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Starling Marte was the victim of a numbers crunch in the NL outfield.
The NL outfield was chock full of snubs, as it was simply a matter of not enough spots for so many deserving candidates.
Pittsburgh Pirates teammates Starling Marte (.321 BA, .841 OPS, 45 R) and Gregory Polanco (.895 OPS, 24 2B, 12 HR), Miami Marlins left fielder Christian Yelich (.317 BA, .871 OPS, 38 R), Milwaukee Brewers slugger Ryan Braun (.916 OPS, 13 HR, 44 RBI), Colorado Rockies center fielders Charlie Blackmon (.304 BA, .874 OPS, 48 R) and the aforementioned Jay Bruce all had a legitimate case.
The San Francisco Giants are again among the best teams in baseball and the infield duo of Brandon Belt (.908 OPS, 10 HR, 44 RBI) and Brandon Crawford (.775 OPS, 8 HR, 53 RBI) have been a big reason why.
Crawford wasn’t the only snub at the shortstop position, and the roster crunch there became even more significant with Addison Russell earning the starting nod.
Rookies Aledmys Diaz (.896 OPS, 11 HR, 42 RBI) and Trevor Story (.876 OPS, 19 HR, 50 RBI) are both having terrific offensive seasons after entering the year with modest expectations.
Another rookie on the pitching side ranks among the biggest snubs, as Seung-Hwan Oh (41 G, 1.71 ERA, 12.2 K/9) has been a force as a setup man and recently as a closer with the St. Louis Cardinals.
It’s hard to poke holes in the terrific group of starting pitchers on the NL side, but it’s odd not seeing Max Scherzer included on the staff.
Yes, he’s allowed an NL-high 21 home runs, but he also ranks among the league leaders in strikeouts (155, first), WHIP (0.970, third) and opponent’s batting average (.195, fourth) and he has a 20-strikeout game to his credit.
The most disappointing snub has to be left-hander Drew Pomeranz, who pitches for the host San Diego Padres.
It’s hard to argue for his inclusion over anyone on the NL staff, but he’s gone 7-7 with a 2.65 ERA, 1.095 WHIP, .191 BAA and 109 strikeouts in 95 innings.
He should be next up if an NL starter needs a replacement.
The NL Final Vote ballot features Belt, Braun, Marte, Story and Arizona Diamondbacks third baseman Jake Lamb.
Lamb, 25, has the highest OPS of any player in either league to not make the roster at .974, good for sixth in the majors.
He’ll have my vote.
All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com, unless otherwise noted.