Friday, July 10, 2009
Every year there are a few players that come out of absolutely nowhere to make an all star team. The majority of time its because they're having breakout, out of the ordinary years. Other times its because their team sucks and MLB had no one else to choose. Here's the list of players that fall under either of those qualifications this year.
Team Captain: Ben Zobrist - When you don't have a starting job at the beginning of the season and your career high in games played coming into the season was 62 despite being in the league for three seasons, you're not expected to make the all star team. But Zobrist won the right field job early in the year than he became the super utility man playing the Outfield, SS, and now 2b and he's raked when he's been in the lineup, so he gets an All Star bid.
The Elder Statesman: Tim Wakefield: He's 43 and he's never made an All Star game before. He hasn't had an ERA under 4 since 2002 and he only won 10 games last year. He was at best the #4 starter on the Red Sox rotation going into the season and at worst could have been the pitcher tossed into the bullpen with the arrival of Smoltz or emergence of Bucholz. But now he's an All Star.
Brandon Inge, Inge was just voted into the All Star game by the fans for the final American League spot making it his first appearance in the game. If you had Brandon Inge locked up for an All Star appearance in March than you were the only one. Inge is a career .239 hitter whose career high in homers was 27. He's never scored over 83 runs or driven in over 83 runs. His career on base % is .308! The only reason he even got a daily job this season is because the Tigers said F*ck off to Sheffield and cut him, moving Guillen to the OF and opening up a spot at 3B for Inge.
Jason Bartlett - He was a pretty important piece to the Rays run to the World Series last year and he's great with the glove but coming into this season his career high in Homers was 5. Last year in 128 games he drove in 37 runs which was just 6 off his career high of 43. Hell he only scored 48 runs last year as well.
Adam "not Pacman" Jones - You knew he had talent given that he was traded for Eric Bedard, but in 2008 he hit just 9 home runs the entire season. So this year one likely expected improvements in all areas but not the massive leap to the All Star game.
Edwin Jackson - The Rays traded him away for a middle of the road corner outfielder in Matt Joyce making the Rays the last team likely to ever give up on the former top prospect. This despite the major strides he made between 2007 and 2008. Still even with those strides no one could have expected a 2.59 ERA in the first half of the year and a trip to the all star game.
Andrew Bailey - I still don't know what this guy looks like. He wasn't the closer at the beginning of the year and wasn't even an option. So him getting to the All Star game is pretty shocking. Out of all these guys he's the only one who really falls into the last category of getting a helping hand because the rest of his roster is atrocious.