Alex Gordon: Snubbed


Let’s face it, as a team in last place, it’s difficult to justify the Royals getting more than one player into the All-Star Game.  When Aaron Crow was named as a selection, it seemed like Alex Gordon‘s season had gone mostly unrecognized.

Despite trailing only Jose Bautista and Curtis Granderson among AL outfielders in total bases and leading all AL outfielders in hits, Gordon was left off the American League roster.

Meanwhile, Michael Cuddyer was selected from the Twins.

I don’t want to disparage Cuddyer’s season.  His .286/.356/.459/.815 season is probably worthy of representing Minnesota, except that it’s not as good as Gordon’s .301/.368/.491/.859 line.

Gordon was snubbed in favor of Cuddyer, Tampa’s Matt Joyce, Chicago’s Carlos Quentin and Boston’s Jacoby Ellsbury.  With nearly identical numbers (but more stolen bases) I can’t argue against Ellsbury, but here’s a comparison of the others in 2011 along with Gordon’s numbers:

Carlos Quentin

Year G PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
2011 78 325 36 70 23 0 17 49 1 1 28 45 .253 .354 .520 .874 137
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/3/2011.

Matt Joyce

Year G PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
2011 75 279 43 75 19 2 11 40 4 0 25 55 .302 .362 .528 .890 153
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/3/2011.

Alex Gordon

Year G PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
2011 80 364 47 98 24 4 10 46 5 5 33 67 .301 .368 .491 .859 141
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/3/2011.

It’s pretty close, and sure, both Joyce and Quentin are deserving based on their numbers.  My argument is that Gordon has produced in every way possible.  He gets on base, he scores runs, he drives in runs, he hits for power and hits for average.  So does Joyce.

Quentin, though, is all-homer and not much else.

Outfield is always crowded at All-Star time, and considering the “every team gets a representative” rule, Cuddyer’s selection was what really hurt Alex.  The Twins have been both awful offensively for most of the year, but their marquee players – Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau – have been injured for most of the season.  Cuddyer’s been the most productive hitter they have.

But why not – and this is completely hypothetical – why not go with Scott Baker and his 105.1 innings of 3.15 ERA pitching?  Choose him over Crow and Gordon over Cuddyer.  It rewards both Baker for a solid season and Gordon for a superior season.  Instead two players, though deserving (but not AS deserving as alternatives) make it in.

Going off of Baseball-Reference’s WAR calculations, Gordon and Joyce (2.9) lead Quentin’s 2.5 WAR.  FanGraphs widens that gap, with Gordon’s 3.4 well above Joyce’s 2.4 and Quentin’s 2.2 WAR.  The difference is Gordon’s defense.  He leads the majors in assists and has just one error in the outfield.

Gordon at least made the ballot for voting for the final All-Star spot.  He’s up against Paul Konerko, Adam Jones, Ben Zobrist and Victor Martinez.  Konerko and Martinez are the favorites, but Kansas City has passionate fans all over.

So go vote for Alex.  Voting is apparently unlimited so you can vote all day for him if you want.  Let’s stuff the ballot box and get TWO Royals into the All-Star Game for the first time since 2003 (Mike Sweeney and Mike MacDougal).

 

Alex Gordon deserves to be an All-Star.

To read more about Alex Gordon from Kings of Kauffman writers, check out Kevin Scobee’s letter to Alex from before the season or my comparison of Alex Gordon to Howard Johnson – another late bloomer.

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Tags: AL Central Alex Gordon Baseball Kansas City Royals KC MLB Royals

  • jim fetterolf

    Good piece, Michael. Agree that Gordon is having an outstanding season and probably earned the slot, but in defense of Crow, he is the player I would take as a manager wanting to win the game, a shutdown fireman that can come in with two on and no outs and usually get you out of the image with no damage.

    I think Gordo sees the ASG a few times in the future, as his production looks real, and the fact that we have a position player even in the discussion this year is something of a breakthrough for Gordon and the team.

    • http://kingsofkauffman.com Michael Engel

      I have no problem with Crow’s selection but I really want this for Alex. Maybe it’s the leftover hope that he can become part of what we thought he’d be back when he was drafted.