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2015 Real MLB All-Stars: National League

Felipe Melecio uses advanced stats to deterime the National League MLB All Star Team.

MLB


Like we did last season, we will be taking a look at the 2015 Major League Baseball rosters and see if the fan vote matches up with the numbers utilized for Felipe’s Ultimate Baseball Advanced Rankings (or FUBAR for short). We’ll beging with the National League position players.

Glossary of Terms

For a more detailed look at the stats being used, feel free to check out fangraphs.com. We will try to explain these stats as simply as possible.

Offensive Production

We utilize the following stats to account for offensive prowess:

  • Weighted On-Base Average or wOBA for short: A stat that utilizes linear weights to gauge a player’s hitting value. Basically, not all hits are created equal.
  • Isolated Power or ISO: A stat that measures the frequency a player hits for an extra base.

Plate Discipline

We use Walk Percentage (BB%), Strikeout Percentage (K%), and Walk:Strikeout (BB:K) to measure a player’s plate discipline.

Base Running

We utilize the following stats for this criteria:

Fielding

We utilize two stats to measure this criteria: Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) and Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR). We’ve covered these two stats on this site before.

We rate each player based on his position. What FUBAR is looking for is the best, all-around player in baseball at each position. All stats are good through July 4, 2015.

National League Roster

Catchers

The Fans SayBuster Posey

FUBAR Says: Buster Posey

Back in mid-May, statistically speaking, Posey was on the outside looking in to be a “true” All-Star. But almost a month later, Posey has played great baseball to justify the fan vote and remind why he’s the very best at his position. He ranked in almost every category except for UBR.

Reserves

Managers Pick: Yadier Molina and Yasmani Grandal

Fubar Says: Derek Norris and Yadier Molina

Rated as a decent base runner, some pop in his bat, and handy with the glove, Norris ranked as our fifth best catcher. Molina ranked seventh among all catchers as his plate discipline was the most impressive part of his game. Grandal has missed 20 games with the Dodgers and therefore did not qualify in our rankings.

First Base

The Fans SayPaul Goldschmidt

Fubar Says: Paul Goldschmidt

Once again, the fans and FUBAR are in acquiescence at this position. Back in May, we had Anthony Rizzo as the best first baseman in all of baseball. It did not stop Goldie from fighting his way back to his rightful spot and owns a dominant lead in our first base rankings as he leads the position in wOBA, BB%, wSB, and DRS. He is the epitome of what an all-around player looks like.

Reserves

Managers Pick: Adrian Gonzalez and Anthony Rizzo

FUBAR Says: Anthony Rizzo and Adrian Gonzalez

Rizzo was ranked third among all first basemen; Gonzalez ranked sixth. Gonzalez is the better defensive player, but Rizzo took the advantage in hitting, base running, and discipline.

Second Base

The Fans SayDee Gordon

Fubar SaysJoe Panik

Gordon got off to a scorching start to match his lightning speed on the base paths and on the field. He was even flirting with a batting average above .400 for a while. The momentum obviously helped him capture the popularity vote. However, what Panik lacks in speed, he more than makes up for it with a great approach at the plate and just being a better, overall hitter than Gordon, leading the NL in wOBA at his position. He leads all second basemen in BB:K too.

Reserves

Managers Pick: DJ LeMahieu and Joe Panik

FUBAR Says: Dee Gordon and Kolten Wong. 

Although the numbers suggested Panik, Gordon still ranked as the fourth best second baseman. Kolten Wong ranks ninth and has shown impressive power, considering the position he plays. On the other hand, LeMahieu finished as the 16th best at his position and it is unclear as to why he’s even being selected to the All-Star game at all.

Shortstop

The Fans SayJhonny Peralta

FUBAR SaysBrandon Crawford

Peralta received the votes playing for a rabid fan base, but it was Crawford who has become the best shortstop in baseball. Crawford has displayed the better pop (leads all shortstops in ISO) and is a fun player to watch on defense. Peralta ranked as the fourth best at his position. The Giants’ double play combo of Crawford and Panik, starting at the All-Star game would have been a sight to see.

Reserves

Managers Pick: Brandon Crawford

FUBAR Says: Andrelton Simmons

Only one, extra shortstop was selected for the reserve role for the National League. Which means Peralta is the odd man out in FUBAR. Fans would be overjoyed to know Simmons would be his replacement as he not only has the best glove at his position, but he also ranks third overall at short.

Third Base

The Fans SayTodd Frazier

FUBAR Says: Nolan Arenado

There’s no real issue with Frazier getting the hometown vote for the All-Star game, but Arenado has come on strong since we last took a look at the position in late-May. Frazier has the advantage in hitting, but Arenado’s glove is miles away better than Frazier’s, making him the best, all-around third baseman.

Reserves

Managers Pick: Kris Bryant and Arenado

FUBAR Says: Frazier and Bryant

Thankfully, the players who were picked for the All-Star game did make it to the roster, one way or another. Arenado is the best third baseman at this point of the season, Frazier is fourth, and Bryant was ranked fifth.

Outfield

The Fans SayBryce Harper, Giancarlo StantonMatt Holliday 

FUBAR SaysAndre Ethier (left field), Joc Pederson (center field), Bryce Harper (right field)

The fans have the luxury of picking the best three outfielders, regardless of position. But FUBAR likes to split the outfield into their three, traditional positions.

Andre Ethier has done a great job being a super-sub for the Dodgers and has performed admirably whenever needed. He is the third best left fielder and is second in wOBA and ISO.

Pederson is the leading candidate for NL Rookie of the Year and is the second best center fielder in baseball. He leads all centerfielders in BB%. Worth reiterating, he is a rookie.

Bryce Harper is doing Bryce Harper things. Stanton is the best defensive player in right field.

Reserves

Managers Pick: Andrew McCutchen, Pederson, A.J. Pollock, and Justin Upton

FUBAR Says: Stanton, McCutchen, David Peralta, and Justin Upton

Pretty similar lists and it appears as if the big ommission is in figuring out which Arizona Diamondbacks’ player deserved to be an All-Star. Pollock is the sixth best center fielder, while Pollock is the fourth best outfielder. Even FUBAR would agree, both players are interchangeable.

McCutchen is ranked third at center, while Upton ranked seventh in left field.

Except for a few spots, here and there, it would appear as if the fans, managers, and FUBAR are content with the results of the National League roster.

Featured Image Credit: By BrokenSphere (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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