Monday, July 4, 2011

2011 MLB All-Star game - Jay Bruce over Andrew McCutchen?

Joe Posnanski says Andrew McCutchen should be in the All-Star game.
But then the players voted and ... huh? Excuse me? They voted for Jay Bruce, Matt Holliday and Hunter Pence.

Baseball Reference has Jay Bruce with an 0.2 WAR (Fangraphs is kinder and gives him a 1.4 WAR). This means that they calculate he is roughly two-tenths of a win better than a replacement level player. They rank him so low because they estimate that he has been a dreadful right-fielder in 2011 (after being an excellent fielder in 2010). I don't know if that's right. Look, Bruce is a fine player. But McCutchen is better. He's been better over the last two seasons. And he's a lot better this year. McCutchen's on-base percentage is 60 points higher, he has a higher slugging percentage even though Bruce plays half his games in the Great American Bandbox, he's much faster, he plays a most important defensive position and he plays it better. I tweeted that with the players choosing Bruce over McCutchen might give us a hint about the quality of the next generation's color commentators.

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