News of young reliever Joe Jimenez making the American League All-Star roster was met with much joy among Detroit Tigers fans over the weekend. Many see Jimenez as a cornerstone for the bullpen going forward, and his solid 2.85 ERA and 10.1 strikeouts per nine innings this season deserved to be rewarded.
However, the announcement was slightly bittersweet, as Jimenez is scheduled to be the lone Tigers representative at the All-Star Game. While the team has few bright spots, Nicholas Castellanos has held up his end of the bargain in a depleted batting order.
Castellanos is undergoing a career year, hitting .301/.352/.518 with 15 homers already and 135 wRC+. All of these figures are on pace for his best-ever numbers, and this has come during a season of a position change. Understandably, some fans were a little upset to see Castellanos left off of the All-Star roster. A quick glance at the competition, though, puts his snub into perspective.
AL Outfield Rankings
While Castellanos ranks near the top 10 in key batting categories, he is clearly a class below starters Mookie Betts, Mike Trout, J.D. Martinez, and Aaron Judge. These four players lead their fellow AL outfielders in home runs and all but Judge hit for a better average than Castellanos as well.
Meanwhile, the reserves also seem to have a more competitive case than Castellanos. The only exception may be George Springer, who has had an awful past month. Prior to that, his stats were favorable to those of Castellanos almost everywhere, and coming off a World Series win and MVP crown probably does not hurt.
Castellanos also fell short of the final vote players, losing out to Andrew Benintendi and Giancarlo Stanton. The former has a higher wRC+ than Castellanos, while Stanton ranks fifth among AL outfielders in home runs. Neither player is a shoo-in but both clearly have credentials that are worthy of recognition.
Should Tigers fans feel upset? No, not really. Sure, Castellanos has an argument against Springer and maybe against at the final vote players, but look at where those three teams sit in the standings. All-Star selections are completely subjective, and winning teams are likely to get more attention. Castellanos has had a great season to date, but so have other players at his position.