In a bit of a surprise, Devin Mesoraco was tabbed for his first career All-Star selection on Sunday when National League manager Mike Matheny decided to include him on the 34-man roster. This was music to the collective ears of Reds Country to see Mesoraco, who was batting .317/.379/.634 with 15 home runs and 42 RBI, be awarded of the distinct honor.
One person who was not thrilled about Mesoraco's inclusion on the All-Star team was ESPN analyst Keith Law. In fact, Law writes in this ESPN Insider piece that he believes San Francisco's Buster Posey would have been a better choice over Cincinnati's catcher.
Devin Mesoraco over Buster Posey: Yeah, you wouldn't want one of the 10, maybe five most recognizable stars in baseball, an MVP winner who's produced 2 WAR this year, in the All-Star Game. Better to put Mesoraco, a solid player having his first-ever productive season in two-thirds of the at-bats that Posey has had, into the game.
This is the ultimate incarnation of the myth that the All-Star Game is supposed to be only about performance in the current season. It's not. Stars aren't determined in 70-game stretches. Posey is still a top-10 player in the National League, and the sport in general is worse off for his omission in favor of a player who has played like an All-Star for only 50 games.
I couldn't disagree with Law any more. I understand his opinion that Posey is a more recognizable player to tab for the game, but the numbers don't lie, Mesoraco is indeed having a more productive season and is doing so in less at-bats. Thus, Mesoraco and not Posey is more deserving of the All-Star Game.
Here's a quick comparison of their numbers:
Mesoraco: .317/.379/.634, 15 HR, 42 RBI, 13 2B, 30 RS, 183 AB
Posey: .286/.342/.435, 9 HR, 41 RBI, 15 2B, 33 RS, 283 AB
In exactly 100 less at-bats, Mesoraco has slugged six more home runs and has driven in one more run, all the while slugging nearly 200 points better than Posey. Given the numbers, how can anyone question Mesoraco's worthiness compared to Posey? Especially when Law alleges that it's a "myth the ASG is supposed to be only about performance in the current season."
I rest my case.
Photo Credit: Mark Sheldon