With the 2016 MLB All Star Game rosters being released last night, there were sure to be some deserving players that were left off the rosters in favor of others. However, one such player, St. Louis Cardinals rookie shortstop Aledmys Diaz, wasn’t even on the All-Star ballot. Over the course of the voting process, Jhonny Peralta was the Cardinals’ representative at shortstop, despite missing half of the season due to injury and has taking over at 3rd base upon his return. Though Diaz was not featured on the ballot, he should have been in very serious consideration to be a part of the National League All-Star squad.
First, let’s consider the fact that he leads all NL shortstops in batting average at a .314 clip. He’s certainly cooled off since starting out 2016 carrying a .423 average through the month of April, it’s still an impressive average, especially for a rookie. In contrast, the other NL All-Star shortstops, Corey Seager and Addison Russell, are batting .307 and .242 respectively.
Diaz is also holding his own in the home run department, having blasted 11 home runs to pace himself at 5th among NL shortstops. In RBI’s he finds himself also in 5th with 42, just ahead of Seager but 6 behind Russell. Diaz is slugging .522, which is behind only Seager and Story, tied for the league lead in doubles for a shortstop with Zach Cozart. His WAR is 2.3, which trails only Seager, Cozart, and Brandon Crawford. The point is, is that Diaz is at or very near the top in almost every offensive category for NL shortstops. Diaz should have at the very least been nominated for one of the final vote spots. If the fans had not so ignorantly voted in Russell as the starting shortstop, he may have very well secured one of those spots, if not winning it.
Either way, if Aledmys Diaz continues to produce at the plate like he has this season, and continues to clean up his defensive play along the way, I see no reason why he won’t establish himself as one of the best young shortstops in the game, and thus find his way onto the All-Star squad for years to come.