All-Star voting ends in six days, and with the National League starting lineup still unclear, there’s been plenty of jostling. The San Francisco monopoly was broken when Yadier Molina overtook Buster Posey and David Wright passed Pablo Sandoval to lead their respective positions. Meanwhile, the outfield, as of right now, looks to consist of Carlos Beltran, Justin Upton, and Bryce Harper, although Harper is injured right now, and may pull out so that he can return to the Nationals fully healthy. This leads me to the focus of this article.
Yasiel Puig has taken Major League Baseball by storm so far, hitting .435 with 7 home runs and 14 RBI. He’s become ESPN’s latest media darling, and many have campaigned that he should be on the All-star team, whether as a starter or as a reserve.
I’m not one of those people.
Puig, while great, does not deserve the honor of being on the roster. I point this out because his stats are over the course of one month, and the last time I checked, one month of play does not give you an All-star nod, unless you’re in a short season league.
Puig may look like he’s been in the majors longer, as his stats compare to someone who has been in the majors for maybe three months, but he should not be put on the ballot until he has the necessary time under his belt.
What encompasses the necessary time? I believe that at least two months is an acceptable amount of time for a major league baseball player to be eligible for an All-Star nod. I would say three months, but Bryce Harper completely redefined the service time when he made the majors at the beginning of last May, culminating in his first, in what will likely be a number of All-star selections. Harper did end up showing that he belonged in the majors after more than one month, and ended up winning the NL Rookie of the Year.
This isn’t to say that Puig will not reach the level that Harper has, but again. I point out that there are plenty of great outfielders in the National League Behind Beltran, Harper and Upton, there’s Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies, Ryan Braun of the Brewers, Matt Holliday of the Cardinals, and Andrew McCutchen of the Pirates, and if that’s not enough, there’s also Domonic Brown, who would be picked for a spot if I were the manager of the NL All-stars, and Jay Bruce and Shin-Soo Choo, if that’s not enough.
That’s not to be said that Puig should be completely blocked from the All-star team, When the rosters are announced, there will be one last spot to fill, which is done by the Final Vote. If Puig is voted in this way, or selected as an injury replacement, then I will have no qualms about him playing in the All-star game.