Jun 13, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves catcher Evan Gattis (24) hits a three run home run against Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher C.J. Wilson (33) during the first inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Getting Braves into the All-Star Game


We are now less than a month away from the 85th Major League Baseball All-Star game, to be held at Target Field in Minneapolis on July 15th.  But by doing a quick review of the balloting progress, I’m wondering just how many Tomahawk jerseys will be in attendance.  Let’s review by position – today we’ll start with CATCHERS.

 

Evan Gattis Should Make the Cut

I personally believe that Evan Gattis has earned his All-Star ticket (yes, this will be an shameless sales piece for the White Bear).  After a decent start (.270) and slow May (hitting .231), he has now busted out in a big way:  .420 average for June – while raising his overall batting average to nearly .300 for the year.  He is destroying left-handed pitching (1.205 OPS) and not exactly slouching (.870) vs. RHP, either.

Gattis not only leads the majors in homers (15) among catchers, nobody else is close:  Miguel Montero has 10.  Evan is second in the majors in WAR (2.4) and first in OPS (.932) at his position… and he doesn’t even have enough plate appearances to qualify for the batting title!  [ By the way:  Brian McCann?  0.6 WAR, .634 OPS, and just 7 dingers thus far. ]

But the voting isn’t going the Bear’s way right now.

 

Yadier Molina is running laps over the field, with 2 million votesBuster Posey is a distant second with 1.4 million.  Neither of these players is having a “typical” year by their own standards:  Molina 5th in WAR, 9th in OPS; Posey 8th and 7th, respectively.  Gattis, to repeat, is 2nd and 1st in those categories.

Molina will certainly get in; Posey will be hard to ignore, given his vote count… despite his relatively poor year.

However:  Gattis is currently a distant fourth in the balloting:  774,409 votes.

 

Gattis Needs You

Evan Gattis. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Could Evan be named as a reserve?  Yes – and since the team should carry 3 catchers, that’s entirely possible.  But his case would be bolstered if Braves’ fans would push to get him into third place, ahead of Jonathan Lucroy.

That could be a tall order, given that Lucroy has a lead of over 360,000 votes.  Additionally, of all the other catchers in the majors, Lucroy is having the best overall year – at least if you believe the WAR numbers:  he’s first with 3.1 on the strength of 3 steals, a .397 OBP, and .335 batting average.  But Gattis beats him in several offensive categories, including the Runs Created stat:  wRC+ is in his favor, 156 to 153.

Hopefully, Gattis will get the nod – he’s the logical choice for a big – huge, even – bench bat late in that game.  But All-Star manager Mike Matheny has seen Lucroy a lot.  Here’s a time in which Fredi Gonzalez‘ presence on Matheny’s All-Star staff has a chance to influence this selection.  We’ll see.

 

In the meantime:  vote for Gattis!  Here’s the link to do so.  If you choose to do so, then please max out the votes (up to 35).

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Tags: 2014 All-star Game Atlanta Braves Evan Gattis

  • Mushy Peas

    At the very least, I’d love to see El Oso Blanco in the homerun derby. That would exceptionally entertaining.

    • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

      this!

      • Mushy Peas

        Instead of a reserve catcher, because he’s a little lacking on the defensive side of things, he could perhaps get in as a DH representative for the NL?

        • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

          I like your thinking.

  • fireboss

    in its current needlessly long drawn out form, the home run derby is the most over hyped useless boring and meaningless thing associated with All Star Week. Three outs a round, three rounds max highest score wins.
    Making it worse is Blubber butt Boomer acting like he understands baseball. I don;t want Gattis or any other Braves except BJ or Uggla who can’t be hurt by losing their swing. In fact Uggla might well win the thing. He can hit BP pitches and is strong enough to keep going. if he does lose his swing after no one could tell and it might work in reverse. He could find it … okay he couldn’t but I bet he’d do well in it

    • Mushy Peas

      I’ll admit that I haven’t watched the homerun derby for several years because it does get rather boring after the first minute or two and it is rather cheesy. I would watch if Evan were there. I really don’t think it would mess up his swing. It’s essentially like batting practice isn’t it? Is there any example of someone it affected negatively? Not a bad idea about Dan, though. The Braves could use it as a showcase to unload him……not that it would help, but it wouldn’t hurt. :)

      • fireboss

        Yea there were a few who had awful second halves after winning it These guys are competitive at spitting so it isn’t batting practice. This is the 29th

        one coming _ there was a rain out – and 18 times winner’s power declined. Wally Joyner
        (1986) likely the worst -slugging.543 with 20 home runs
        1st half , .335 2 homers after. Nine times the winner’s seen increased slugging after – Ryan Howard, Robbie Cano, Prince Fielder lately. Howard went on a tear in 06 slugging 751. The rest are a push. Empirically I’d saw that guys with natural uppercut swings are fine thus Uggla would be the guy I’d choose. The guys who get through the early round but hit homers because they are good hitters try to get that uppercut and lose their natural swing. Gattis hits rockets because he squares up pitches his swing isn’t really built that way. I’d just as soon he pass on it, why mess with something that good?

        • Mushy Peas

          The All Star game isn’t what it used to be…not for me anyway. As much as I’d like Braves players to get the recognition, I’d rather they not take part and rest up for the second half. I’ve also never been a fan of the outcome of the game determining who gets home field advantage. The team with the best record deserves that. It’s such a commercialized, informal affair that it shouldn’t determine something that could potentially make a huge difference in a winning a championship.

          • fireboss

            Yes in spite of Bud’s spin the best record should determine the home team. They say they can’t organize the logistics – rooms for TV and press mostly – in time but that’s bull really. When you start with wo teams in the playoffs you don;t know either. Rock paper scissors would be better