This is a very particular, short season. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we won’t enjoy an All-Star break this year, but on Crawfish Boxes, we’ve decided to bring you an All-Star squad from the 2020 Astros after 40 games.
How is this decided? Well, we went right into FanGraphs leaders’ section and used its filters to get results with at least 100 plate appearances (position players) for men in every position while comparing them to the best you can find in the American League. So here you go, enjoy!
LF Kyle Tucker
.276/.329/.579/.908 | 8 HRs | 37 RBIs
This is a no-doubter. Tucker has been one of the best players for the Astros this year after overcoming a rough start at the plate. Fortunately, he put things together since mid-August and got to Monday’s game hitting .414/.485/.948 in his last 17 with 26 runs batted in thanks in part to three doubles, five triples, and six home runs.
Tucker is leading every AL left fielder in WAR (1.5) and ranks sixth in hits (40), sixth in doubles (8), first in triples (6, second on the list are Víctor Reyes and Robbie Grossman, tied with two), third in four-baggers (8), first in RBIs (37), first in scored runs (29), and fourth in stolen bases (5).
As if it wasn’t enough, he’s second in OPS (.908) —only behind Grossman (.929)— and no one has more extra-base hits than him (22). He’s gotta go in!
RHP Zack Greinke
2.91 ERA | 2.33 FIP | 46.1 IP
Go to see the American League pitching leaders and you’ll find Zack Greinke third on the default ranking, only below Cy Young candidate Shane Bieber and Lucas Giolito —who recently threw the only no-no in 2020 so far—. This happens because Greinke ranks third in WAR, with 1.8
Besides owning a great pack of stats this year, the veteran righty has barely given up walks. In fact, among qualified hurlers, he’s second in BB/9 (1.36) behind Mariners’ Marco Gonzales (0.71!). Greinke is also showing his huge ability to keep the ball in the park as he’s only allowed two across 46 1⁄3 innings (0.39 HR/9).
Zack only trails Bieber in FIP (2.33), he’s sixth in ERA (2.91), fifth in WHIP (0.97), and owns the third-lowest exit velocity in the young circuit (86.0 MPH, only behind Kenta Maeda and Martín Pérez). Another stellar year for the soon-to-be 37-year old.
CF George Springer
.230/.347/.459./806 | 7 HRs | 20 RBIs
I know Springer was off to a dreadful start at the plate, going 1-for-21 in his first six games. That has changed: even though he’s not reached the sky of his potential, the center fielder owns a .267/.377/.515 slash line since July 31 with a pretty good .892 OPS.
There are some arguments to include Springer on the All-Star team. For example, his sixth in WAR (0.9), has the fourth-best mark in home runs (7), and he’s one of six CFs with at least 20 runs and 20 ribbies.
In his last 10 games, going back to August 29, George has hit two doubles, one triple, and three dingers. He’s regaining his shape with a 1.013 OPS.
DH Michael Brantley
.301/.374/.495/.869 | 11 2Bs | 19 RBIs
Once again, Brantley is looking like a world-class hitter. Recently, we evaluated his huge plate discipline, which has paid off big time for him this year. After playing only in 28 games (115 plate appearances), he’s slashing .301/.374/.495 with 11 doubles, three long balls, 19 driven in, and a good BB/K ratio of 12/19.
In the American League, despite most designated hitters have more PAs than Michael, he’s second in doubles (only behind JD Martínez’s 13). He also owns the fifth-highest mark in runs (20) despite the ones above him have at least 43 at-bats more than him. Brantley ranks fourth in batting average, only Nelson Cruz, Franmil Reyes, and Pedro Severino have a better number than him.
Even though he hasn’t hit a lot of home runs, Brantley is producing at a good rate while showing his great talent to avoid strikeouts. He has the fourth-best wRC+ mark (140), the fifth-best OPS, and the second-lowest punchout percentage (16.5%).
C Martín Maldonado
.255/.386/.415/.801 | 4 HRs | 20 RBIs
When you have a .386 OBP, an .801 OPS, a 117 OPS+, and you’re a great defensive catcher that’s helping a young pitching staff, you have to be an All-Star. Martín Maldonado deserves that honor. His offensive stats have been better than ever and his skills behind the plate have remained intact.
Out of seven catchers with at least 100 PA in 2020, the Puerto Rican is fourth in WAR (0.9), third in wRC+ (129), and is the only one of the group with a combination of 15 scored runs and 20 runs batted in. Plus, only on-base machine Yasmani Grandal (22) has more walks than him (19).
Here we have to include Carlos Correa and Yulieski Gurriel.
Unfortunately, regarding Correa, there has been a wild competition among shortstops in the American League. Even though he’s in the middle of a good season, he’s left behind others who have been lights out in the young circuit.
For example, Correa doesn’t appear in almost any top 3 besides batting average (.301) and on-base percentage (.441). But he’s sixth in slugging percentage (.441), fifth in wRC+ (123), fifth in hits (43), fifth in doubles (8), eighth in home runs (4), and tenth in runs (16). Though he’s second in RBI’s, men like Tim Anderson, Xander Bogaerts, and even Willy Adames should appear higher than Carlos in the votation.
With Gurriel —who’s hitting .273/.321/.467—, something similar is happening. Besides he’s not showing the same power he did last year, José Abreu, Luke Voit, Miguel Sanó, and even Jeimer Candelario are having monster seasons.
In the AL, seven first basemen have more home runs than him (5), 12 have more RBIs than him, and eight register a higher OPS than him (.788). So it’s even harder for him than it is for Correa.
NOT EVEN CLOSE
- José Altuve: Altuve has had “not-Altuve” numbers throughout the whole campaign. He’s slashing .224/.284/.322. For God’s sake, he even has a negative WAR (-0.1) and is currently on the 10-day injured list.
- Alex Bregman: The Astros third baseman is about to be activated from the IL, but even though he’s not having a nightmare season, guys like Anthony Rendón, Kyle Seager, José Ramírez, Giovanny Urshela, and company are above him in the competition for third base.
- Josh Reddick: Josh is carrying unimpressive numbers that are not even close to Teoscar Hernández’s, Alex Verdugo’s, Víctor Reyes’, or Anthony Santander’s.