Last season, the Athletics felt snubbed after no one on the Athletics made it to the All-Star Game except for Grant Balfour and Bartolo Colon (only because another pitcher had a start coming off of the all-star break and couldn’t make it). Last year’s squad had a lot of talent. There was Josh Donaldson, who was having a breakout year. There was Coco Crisp. who went the entire season without making an error. He also had his first season with at least 20 h0meruns and 20 stolen bases. There was Jarrod Parker, who went 19 starts undefeated. There was deserving talent was all over the roster.
This season, it seems the Athletics are getting more recognition early on. The Athletics have 5 players currently in the running for the All-Star Game.
First we have Derek Norris at catcher. Derek Norris has 215,110 votes. That is good for 3rd place so far. Norris deserves to go to the All-Star game, because he currently owns a .316 Average with a .416 OBP over a span of 117 at bats. The two players ahead of him are Brian McCann of the New York Yankees, and Matt Wieters of the Baltimore Orioles. Brian McCann has 373,169 votes and Matt Wieters leads the pack with 540,258. There is still plenty of time to get Derek Norris into the All-Star game, but even finishing in 2nd would be a great improvement for Derek Norris, who wasn’t even in the conversation last year. Wieters has been dealing with an injury this season, and will most likely not be ready to participate by mid-July.
Next we have Jed Lowrie at shortstop. He is currently in 5th place with 142,622. There is no way that Jed Lowrie is going to win, because the winner is easily going to be Derek Jeter, who is retiring after this year. Still, for Jed Lowrie to be in the conversation with Derek Jeter is an accomplishment for him all on it’s own.
In the Outfield, Yoenis Cespedes has a shot to make it, with 249,674 votes which is good for 9th place. He is, however, only about 110,000 from the top 5, so he still has a legitimate chance to make it, especially if he continues to improve his plate discipline. Yoenis Cespedes currently has a .247 batting average, but is doing much better than his average indicates. He currently has 9 home runs, 14 doubles, and 31 RBI. If he puts up those kind of numbers with that average, imagine his potential when his average goes up. I believe his average will go up, because this season we have seen a different Cespedes, one who has a better approach and more discipline at the plate.
The Athletics have one player currently in the lead, and that is the man who should have been on the All-Star team last year, Josh Donaldson. He is currently in the lead with 464,367 votes. It is a very tight race though, because Evan Longoria of the Tampa Bay Rays has 407,724 votes, good for second place. Donaldson has a good shot of making it. Last year he put his name in the discussion, and this year he is getting the recognition he deserves.
There is one player, however, that could be this year’s Josh Donaldson. Brandon Moss is doing crazy good, with a .289 average. That average may not seem so impressive, but let’s look at his other numbers. He has 12 homeruns, 11 doubles, 2 triples, and the most important number, 42 RBI. You’d think he would be in 1st or 2nd place right? Maybe even 3rd would be acceptable.
Brandon Moss is in 5th place with only 144,319 votes. David Ortiz leads the pack with 501,808 votes. David Ortiz in first is understandable, because he is the most well-known DH in the game, and perhaps the only true DH left in all of baseball. He is also close to the end of his career. 5th place however is too low for a player as good as Brandon Moss. He deserves more respect and more votes. He deserves to be in the All-Star game and is performing like it. The situation with Brandon Moss could very well be exactly like the Josh Donaldson situation from last season.
Overall, the All-Star situation is a whole lot better for the Athletics this season than last year. They have more players in the conversation, but it wouldn’t be the All-Star Break without leaving out an Athletics player who deserves to be there.