Tuesday, July 03, 2007
The Phillies three of the Phillies five strongest players – Hamels, Rowand and Utley – got recognition. Ryan Howard’s injuries and slow start cost him a roster spot, which was fair. What was not fair, however, was the voters decision to snub Jimmy Rollins.
First off, I am willing to concede that the voters did a nice job awarding the starting position to the Mets Jose Reyes. Yes, I get sick of all of the media attention lavished on players in New York, and I suspect that New York players have an absurdly unfair advantage when it comes to all-star balloting because they play in the media capital of the United States, however Reyes has done a nice job this season:
.399 OBP, 40 stolen bases in 51 attempts, 45 walks to 44 strikeouts, 8 triples, .324 BA/RISP (Batting Average with Runners in Scoring Position) … He has 16 Win Shares right now, 9 Win Shares Above Bench … He’s your prototypical lead-off hitter, and he does a nice job at it. Tellingly, he leads all N.L. Shortstops in Runs Created per 27 Outs at 7.6 …
J.J. Hardy is a slugging shortstop. Thus far this season he has 18 home runs, and his slugging percentage is a robust .515. He’s a fairly one-dimensional player in that he has no speed whatsoever: zero steals in three attempts and one triple. He has 47 strikeouts to 24 walks … He’s a slugger with limited speed. Jimmy Rollins is a nice blend between Hardy and Reyes: a slugger with a lot of speed. Rollins has 14 home runs and his slugging percentage is just a tick below Hardy at .514. Impressively, Rollins has fifteen steals in eighteen attempts, and a whopping ten triples. Given what a lost art hitting a triple is, shouldn’t Rollins get some recognition for that?
The bottom-line, to me, is that Jimmy Rollins is a better player than J.J. Hardy, and is a more-deserving All-Star. I agree with the decision to vote Jose Reyes in as the N.L.’s starting shortstop. He deserves it, but not J.J. Hardy.