While becoming an All-Star is a great honor, what a player does in the game could leave a lasting impact on his legacy.
USA TODAY Sports
On Sunday night, the final balloting for baseball’s 2017 All-Star Game will be released, and most likely, you will know every one of the names in the starting lineup.
When it comes to the entire 32-man rosters, though, that may not be the case.
And if one thing is certain, it’s that there is a player in the majors right now flying under your radar – quietly having an All-Star caliber season – who is far from guaranteed a spot on that roster.
But those are players you should still know about, so here are seven unappreciated players deserving of All-Star bids:
Anthony Rendon, 3B, Washington Nationals
Rendon could suffer from playing for a team with four unquestionable all-stars. The Nationals third baseman is on pace to finish with the highest batting average, RBI total and most home runs of his career. His .960 OPS is the highest among qualified NL third basemen.
Corey Dickerson, DH, Tampa Bay Rays
It would be unfortunate if Dickerson ended up losing his balloting lead over Nelson Cruz and Edwin Encarnacion. The Rays’ offense runs on Dickerson, and his across-the-board numbers are excellent: A .330 batting average, a .939 OPS, 17 homers and 40 extra-base hits.
Lance McCullers Jr., RHP, Houston Astros
The Houston right-hander has only been charged with one loss this season and his 2.69 ERA is the fourth-best in the majors. With Dallas Keuchel ailing much of the year, McCullers’ consistency has been instrumental in the Astros’ rise to the top of the AL.
Jay Bruce, OF, New York Mets
Bruce’s 20 homers and 54 RBI are good for third and fourth, respectively, among NL outfielders. Unfortunately for him, this isn’t a year in which that is enough. Eight outfielders have a higher OPS than Bruce, 14 have a higher batting average, and the list goes on.
Roberto Osuna, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays
Closing for the Blue Jays doesn’t help Osuna’s save total and his 2.32 ERA doesn’t look pretty on paper, but the numbers don’t tell the whole truth. After allowing five runs in eight innings during May, Osuna has posted a 1.42 and 0.87 ERA in May and June, respectively, and has struck out 44 in 32 innings.
Yonder Alonso, 1B, Oakland Athletics
Alonso looked poised to make a push for first place in the balloting in early June, but eventually his numbers just couldn’t keep up with the likes of Justin Smoak, Jose Abreu and Eric Hosmer. Still, Alonso is among the top five among AL first basemen in home runs (17), walks (33) and batting average (.281), and his .943 OPS trails only Smoak.
Travis Shaw, 3B, Milwaukee Brewers
Essentially, the only thing keeping Shaw off the roster is that he’s not Jake Lamb or Nolan Arenado. The Brewers third baseman is still having an all-star caliber season with 17 home runs, 57 RBI, an OPS of .919 and a .294 batting average. Rendon and Justin Turner only add to the NL’s third base glut, but Shaw’s role in the Brewers’ surprise rise to first base deserves some shine.