Ever since he came to the A’s in 2013, I have been a big fan of Stephen Vogt. I chant “I believe in Stephen Vogt” wherever I am when he come to bat. Heck, I even follow “Vogt’s Helmet” on Twitter. You should too! But I must say that I do not believe that Vogt should be representing the A’s on the All Star team.
Disclaimer: I’m happy to say my son was married this weekend! It was a fantastic ceremony that went off without a hitch. My daughter-in-law is incredible! I wrote this article Friday morning, so the statistics might not be up to date.
I think Ned Yost has a lot on his mind with the Royals tanking lately, so he just went with an easy choice. I could see him asking his coaches, “Who the hell even plays on Oakland? Oh yeah, Vogt. . .let’s take him.” In some ways, Vogt is sort of the heart and soul of the A’s, but I do not see him as our All-Star. This is not to say Vogt is a bad choice. I just think there are a few better choices to represent the A’s.
Khris Davis is a pretty obvious choice. He has 19 home runs and is currently tied for ninth in the American League. More than that, if you take his stats from the second half of last year and add them to the first half of this year, he has well over 40 HR. He leads the team in HR (13 more than Vogt) and RBI. He is Oakland’s most intimidating hitter and maybe their most intimidating power hitter since the purge of 2014. Danny Valencia and Josh Reddick have been more consistent, and I would be happy with any of those three guys representing the A’s. I like Davis for his raw power.
Rich Hill has been the A’s best starting pitcher. A lot of A’s fans had their doubts when Hill was signed after a four game tryout with Boston last year. It is not often that a veteran player goes from the Long Island Ducks to the majors to the All Star game, but Hill has the numbers. He leads the starters in wins, ERA and WHIP. His ERA would be the best in the league at 2.25 if he had enough innings to qualify. Hill could definitely represent Oaktown if he was an All-Star.
Ryan Madson has become the A’s closer and I thought Yost would pick him. If I wanted to win an All-Star game, I would use closers beginning in the third inning. He is tied for ninth in the league with 17 saves. I feel he is one of the better closers in the AL.
But I believe Ryan Dull is an All-Star reliever. He is unflappable. He throws very hard and he throws with great accuracy. He is second on the team in appearances with 39 and he leads the team in WHIP and ERA, not counting position players Tyler Ladendorf or Josh Phegley. Dull’s major accomplishment is not allowing any inherited runners to score so far this season. He has stranded 36 runners who were on base when he came into the game.
It is an obscure record, but Dull has stranded the most runners to begin a season. If the National League gets runners on base, and Yost needs a couple outs to survive an inning, he’s going to wish he had Dull on his team.
Update: Dull’s streak of 36 inherited runners was snapped on Saturday. According to theScore.com, Dull’s streak was the longest in the expansion era by a pitcher.
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Marcus Semien was the one player I was really hoping Yost would choose to become the A’s representative on the All-Star team. Semien is quietly becoming one of the best shortstops in the American League. You could argue Carlos Correa is better. Correa plays in a band box and he has 13 home runs. Semien plays at the Coliseum, and he has 19 home runs.
Eduardo Nunez of Minnesota and Xander Bogaerts of the Red Sox have better slugging percentages, but again, Semien plays half his games at the Coliseum. If he could take aim at the Green Monster, I bet Semien’s average would be a lot higher. The thing I like best about Semien is his fielding. He leads the league in total chances, assists, and double plays turned. His .980 fielding percentage is good for fourth best in the league. I think fielding percentage tends to reward “alligator arms,” but that’s just my opinion.
Perhaps the best argument for Semien can be made by glancing across the bay. Brandon Crawford was “snubbed” by the fans because he was passed over for the All-Star game. Giants fans can’t stop whining about it. Semien and Crawford’s numbers are very similar except Semien has 18 home runs while Crawford has eight. In terms of fielding, Semien has eight errors while Crawford has only four. But Semien has played 46 more innings, and had 66 more “total chances.” Semien has also turned 68 double plays to Crawford’s 51.
The All-Star game is always going to generate a little controversy because there are so many deserving players. I admire Stephen Vogt a great deal. I am not so sure that he is the best representative of the A’s. I am no crybaby like some fans of the orange and black, but it will be great when the A’s have more than just a token pick.
That’s what I think. What do you think?