The Diamondbacks could have a starter in the All Star game for the first time since 2001. Justin Upton deserves to be voted in by the fans, whether or not that happens remains to be seen. Currently among National League outfielders only Carlos Beltran, Brad Hawpe, and Raul Ibanez rank above him in both batting average and OPS. Of those three players only Beltran has more stolen bases, and currently Upton has 29 more at bats and a better fielding percentage than Brad Hawpe.
When looking at the total player Justin Upton clearly ranks among the top three. He is an exciting player to watch and he’s just getting started. Unfortunately for Justin Upton the fans get to decide the starters and the Diamondbacks are not on most casual baseball fans’ radar outside of Arizona and possibly the other cities of the NL West.
Most likely Justin Upton will not be voted in by the fans, as there is generally an astounding ignorance that goes along with the fan voting. As of today Justin Upton does not even rank in the top 15 of votes for outfielders. One potential starter, Alfonso Soriano who is currently third in votes, has a .246 average and a .790 OPS. One of the players for the All Star hosting Cardinals, Rick Ankiel, is currently tenth in votes and has a .221 average with 2 home runs.
If MLB wants to let the fans vote in the starters that’s fine, the game is after all for the fans. But to have a game decide home field advantage for the World Series that has starters voted in by people who either have no idea how a player is actually performing or don’t care how the players are performing is ridiculous. The fact that deserving players who play outside of the three or four largest markets get left out is merely a side effect.
Justin Upton stats and rank among National League outfielders
Batting Average .322, sixth
OBP .396, seventh
SLG .592, third
OPS .988, third
HR 9, tied for sixth
2B 12, tied for seventh
3B 4, tied for first
RC27 8.49, fourth