Braves: Recognizing the All-Stars that weren’t

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The All-Star festivities have come and gone, and the Braves were well represented, sending six players to Los Angeles, the most since 2003 when they sent seven players to the All-Star Game. However, this piece isn’t about them. They’ve already received their recognition. This is about the Braves players that just missed out but are more than deserving of praise for their contributions through the first half of the season.

Kyle Wright

If there is one thing the MLB needs to fix about the All-Star Game, it’s the number of pitchers chosen from each league. There were so many talented arms snubbed — both starters and relievers. Kyle Wright was more than deserving of All-Star recognition. He’s tied for second in wins in all of baseball — tied for first in the National League. Wright also owns a 2.95 ERA and 1.15 WHIP. There’s nothing fluky about what he’s done this season. Outside of Max Fried, he’s been the most consistent arm on the Braves staff. It’s disappointing he wasn’t selected, and while I don’t think he should have replaced anyone on the NL roster, there should just be more spots allocated for pitchers.

A.J. Minter

The same sentiment rings true for Minter. It’s embarrassing how few relievers are named All-Stars each season. If you’re not a closer, you’re basically out of luck. Minter has been one of the top bullpen arms in baseball all season. He leads the league in appearances with 43 and owns a 1.83 ERA, 0.915 WHIP, and 11.9 K/9. Not recognizing his first-half performance with an All-Star nod should be a crime.

Michael Harris II

Now, Michael Harris didn’t deserve to make the All-Star Game because he only played 48 games in the first half of the season. However, if he had started the season in the majors, there’s no questioning he would have been representing the Braves as an All-Star. He’s already put up 2.1 WAR through 48 games; his defense is arguably the best in the majors out in centerfield, and so far, he’s held up offensively, posting an .816 OPS. There really doesn’t seem to be a weakness in Harris’ game, and while it would have been awesome to see him represent the National League as a rookie, I imagine there will be many All-Star Games in his future.

Spencer Strider

Like Harris, Strider might have made the All-Star Game had he been used as a starter at the beginning of the season. The hard-throwing right-hander has a 3.03 ERA on the year and an even more impressive 2.04 FIP to go along with a silly 13.8 K/9. He’s a rookie, and he’s already one of the filthiest pitchers in baseball. Strider and Harris will have quite the battle in the second half of the season for the NL Rookie of the Year Award.

Photo: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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