This morning, while scrolling down on Twitter, I read a powerful quote: “Sometimes, democracy is dumb as f*ck”. By living in a country run by a dictator (Venezuela), you can expect me to disagree with that phrase. But this time, I’m afraid you’re wrong. The reason is that Yordan Álvarez was just robbed by the fans who voted Shohei Ohtani over him to be the starter designated hitter for the American League in the All-Star Game.
That’s just ridiculous and makes the All-Star Game more of a popularity contest. If you have doubts about what I just said, Fernando Tatís Jr. was among the NL leaders to play shortstop. The problem with that is the astonishing fact that he is yet to play a game in the 2022 season.
Massive L to the 243,549 'fans' who have voted for Fernando Tatis Jr. in the All-star Game polling...— Dan Clark (@DanClarkSports) June 27, 2022
I can’t disagree with the insane number of tweets claiming for abolishing the fan voting. If it was about the designated hitter –not designated hitter/pitcher—, Yordan should have won easily and by far. Heck! He even could have been selected as the starting left-fielder over Yankees’ Giancarlo Stanton.
Yordan Alvarez this season, with MLB ranks:— MLB Metrics (@MLBMetrics) July 8, 2022
26 HR (3rd)
59 RBI (6th)
.312 BA (9th)
.410 OBP (4th)
.665 SLG (1st)
1.076 OPS (1st)
.449 wOBA (1st)
202 wRC+ (1st)
4.0 WAR (6th)
Yet he's not one of the 16 starters in the All-Star game. Abolish fan voting.
When it comes to evaluating both exclusively as hitters, Álvarez has been way better than Ohtani. Let’s take a look at some stats…
- Hits: Álvarez 82 | Ohtani 81
- Doubles: Álvarez 11 | Ohtani 15
- Home runs: Álvarez 26 | Ohtani 19
- Runs batted in: Álvarez 60 | Ohtani 54
- Steals: Álvarez 0 | Ohtani 10
- Walks: Álvarez 43 | Ohtani 38
- Batting average: Álvarez .311 | Ohtani .262
- Expected batting average: Álvarez .353 | Ohtani .293
- On-Base percentage: Álvarez .410 | Ohtani .347
- Slugging percentage: Álvarez .663 | Ohtani .502
- Expected slugging percentage: Álvarez .751 | Ohtani .639
- OPS: Álvarez 1.073 | Ohtani .848
- wOBA: Álvarez .448 | Ohtani .361
- Expected wOBA: Álvarez .488 | Ohtani .415
- Total bases: Álvarez 175 | Ohtani 155
- Extra-Base hits: Álvarez 39 | Ohtani 35
- Exit velocity average: Álvarez 96 MPH | Ohtani 93 MPH
- wRC+: Álvarez 201 | Ohtani 137
- Offensive bWAR: Álvarez 4.0 | Ohtani 1.7
As you just saw, in terms of hitting, Ohtani has outnumbered Álvarez only in doubles and steals – out of 19 departments!!! That’s it.
Obviously, Ohtani’s two-way contributions make him one of the faces of this game. When you combine his hitting and his pitching, taking both aspects into account, you realize he’s doing things no one has ever done in baseball. Not even Babe Ruth, not even the greatest men to ever play this sport. I can even say Ohtani’s been more valuable to the Angels this year as a pitcher for his outstanding numbers.
Here comes a big but, though. This time, people had to vote for hitters, specifically for the American League designated hitter. And they did it thinking of popularity, thinking of the Shohei Ohtani who also happens to be a pitcher. That’s unfair to Yordan and to anyone else who was having a good year as a DH so far.
I know fan voting is a way to make the road to the All-Star Game more interesting. But it’s always tough to digest huge injustices like this one. This time, Ohtani and his fans got away with it as he’s gotten the honors to start on July 19, but Yordan’s name should have been there instead of Ohtani’s.