It’s no secret that Yasiel Puig is this years darling of the MLB. From ESPN to MLB Network, every media outlet is all over the early success Mr. Puig. We are not doubting the skill and talent of Yasiel Puig, we just don’t think that a player who has played roughly half of the first half of the season should deserve to play in a game celebrating the best players of the first half. If you look back to a post we did earlier this year on sample size you will see that it takes at least 500 ABs before we can see a trend in 3 statistics categories that everyone seems to love; OPS, SLG, and OBP. Yasiel Puig has 152 ABs as of 7/12/2013, the last day of the Vote-In contest.
Last year Bryan LaHair made the All-Star game because he got hot at the right time; right before the All-Star Break. Guess what Puig is doing, he’s hot right before the All-Star Break. Now when Bryan LaHair was voted into the All-Star Game there were a few baseball junkies who didn’t really see why, but the Cubs needed representatives and quite honestly you take what you get when it comes to Cubs All-Stars. However, this off-season LaHair was released by the Cubs and is now playing in Asia. Yes, you read that right, “released by the Cubs”, the same team that stuck with Carlos Marmol for all these years. When the news broke of LaHair’s signing with an Asian team, more and more people questioned why LaHair made the All-Star team, especially since his second half numbers were so bad that we went from All-Star to bench warmer in a few weeks. Fans quickly started to doubt the credibility of the All-Star game because a player who was released by one of the worst teams in baseball and was a bench warmer after the Mid-Summer Classic was somehow voted into a game celebrating baseball’s best.
If players like LaHair and Puig can make the All-Star game because of a hot streak before the All-Star Break then what is stopping a player like Juan Castro or Adam Rosales from making the All-Star game? All they would have to do is get hot at the right time, right? Let’s put them in the All-Star game if that’s all it takes. So why won’t the MLB do just that? Well Juan Castro and Adam Rosales, aren’t All-Stars, fine players, but definitely not All-Star material. They’ve both had stretches of games where they could do no wrong, but they aren’t proven, consistent MLB players, and that is what the All-Star game is all about. Players who are established in the league as good, consistent players, who have played to above and beyond the average MLB player for the first half of the season. If Major League Baseball just put in players who got hot at the right time the All-Star Game would lose all credibility and the All-Star Game would become the “Who The Hell Are These Guys Game”.
So why should Yasiel Puig be an All-Star? Isn’t it possible that this is just a fluke start like we see from so many highly touted prospects that quickly fade into backups? Just about every Major League player goes through streaks of 30 or so games where they can do no wrong, does that make them All-Stars? Hell no it doesn’t, and Yasiel Puig, until he proves himself as a consistent All-Star caliber player, is not an All-Star.