Did All-Star Voting Snub Miguel Sano at Third Base?
Minnesota Twins third baseman Miguel Sano led the 2017 MLB All-Star fan voting at third base for most of the voting period, but it wasn't enough.
A late push from Cleveland fans saw Jose Ramirez overtake Sano on the final day of voting for the honor of starting at third base in the 2017 MLB All-Star Game.
Both men boast impressive stat lines, but did Jose Ramirez's late push snub Miguel Sano of his starting spot on the American League All-Star roster?
Now before you start screaming at me and telling me off, I want you to read carefully. Miguel Sano definitely deserves to be an All-Star. He's had an incredible 2017 campaign so far (***through July 6), and I'd be shocked if he doesn't find a few at-bats during this year's All-Star competition in Miami.
But to say Ramirez snubbed Sano is to disregard the career year Ramirez is having, and that's not fair to either player.
Miguel Sano leads Jose Ramirez in three hitting categories: home runs (20 to 16), runs batted in (61 to 45) and walks (43 to 27). When you really look at those numbers and the impact they have on individual games, the only major disparity in those three categories comes with the 16-RBI difference.
On the other side, Jose Ramirez leads Miguel Sano in essentially every other hitting category: batting average (.330 to .277), on-base percentage (.382 to .370), OPS (.980 to .910), doubles (27 to 12), triples (five to two), strikeouts (39 to 116), stolen bases (nine to zero), runs (60 to 51) and more.
But Ramirez holds an advantage over Sano in more than just most offensive categories. Ramirez has proven to be the better fielder as well, particularly at third base. Fielding percentage and defensive runs saved, two of the most recognizable defensive statistical categories, both lean in Ramirez's favor: .975 to .966 and one to minus-8. Several other statistics favor Ramirez's defensive performance.
Lastly, Jose Ramirez possesses a commanding lead in everyone's favorite advanced metric: wins above replacement (3.4 to 1.8)
To say Ramirez snubbed Sano isn't fair to either player. Both 24-year-olds are having career seasons, and both deserve a go-around at third base in the 2017 MLB All-Star Game. But if you take an extensive look at the numbers, most statistical categories favor Jose Ramirez.
And if the stats (aside from basically home runs and runs batted in) point towards Ramirez, then you can't say the voting process snubbed Sano of his "right" to start at third base in the All-Star Game.
***All stats reflect player performance through July 6