— Where BTF's Members Investigate the Grand Old Game
Monday, October 28, 2002
The 2002 Baseball Primer All-Stars
Let’s begin with the starters for the American League and see how they compare with the club that played for Team Primer in the Summer:
Pitcher - Pedro Martinez (BOS)
What is immediately striking about this team is that six of the ten positions are held by Yankees and Red Sox, while none are from the AL champion Angels. The fourth Yankee, as you can see above, is DH Giambi, who lost out to Thome for the starting First Base job. (Because the Mid-Summer contest was played in an NL park, we declined to vote for a Designated Hitter in July.)
Except for Bernie Williams, who was left off of one ballot, all of the AL starters were unanimous picks to make our full-season club. However, only Posada, Soriano, and Rodriguez were unquestioned selections as starters at their positions. Thome and Ramirez were also picked by all of our voters to start, but Thome won two votes to be the DH, while Ramirez was three times picked to be our Designated Hitter.
These three American Leaguers were starters on our summer team, but are now reserves on the full-season club:
Pitcher - Derek Lowe (BOS)
For comparison’s sake, here is how each player matches up in post-All Star statistics with the man who took his job:
Lowe 9-4, 2.83 ERA, 101.7 IP, 53 K, 20 BB
Hunter .263 AVG, .315 OBP, .464 SLG, .779 OPS
Suzuki .280 AVG, .336 OBP, .383 SLG, .719 OPS
While we chose 21 position players and 9 pitchers for the mid-summer ballclub, the full-season ratio was 22 and 8. Hence, with 10 starters, we elected only 11 position players as reserves for this ballclub. Here they are:
Catcher - *Ivan Rodriguez (TEX)
The five players above with an asterisk before their names failed to make the July team. They took spots formerly held by these six:
Catcher - A.J. Pierzynski (MIN)
Not surprisingly, the six fallen stars were all weaker in the second half than they were leading up to the mid-summer game. Here is how the two groups compare in post-All Star stats:
Pierzynski .276 AVG, .302 OBP, .357 SLG, .659 OPS
Konerko .270 AVG, .332 OBP, .402 SLG, .734 OPS
Jeter .278 AVG, .358 OBP, .380 SLG, .738 OPS
Damon .260 AVG, .336 OBP, .432 SLG, .768 OPS
As noted above, we chose one additional reserve pitcher for this team. The following is our full-season bullpen:
Derek Lowe (BOS)
What stands out among this group of pitchers is how many come from the Western Division. All four of our natural relief pitchers have that distinction, as well as three of the five natural starters. The five with asterisks before their names were not mid-season Primer all-stars.
Four hurlers who made the summertime team missed out at season’s end:
SP - Jeff Weaver (DET/NYY)
While the Full-Season Primer All-Stars were picked for their entire perfomances, and not just their second half numbers, it looks like the rising stars overtook their fallen counterparts in the homestretch. These are the relevant numbers achieved after the Mid-Summer Classic:
Weaver 4-3, 3.68 ERA, 71.0 IP, 52 K, 14 BB
Rhodes 1.95 ERA, 37.0 IP, 43 K, 6 BB
Sasaki 3.90 ERA, 27.7 IP, 16/20 Saves, 28 K, 11 BB
In total, 20 of the 30 American League Mid-Season Primer All-Stars made the full-season club. Only three AL organizations - Baltimore, Tampa Bay, and Detroit - went unrepresented on our team. Let’s move on to the Senior Circuit.
These nine were voted in as your 2002 NL starters by the authors of Baseball Primer:
Pitcher - Randy Johnson (ARI)
While no one team dominates the NL squad like the Yankees do the AL, St. Louis and San Francisco contribute five of the nine starters on the Senior Circuit club.
In contrast with the American League, this group of starters features only one player, Jeff Kent, who received a starting vote from every Primer voter. (For no stated reason, Barry Bonds was left off of one ballot entirely!)
However, all of the other starters, save Edmonds and Bonds, were unanimous picks to be on the NL team.
Five of our summertime starters lost their spots:
Pitcher - Tom Glavine (ATL)
The most dramatic descent among this group was made by Lowell, who not only lost his starting job, but failed to make the full-season Primer team entirely. Here is a comparison of how the Summer Stars fared versus the Full-Season Fellows after the All-Star game:
Glavine 7-7, 3.93 ERA, 94.0 IP, 52 K, 43 BB
Spivey .274 AVG, .363 OBP, .400 SLG, .763 OPS
Lowell .232 AVG, .308 OBP, .398 SLG, .706 OPS
Hernandez .289 AVG, .346 OBP, .473 SLG, .819 OPS, 1/3 SB
Sosa .264 AVG, .375 OBP, .536 SLG, .911 OPS
In the summer, we selected 14 position players and 7 pitchers as reserves. However, for the full-season, our composition was 12 and 9 respectively. These are our 12 NL position player back-ups:
Catcher - *Mike Lieberthal (PHI)
Each of the five players above with an asterisk before his name failed to make the summertime squad. Because there were two more position players on the July bench than the full-season bench, those five knocked seven players off the team:
Catcher - Paul Lo Duca (LAD)
While changing teams twice and leagues once seems to have impaired the all-star foundation of Floyd, the others were comparitively hurt by their second half numbers. Here is how the 7 fallen stars compared after the break with the men who took the Primer spotlight:
Lo Duca .233 AVG, .268 OBP, .341 SLG, .609 OPS
Klesko .298 AVG, .382 OBP, .539 SLG, .921 OPS
Castillo .260 AVG, .321 OBP, .316 SLG, .637 OPS
Dunn .190 AVG, .339 OBP, .353 SLG, .692 OPS
As noted before, we have eight reserve pitchers instead of six on our full-season Primer bench:
*Roy Oswalt (HOU)
It’s hard not to notice the dominant position of the Braves among the Primer pitchers. Not only do they make up half of the back-ups, but three more Atlanta hurlers - Kevin Millwood, Chris Hammond, and Darren Holmes - received votes. Beyond that, Dodger All-Star Odalis Perez was a Brave until the 2002 season.
The five pitchers above with asterisks before their names are full-season Primer all-stars who were not selected back in July. They replace these three pitchers who fell from our graces after the summer game:
SP - Vicente Padilla (PHI)
Here is a comparison of their respective post-All Star stats:
Padilla 4-6, 3.60 ERA, 85.0 IP, 43 K, 20 BB
Nen 2.94 ERA, 33.7 IP, 19/24 Saves, 41 K, 14 BB
Stewart 5.91 ERA, 21.3 IP, 21 K, 10 BB
Out of the 30 NL players selected as full-season Primer All-Stars, 19 were picked for the summer squad. And of the 16 teams that compete in the National League, only three - Cincinnati, Florida, and San Diego - failed to field a full-season Primer All-Star.
The following players received votes as full-seaon Primer All-Stars. The first number listed after each name is how many votes the player received; the second number (if any) represents votes as a starter.
Pedro Martinez 10-7
Jorge Posada 10-10
Jim Thome 10-10(a)
(a) Eight votes for Thome were to start at First Base; two votes were to start at Designated Hitter.
(c) Six votes for Ramirez were to start in Left Field; three votes were to start at DH; and one vote was to start in
(d) Two votes for Anderson were to start in Left Field; one vote was to start in Right Field; one vote was to start in Center Field.
Ellis Burks 3-2
(g) Pujols drew 1 vote to start at First Base; and one other vote to start at Third Base.
Scott Rolen 10-8
Brian Giles 10-4(h)
(h) Edmonds received 5 votes to start in Center Field, while Giles took 4. For that reason, Edmonds is the starting CF, and Giles is on the bench.