“Joe Talkin’ To Me?!” Western Fantasy Baseball Manifest Destiny: (Fantasy) All-Star Snubs
Not that it means anything in our fake game, but I enjoy taking stock in my fantasy roster at the All-Star break each season and seeing how many real life All-Stars I have been able to accumulate on my fake squad. I won’t get any points in the standings, but it is a badge of honor, of sorts.
I like to see the differences between a true MLB All-Star and a waiver wire all-star. In a lot of cases, the difference is a kooky MLB manager with an agenda picking the reality team. In other cases, the sheer cost, or bargain, for a faux player is what makes them an All-Star. I will not even bother addressing fan voting.
Keep this in mind: If your “All-Star” did not get the nod for the “mid summer classic”, don’t fret. The All-Star break will serve as an actual break for your stars. Your players will be nice and rested for a second half playoff push, in fantasy and reality.
Let’s take a peek at some of the first-half fantasy all-stars from the AL & NL West who were spurned by Ned Yost in the AL and Bruce Bochey in the NL. For each snub, I will give you standard league fantasy rankings, MLFB Fantrax rankings, and suggestions of who they could have made the real life All-Star Team over.
Charlie Blackmon, OF, COL – Fantrax Rank: 26th, Standard Rank: 24th
Blackmon was as big a surprise as there was last season, batting .288 with 82 R, 19 HR, 72 RBI, and 28 SB, ranking in fantasy’s top 20 off fantasy waiver wires. He was labeled as a “fluke” by most, and went undrafted in many leagues. He has come out this season hitting a nearly identical .286 and pacing 90+R, 20 HR, and 70+RBI. He has proven that 2014 was no fluke. The most impressive stat is the 23 SB he has already accumulated, putting him on pace for 40. Bruce Bochy did not take notice, but fantasy owners sure have. He will not be ignored during the 2016 draft season. All-Star Replacement: Justin Upton
Heston, a rookie, is a Fantrax special with his 0.48 HR/9, a stat standard leagues do not count. He also has 9 W, 11 QS, and respectable rations of a 3.39 ERA and 1.20 WHIP. Considering that he was picked up as a free agent early in the season, he is the definition of a waiver-wire all-star. All-Star Replacement: Mark Melancon
Carson Smith, RP, SEA – Fatrax Rank: 52nd, Standard Rank: 126th
At 6’6, featuring a herky-jerky motion, and brandishing a 97 MPH fastball, who would not want to see him come out of the pen throwing gas against some of the NL’s best hitters? Besides being fun as heck to watch, he has blown away 47 wannabe hitters in 36 IP. He has issued a miserly 6 BB and opponents are hitting a paltry .169 versus him. He is Seattle’s closer of the future, as soon as this summer, and for the waiver wire pickup he was, is a fantasy all-star. All-Star Repalcement: Glen Perkins
Scott Kazmir, SP, OAK – Fantrax Rank: 64th, Standard Rank: 93rd
Sure, he may be just a “back of the rotation guy” according to some, but he has a 2.49 ERA, 96 K in 100 IP, and opposing batters are hitting just .215 against him. This is a pitcher who has lead the league in strikeouts and toed the rubber in the mid summer classic twice before. He comes at a draft day bargain every year, thanks to his unwarranted reputation of being injury prone. All-Star Replacement: Darren O’Day
Yovani Gallardo, SP, TEX – Fantrax Rank: 65th, Standard Rank: 129th
How in the heck is Gallardo posting a 2.62 ERA playing for Texas in his first season in the AL? I’m not sure, but for a forgotten man on draft day, he is paying big rewards to owners brave enough to use him. He has walked 40 batters, which is alarming. Now might be the time to trade your fantasy all-star, before he becomes a fantasy dud. All-Star Replacement: Glen Perkins
Year in, year out, Street is one of the game’s dominant closers. He usually spends a couple of weeks on the DL each season, and I think this hurts his draft stock. He is a mid-to-late drafted closer every year, and I usually end up with him. He has 24 saves already and has been dominant with a BAA of .181. You are going to save a lot of games when you can’t be hit. All-Star Replacement: Darren O’Day
Matt Duffy, 2B/3B/SS – Fantrax Rank: 213th, Standard Rank: 139th
Duffy is another waiver-wire gem (are you seeing a pattern for fantasy all-stars?) and is in the hunt for the NL ROY. His best contribution is position versatility. He is hitting .298 with 33 R and 41 RBI, but did not take over the Giants starting 3B job for good until the beginning of May. All-Star Replacement: DJ LeMahieu
Clayton Kershaw, SP, LAD – Fantrax Rank: 21st, Standard Rank: 34th
In what is being billed as a “bad year” for Kershaw, he has posted a 2.85 ERA with 160 K in 123 IP. He is only 6-6, but has 15 QS. Opponents are hitting a “Mets-Like” .217 against him. Those numbers alone warrant an All-Star nod over most. Now I know Kershaw has been “selected” to the team, but anytime the best pitcher in baseball is not SELECTED, something isn’t Kosher. Could Bochy be putting the screws to the hated Dodgers? If he is, it’s not a good look. All-Star Replacement: Anybody but Max Scherzer
Bonus All-Star Video, Enjoy!
(Click the BLUE link below to listen)
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