Every year, All-Star voting can be greatly skewed and distorted by a variety of unworthy votes, and some of the biggest offenders outside of the St. Louis Cardinals all fall into the same category.
Exhibit B: Equating team wins to individual value
This is something that also played a part in Jeter’s unjustified elections in 2010 and 2011. One of the main reasons that Jeter was chosen over Ramirez or Gonzalez in 2010 was simply because the Yankees had 56 wins at the break, compared to just 42 for the Marlins and 44 for the Blue Jays.
Wins are important, but they should be secondary when looking at individual awards, especially in baseball. Mike Trout and Jacob deGrom‘s performances this year has made it clearer than ever that one player cannot carry a baseball team to victory.
Should Trout or deGrom’s scorching seasons be discredited simply because the rest of the team can’t provide the support to defeat a more balanced team? At some point, you have to ask yourself how much more they are expected to produce in comparison to players on winning teams like Jose Altuve or Mike Foltynewicz.
In the St. Louis Cardinals case, Yadi is behind Braves catcher Kurt Suzuki despite very similar batting averages and a lower ISO.
There is an argument that Suzuki has played more this season, but the more compelling argument by many standards is the success of the Braves against the success of the Cardinals. Using team success as a “tie-breaker” between two players is acceptable, but it becomes misguided when your judgement is lead by it.