Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Jose Altuve and the Debate Over American League All-Star Second Basemen

About a month ago, I wrote a post in which I advocated for Chase Utley and Ian Kinsler to be the starting second basemen in this year's MLB All-Star Game.  While I haven't changed my opinion on Kinsler as the American League starter, I am going to discuss Jose Altuve and his qualifications for this season's A.L. All-Star Team.

In short, Jose Altuve is having an awesome season.

He's leading all MLB players in hits so far on the year, has a stolen base percentage of 92.5 for the season, and leads qualifying second basemen in on-base percentage (OBP) and on-base plus slugging (OPS).  

Alas, he's still not the best among A.L. qualifying second baseman.

Altuve's baseball-reference WAR of 3.2 falls short of Kinsler's 3.8. I don't know for certain, but I suspect this has something to do with his defensive WAR, a baseball-reference metric.  While Kinsler is second among qualifying A.L. second baseman in dWAR, Altuve is second-to-last, with a -0.2 mark.  

It's almost a shame that Altuve isn't better on defense.  Perhaps I'm partial to a smaller player since I'm only five-foot-four myself, but Altuve is having such a very good season, I really want him to start for the A.L. in the upcoming Mid-Summer Classic.  

Nonetheless, Jose Altuve is a very good player with very good qualifications.  He deserves to be an All-Star, though not really a starter, and, with skill, he'll hopefully qualify as a starting second baseman for future All-Star Games.

**Note-All statistics in this post came from, except for the fact that Altuve leads MLB in hits.  This comes from

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