Here are two charts of offensive performance numbers for each of the candidates. So that no one can objects on the methodology, they have been pro-rated to 100 games of play… even though, of course, some have considerably fewer thus far.
All categories were rated equally – stolen bases, the walk rate, runs scored, etc. Clearly Puig and Freeman are the front-runners – though I point out that Freeman has maintained his level of performance for more than twice the games played thus far. The other three have their flaws – and AGon decided to throw his support to teammate Puig, of course. But that leads us into a deeper dive of the numbers involved:
- Puig actually has 19 RBI at this point. However, ten of those were earned during his first five games… including the grand slam vs. Atlanta. Since then? 9 RBI in 28 games.
- Thus far in July, Puig is batting .323. Obviously, that’s still good, but it’s not the lofty .436 average he carried in June… pitchers are figuring him out.
- On June 30 and July 2, Puig got 7 hits in 10 plate appearances (his most recent big outburst; which also inflated those July numbers). Nice, but you should know that he was abusing Kyle Kendrick of Philadelphia and a frankly flawed Roy Oswalt in Colorado. The pitching will not be so soft at Citi Field next week.
- Even using the pro-rated numbers to give Puig the most fair treatment, Freddie is the better run-producer, is better with runners on base – and especially in scoring position, and has actually out-slugged Puig.
It should be fair to guess how any of these ‘Final Five’ would be used in the All-Star game. Though all of them provide good defense, there are plenty of fielders available that are ahead of them in the ‘pecking order’ (7 outfielders, 3 first basemen, 3 second basemen). It is very likely that this slot would be used to pinch hit for a pitcher late in the game – or possibly in a run-scoring-threat situation. Of the five, Freddie would clearly be the right choice, with his ability to drive in runs in such situations. He is first among the five in RBI… even without pro-rating the numbers.
It’s most likely going to be one at bat – at most – for the winner of this beauty contest. Even the result of that AB will not prove that the advocates or detractors were correct. The best we can do is say “here’s our best call”. So on this stage, at this time, with the information before us, I do believe that Freddie Freeman deserves your vote for that last National League slot in the 2013 All-Star Game.
Do it for the hugger. You can vote at this link… an unlimited number of times! (note the check boxes on the form).
P.S. – No, I don’t have any idea what they were thinking when that AL Final Vote ballot was put together. *smh*