Pedro Alvarez and his 22 home runs were chosen for the All-Star Game. But 22 home runs is just about his only qualification. In almost every other category, Ryan Zimmerman had a better first half.
Alvarez has a paltry .306 OBP, while Zimmerman has a .361 OBP. Alvarez is batting .246 on the year; Zimmerman .279. Alvarez has the edge in home runs, but Zimmerman has more doubles and triples, giving Alvarez only a negligible advantage in extra base hits, 31-29.
Yes, Alvarez showed more power this season, but Zimmerman’s sizable advantage in getting on base outweighs that deficit.
Zimmerman received criticism this season for his defense and missing time due to injury. Here, perception is greater than reality. Alvarez has appeared in 79 games this season, Zimmerman 74. Finally, Ryan’s 14 errors are fewer than Pedro’s 15. After a series of high-profile throwing errors earlier this year, Zimmerman’s defense is pretty close to his career norms.
After looking at the numbers, I’m surprised Zimmerman didn’t get more attention as a possible All-Star.
At least one national writer noticed. From ESPN’s Keith Law:
The most questionable decision on the position-player side was the players’ choice of Pedro Alvarez, a poor defender at third whose high homer total obscures that .306 OBP, over longtime star Ryan Zimmerman, whose massive throwing problems this year shouldn’t mask his superior hitting ability and better range.
Well said. But then again, who cares about on-base percentage?
Oh right, everyone who realizes it’s not 1950 anymore.