Some fans like to vote, vote, vote for the home team. Some like to evaluate the best of the best from all teams.
Or maybe you prefer a middle ground when balloting for non-pitchers opens Tuesday for the All-Star Game, which will be played July 19 in Los Angeles. You could choose only the best hometown players, even if they’re not at the top of their positions.
Setting the Cubs aside for a week, which White Sox position players deserve consideration by the numbers? Try these three.
Anderson’s .356 batting average ranks second in the majors to Twins super-utility player Luis Arraez, and his .503 slugging percentage and .896 OPS top American League shortstops.
By more complex metrics, Anderson leads AL shortstops at 163 weighted runs created plus, meaning he produces 163% of the offense of an average hitter when considering everything from home runs to double plays and adjusting for ballparks and league averages.
Among other shortstops, the Red Sox’ Xander Bogaerts is at 152 wRC+, the Mariners’ J.P. Crawford at 145 and the Astros’ Jeremy Pena at 135.
Once defense is included, Bogaerts and Pena lead Fangraphs.com’s wins above replacement at 2.3 each, with Anderson at 2.2. Bogaerts’ edge reflects playing time, with 224 plate appearances to Anderson’s 173 (because of Anderson’s recent injury). Pena makes up ground with 8.1 defensive runs in Fangraphs’ calculations to 1.3 for Anderson and 0.2 for Bogaerts.
A tenth of a win is basically a wash. Anderson could start for the AL on merit.
Robert has not been among the top three AL outfielders. The Yankees’ Aaron Judge’s 3.2 WAR is tops, and the Angels’ Mike Trout (2.5) and the Astros’ Yordan Alvarez (2.3) are also above 2. The same three lead AL outfielders in wRC+, with Judge at 200, Alvarez at 192 and Trout at 173.
Robert has been a level down, but he has been very good when healthy. His 124 wRC+ is 11th and his 1.4 WAR is eighth among AL outfielders. Hitting .296/.325/.440 with six homers and five doubles augmented by seven stolen bases in eight attempts, Robert has been fun to watch.
There’s a place in All-Star consideration for longtime stars off to slow starts. A ”star” is made in more than two months, after all.
Abreu’s .255 batting average, .773 OPS and seven homers haven’t been up to his usual standards. That’s largely due to a tough April (.216/.308/.348).
But he’s recovering, and Abreu’s 128 wRC+ is seventh among AL first basemen and his 1.2 WAR is sixth. Abreu’s exit velocity has been 95 mph or better on 56.5% of his batted balls, the fifth-highest hard-hit percentage in the majors.
If you want your vote to go to the AL’s best first baseman so far in 2022, that has been the Mariners’ Ty France at 2.2 WAR and 169 wRC+. If you rather would give some love to a White Sox standby who remains an effective player, that’s your business.