OF – MIKE TROUT, LOS ANGELES ANGELS
DH – NELSON CRUZ, MINNESOTA TWINS
1B – JOSE ABREU, CHICAGO WHITE SOX
SS – TIM ANDERSON, CHICAGO WHITE SOX
OF – RANDAL GRICHUK, TORONTO BLUE JAYS
Voit is the only Yankee to make the All-Stats team with DJ LeMahieu and many of the banged-up club’s other top hitters failing to earn enough at-bats to qualify. The surging White Sox and disappointing Angels have the most AL selections with three apiece.
We didn’t have to fiddle around at DH in this league with Cruz ranking seven in the league in RV+ (154) and 11th in BIP+ (216). Lowe and Hernandez are probably the least-known names on the team, but they both have double-digit home runs and Hernandez ranks second in the AL in RV+ (172) and fourth in BIP+ (235).
Perez edged out Pedro Severino of the Baltimore Orioles behind the plate. Perez just ranked better in most of the metrics. Kyle Lewis of the Seattle Mariners is a glaring omission, but he’s below average in Contact+, ranks 32nd in Discipline+, 33rd in RV+ and 37th in BIP+.
SP – SHANE BIEBER, CLEVELAND INDIANS
SP – KENTA MAEDA, MINNESOTA TWINS
SP – LANCE LYNN, TEXAS RANGERS
SP – ZACK GREINKE, HOUSTON ASTROS
SP – DYLAN BUNDY, LOS ANGELES ANGELS
RP – NICK ANDERSON, TAMPA BAY RAYS
RP – JAMES KARINCHAK, CLEVELAND INDIANS
We’d give the ball to Bieber to start. The right-hander earned it with the best Whiff+ among all starting pitchers (160) and the sixth-best RV- (51). Maeda was a close second after nearly throwing a no-hitter and ranking second in RV- (37) during the first half.
Lynn and Bundy are having surprising seasons. Lynn (4-0, 1.59 ERA) is ninth in the majors in RV- (55) and 14th among starters in Whiff+ (124), while Bundy (3-2, 2.58 ERA) is 15th in MLB in RV- (64).
Anderson and Karinchak have been lights out. Anderson has three saves over 11 scoreless appearances and leads all relievers in both RV- (minus-10) and Whiff+ (210). Anderson is dealing with an arm issue, so we’d give the spot to Liam Hendriks of the Oakland A’s if he couldn’t go. Karinchak has struck out 31 over 16.2 innings, owns a 0.54 ERA, and ranks second among all relievers in RV- (minus-5).
MORE ALL-STATS TEAMS
Now we’ll look at MLB’s top players at each position in some of Stats Perform’s key metrics (For a refresher on these stats, click the corresponding links at the top of the story). At DH, we’re selected the best player who finished second at his position:
BIP+ ALL-STATS TEAM
C – WILLSON CONTRERAS, CHICAGO CUBS (184)
1B – JOSE ABREU, CHICAGO WHITE SOX (188)
2B – BRANDON LOWE, TAMPA BAY RAYS (168)
SS – COREY SEAGER, LOS ANGELES DODGERS (244)
3B – MIGUEL SANO, MINNESOTA TWINS (272)
OF – LUIS ROBERT, CHICAGO WHITE SOX (237)
OF – TEOSCAR HERNANDEZ, TORONTO BLUE JAYS (235)
OF – ELOY JIMENEZ, CHICAGO WHITE SOX (221)
DH – FERNANDO TATIS JR., SAN DIEGO PADRES (232)
CONTACT+ ALL-STATS TEAM
C – SALVADOR PEREZ, KANSAS CITY ROYALS (111)
1B – DANIEL MURPHY, COLORADO ROCKIES (113)
2B – HANSER ALBERTO, BALTIMORE ORIOLES (117)
SS – DAVID FLETCHER, LOS ANGELES ANGELS (115)
3B – ALEX BREGMAN, HOUSTON ASTROS (110)
OF – MOOKIE BETTS, LOS ANGELES DODGERS (116)
OF – ADAM EATON, WASHINGTON NATIONALS (111)
OF – EDDIE ROSARIO, MINNESOTA TWINS (111)
DH – LUIS ARRAEZ, MINNESOTA TWINS (113)
DISCIPLINE+ ALL-STATS TEAM
C – YASMANI GRANDAL, CHICAGO WHITE SOX (122)
1B – MAX MUNCY, LOS ANGELES DODGERS (138)
2B – CAVAN BIGGIO, TORONTO BLUE JAYS (129)
SS – CHRIS TAYLOR, LOS ANGELES DODGERS (125)
3B – ANTHONY RENDON, LOS ANGELES ANGELS (132)
OF – BRANDON NIMMO, NEW YORK METS (148)
OF – JESSE WINKER, CINCINNATI REDS (129)
OF – MIKE TROUT, LOS ANGELES ANGELS (127)
DH – CARLOS SANTANA, CLEVELAND INDIANS (137)
COMMAND+ ALL-STATS TEAM
SP – ZACH DAVIES, SAN DIEGO PADRES (124)
SP – ZAC GALLEN, ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS (120)
SP – TREVOR WILLIAMS, PITTSBURGH PIRATES (119)
SP – KYLE HENDRICKS, CHICAGO CUBS (118)
SP – TOMMY MILONE, BALTIMORE ORIOLES (118)
RP – EVAN MARSHALL, CHICAGO WHITE SOX (118)
RP – DYLAN FLORO, LOS ANGELES DODGERS (117)
WHIFF+ ALL-STATS TEAM
SP – SHANE BIEBER, CLEVELAND INDIANS (160)
SP – JACOB DEGROM, NEW YORK METS (159)
SP – TYLER GLASNOW, TAMPA BAY RAYS (152)
SP – LUCAS GIOLITO, CHICAGO WHITE SOX (143)
SP – LUIS CASTILLO, CINCINNATI REDS (142)
RP – NICK ANDERSON, TAMPA BAY RAYS (210)
RP – LIAM HENDRIKS, OAKLAND A’s
Data modeling provided by Lucas Haupt
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