With today being the final day of games until the All-Star break, it seems appropriate to give out mid-season grades. Congratulations to all of the players who were selected to this year’s All Star game. Their first half performances have earned them the honor and recognition of representing their teams in the mid summer classic. But what about the guys who just missed the cut? The guys who could easily be on the All Star rosters based on their first half numbers. This may just be the best team in fantasy baseball that you actually had a chance at drafting. While some names are recognizable to the common fan, the majority (if not entirety) of this list could have been drafted in late rounds, or for bargain prices in auctions. There is no clear-cut first round pick amongst any of these names, yet if you have any one of them on your roster they have most likely been carrying your team through the first half of the season. The guys who have stayed healthy and productive, and who you still may be able to get in a trade. Without further ado, I present the 2013 “Also Stars”
*Statistics as of 7/13
Adrian Gonzalez, Dodgers
.298 Avg, 14 HR, 58 RBI, 0 SB, 37 Runs
Back in the familiar surroundings of the NL West, A-Gone has returned to the slugging first baseman you can depend on.
Howie Kendrick, Angels
.307 Avg, 11 HR, 40 RBI, 6 SB, 40 Runs
Every year he seems to be overlooked, but all he does is bat for a high average and score runs. He has added some pop as well.
Ian Desmond, Nationals
.279 Avg, 15 HR, 49 RBI, 10 SB, 42 Runs
He is backing up his 2012 breakout with another solid performance. More valuable at this point then some of his more famous teammates in DC.
Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox
.301 Avg, 3 HR, 33 RBI, 36 SB, 58 Runs
While his power numbers have certainly dropped off from his monstrous 2011 season, the speed and average are still there. Oh yea, and he’s healthy.
Starling Marte, Pirates
.289 Avg, 9 HR, 27 RBI, 28 SB, 59 Runs
He is blossoming in the Steel City, while staring for a young roster. High hopes he can help cure the teams recent second half fall offs.
Daniel Nava, Red Sox
.290 Avg, 10 HR, 52 RBI, 0 SB, 52 Runs
Nava’s play this year has surprised everyone including himself, as he has been putting up All Star numbers for the first place Sox.
Lance Lynn, Cardinals
11 Wins, 115 K’s, 4.00 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 117 IP
For the second year in a row, Lynn has been among the leaders in Wins. Somehow he still doesn’t get the credit or recognition as a legitimate Ace.
Mike Minor, Braves
9 Wins, 115 K’s, 3.02 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 122 IP
While all the pre-season hype surrounding Braves pitching was for Medlen and Teheran, Minor has quietly been Atlanta’s most dominant starter.
Matt Moore, Rays
13 Wins, 108 K’s, 3.44 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 107⅓ IP
A tumultuous sophomore season left many wondering how good Moore could be. He has rebounded to show he is the real deal.
Mat Latos, Reds
8 Wins, 127 K’s, 3.53 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 120 IP
Another pitcher who gets lost in the shadows of a deep staff. Latos continues to rack up the K’s and Wins, with very respectable ERA and WHIP numbers.
Shelby Miller, Cardinals
9 Wins, 107 K’s, 2.92 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 104⅔ IP
Everyone knew he was coming, he just wasn’t expected to be this good this soon. While Matt Harvey gets the headlines, Miller already looks like the seasoned veteran.
Greg Holland, Royals
22 Saves, 60 K’s, 1.80 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 35 IP
An underwhelming first half for the Royals hasn’t diminished, or stopped, Holland from being a dominant closer. Throw away his first few outings and his numbers are even better.
Ernesto Frieri, Angels
22 Saves, 60 K’s, 2.95 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 39⅔ IP
Despite having success in the second half of the 2012 season, Frieri wasn’t given the closer’s role to start this year. He has reclaimed it with authority, but still can’t get the respect.
Glen Perkins, Twins
21 Saves, 45 K’s, 1.87 ERA, 0.77 WHIP, 33⅔ IP
When your rotation includes mediocre starters, at best, you better be able to save the few good starts they give you. The lefty has done so with ease.
I did not factor in Matt Moore, and Glen Perkins, both of whom were added as Injury Replacements. As a side note, Freddie Freeman would have been on this list had he not been selected as the Final Vote to the National League roster. Freeman, you may remember, appeared on my pre-season Break Out list, and his inclusion in the All Star Game is justifying that selection. Also on that list are Wilin Rosario, and Mat Latos, who as evidenced by this article, have been performing remarkably to this point.
Today I will be attending the Futures Game at CitiField, as part of the All Star break festivities. I am very excited to see first hand the likes of Byron Buxton, Miguel Sano, George Springer, Taijuan Walker, Kyle Crick, and Noah Syndergaard, to name a few. Next week I will provide a complete wrap up of the game, as well as a breakdown from what I will be able to see first hand. Also, the Twitter following has been progressing and I invite all of you with an account to please add me @PeoplezPen. It provides a lot of thoughts, and comments, that don’t always make the articles. Thanks for now, and have a great week.