Box-Toppers 2018 year-end All-Star teams

Here are Box-Toppers 2018 year-end All-Star teams. The player with the highest Box-Toppers point total (BTP) at each position in each league was named an All-Star. Their overall rank among all players is also shown.
American League Team BTP Rank Pos National League Team BTP Rank
Healy, Ryon 3685 sea al 7.0 106 1B Rizzo, Anthony 3063 chi nl 10.0 50
Odor, Rougned 3336 tex al 7.5 94 2B Reynolds, Mark 2297 dc nl 7.5 98
Lindor, Francisco 3586 cle al 9.6 57 SS Baez, Javier 3395 chi nl 10.0 51
Davidson, Matt 3292 chi al 8.7 64 3B Suarez, Eugenio 3355 cin nl 7.5 93
Garver, Mitch 3950 min al 7.5 102 CA Ramos, Wilson 2904 phi nl 6.0 145
Martinez, J.D. 2922 bos al 12.5 28 OF Yelich, Christian 3334 mil nl 11.5 34
Betts, Mookie 3404 bos al 10.9 38 OF Acuña, Ronald Jr. 3947 atl nl 9.2 58
Trout, Mike 2949 ana al 8.0 76 OF Peralta, David 3370 ari nl 8.5 67
Ohtani, Shohei 3933 ana al 8.0 81 DH
Snell, Blake 3688 tb al 25.5 1 SP Scherzer, Max 2588 dc nl 25.1 2
Verlander, Justin 2112 hou al 24.1 3 SP Nola, Aaron 3569 phi nl 20.1 6
Kluber, Corey 3200 cle al 21.7 4 SP deGrom, Jacob 3343 nym nl 17.8 9
Sale, Chris 2806 bos al 21.1 5 SP Corbin, Patrick 3027 ari nl 16.0 13
Treinen, Blake 3495 oak al 10.0 52 CP Hader, Josh 3881 mil nl 10.7 45
What are those numbers after players' names?

The Box-Toppers All-Star teams for the 2018 regular season are led by overall Box-Toppers points leader, Rays pitcher Blake Snell.

The American League and National League All-Star teams are composed of the players with the highest Box-Toppers point totals by position in each league. In addition to the batters—eight in the NL and nine (including the designated hitter) in the AL—are the top four starting pitchers in each league and the top closing pitcher.

Snell, Box-Toppers Player of the Year for 2018, led all players with 25.5 Box-Toppers points. It is Snell’s first time on Box-Toppers’ year-end All-Star teams, after earning 4.0 points in 2016 (his rookie year) and 5.0 points in 2017. In fact, Snell was not even on Box-Toppers’ 2018 midseason All-Star team. On July 4, Snell had 11.0 Box-Toppers points, but the top four AL pitchers had at least 12.0 points.

Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer leads all NL players with 25.1 Box-Toppers points, ranking second among all players, just 0.4 points behind Snell. This is the third straight year Scherzer has led NL pitchers. In 2016, he led all players with 25.7 points and in 2017, he ranked second among all players with 25.0 points. Scherzer also led all AL players in 2013 with the Tigers (18.1).

The top AL batter is J.D. Martinez of the Red Sox (12.5 Box-Toppers points, ranked 28th among all players). Top NL batter is Christian Yelich of the Brewers (11.5 Box-Toppers points, ranked 34th among all players).

There are six players who appeared on Box-Toppers’ 2017 year-end All-Star teams who returned for the 2017 team, including two who have streaks of more than three straight seasons:

  • Scherzer makes his seventh straight Box-Toppers year-end All-Star team. He was among the top four AL pitchers from 2012 to 2014 with the Tigers and the top four NL pitchers from 2015 to 2018 with the Nationals.

  • Indians pitcher Corey Kluber makes his third straight Box-Toppers All-Star team and fourth overall. His 21.7 Box-Toppers points in 2018 ranks third among AL pitchers and he was also among the top four AL pitchers in 2016 and 2017, including leading all AL pitchers in 2016 with 21.2 points. In 2014, he led AL pitchers with 25.8 Box-Toppers points, but missed making the team in 2015 with 13.4 points, 10th among AL pitchers.

Four other players return to Box-Toppers year-end All-Star teams for the second straight season after appearing in 2017:

  • Ryon Healy of the Mariners is the top-ranked AL first baseman (7.0 Box-Toppers points, ranked 106th among all players). In 2017, Healy also led AL first basemen with 9.7 points.

  • Rougned Odor of the Rangers is the top-ranked AL second baseman (7.5 Box-Toppers points, ranked 94th among all players). In 2017, Odor also led AL second basemen with 8.7 points.

  • Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale is the fourth-ranked AL starting pitcher (21.1 Box-Toppers points, ranked fifth among all players). In 2017, Sale led all players with 25.1 Box-Toppers points. Sale was on two previous Box-Toppers’ year-end All-Star teams, both with the White Sox—in 2013, he was the fourth-ranked AL starting pitcher with 16.1 Box-Toppers points and in 2015, he was the fourth-ranked AL starting pitcher with 18.8 Box-Toppers points.

  • Anthony Rizzo of the Cubs is the top-ranked NL first baseman (10.0 Box-Toppers points, ranked 50th among all players). In 2017, Rizzo also led NL first basemen (and all batters) with 15.5 Box-Toppers points.

One notable streak in making Box-Toppers’ year-end All-Star teams comes to an end. Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw had made the previous seven straight season-ending All-Star teams from 2011 to 2017, but fell far short this year. Kershaw had just 8.0 Box-Toppers points in 2018, 34th among NL pitchers. But from 2011 to 2017, Kershaw earned more than 20 Box-Toppers points per season—the longest such streak in Box-Toppers’ 24-season tracking history—and finished among the top three players each year, including finishing first three times.

The World Series champion Boston Red Sox have the most players on Box-Toppers’ year-end All-Star teams with three:

  • Sale, who ranks fourth among AL pitchers with 21.1 Box-Toppers points.

  • Martinez, who leads AL batters and AL outfielders with 12.5 Box-Toppers points. (It should be noted that Martinez, while primarily a designated hitter, also played significant time in the outfield in 2018. In fact, he earned Player of the Game honors 10 times in 2018—six times as an outfielder and four times at designated hitter.)

  • Mookie Betts, who ranks second among AL outfielders (and second among AL batters, just behind teammate Martinez) with 10.9 Box-Toppers points.

Seven other teams each have two representatives on the All-Star teams—Cleveland Indians (Francisco Lindor—AL SS and Corey Kluber—AL SP), Los Angeles Angels (Mike Trout—AL OF and Shohei Ohtani—AL DH), Chicago Cubs (Anthony Rizzo—NL 1B and Javier Baez—NL SS), Washington Nationals (Mark Reynolds—NL 2B and Max Scherzer—NL SP), Philadelphia Phillies (Wilson Ramos—NL CA and Aaron Nola—NL SP), Milwaukee Brewers (Christian Yelich—NL OF and Josh Hader—NL CP) and Arizona Diamondbacks (David Peralta—NL OF and Patrick Corbin—NL SP).

The special case for Shohei Ohtani

Shohei Ohtani of the Angels, who made the year-end AL All-Star team as designated hitter is somewhat of a special case. 

Ohtani earned 8.0 Box-Toppers points in 2018, but 4.0 of them came as a starting pitcher and 4.0 came as a designated hitter. When a player plays significant time at more than one position, Box-Toppers ranks them at both positions based on their total Box-Toppers points. 

For example, J.D. Martinez and his 12.5 Box-Toppers points ranks first among both AL outfielders and designated hitters with 12.5 points. Matt Davidson of the White Sox and his 8.7 points ranks second among AL designated hitters and first among AL third basemen.

For someone in two different batting spots—like Martinez and Davidson—that makes some sense. It doesn’t necessarily make as much sense for Ohtani, who earned half his points doing something far different than how he earned his other half. But still, stubbornly, obstinately maybe, Box-Toppers is treating Ohtani like any other player, ranking him and his 8.0 Box-Toppers points among both pitchers and designated hitters. He ranks third among all AL designated hitters and 31st among AL pitchers. If his stats were separated, the 4.0 points he earned batting would rank 12th among AL designated hitters and the 4.0 points he earned pitching would rank 67th among AL pitchers.

The trouble really comes because the points Ohtani earned as a pitcher actually elevated him to the level of making the year-end AL All-Star team as a batter, at designated hitter, which does not seem deserved. But on the other hand, a pitcher can earn Player of the Game honors for batting (it was done three times in 2018) and those Box-Toppers points earned for batting count the same as those earned for pitching. For example, in 2013, Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright made Box-Toppers’ year-end All-Star team as the second-ranked NL pitcher with 20.2 Box-Toppers points. He earned 1.5 of those points for batting. Subtracting those points would have put him as the fourth-ranked NL pitcher, still making the All-Star team, but it could have made the difference of whether he made the team.

Ohtani was actually the third-ranked AL DH, behind Martinez and Davidson. But both of them played multiple positions and Box-Toppers places them on the All-Star team in just one position. Most often, Box-Toppers places them at the position at which they earned their most Box-Toppers points—true for both Martinez and Davidson. 

 But not always. The fourth-ranked AL outfielder in 2018 was Eddie Rosario of the Twins with 7.5 Box-Toppers points. If he had 8.0 or more points this season, Box-Toppers would have moved Martinez to DH and made Rosario the third-ranking AL outfielder, bumping the lower-ranked Ohtani from the team. The goal is to include players with the most Box-Toppers points on the All-Star teams.

In the NL, several players earned Box-Toppers points playing multiple infield positions. Javier Baez of the Cubs earned points playing second base, shortstop and third base and his 10.0 Box-Toppers points were the most earned at all three positions. But Box-Toppers needs to choose which one of those spots he’s actually an All-Star. The first thing to do is to look at who is most deserving among all the second place players at those positions to be on the All-Star teams:

  • At second base—Mark Reynolds of the Nationals had 7.5 Box-Toppers points.

  • At shortstop—Brandon Crawford of the Giants had 7.5 Box-Toppers points.

  • At third base—Mark Reynolds, again, of the Nationals had 7.5 Box-Toppers points.

So at first glance, Crawford is the All-Star at shortstop and you choose between Reynolds and Baez at second base and third base.

But we need to look at the third-place player for both second base and third base:

Suarez has the same Box-Toppers point total as Brandon Crawford and actually ranks higher in Box-Toppers season player rankings (99th vs. 101st) because Suarez had more 2017 Box-Toppers points (3.5 vs. 1.7). (Reynolds, it should be noted, slightly outranks both Suarez and Crawford at 98th place in Box-Toppers season player rankings.)

Since the goal is to include the higher-ranked players on the All-Star teams, Suarez gets the nod and is placed at third base. Baez is placed at shortstop, since that is the spot where he earned most of his Box-Toppers points in 2018. Reynolds is placed at second base. Suarez makes the All-Star team though he is the third-ranked NL third baseman. Crawford is bumped from the team though he is the second-ranked NL shortstop.

Seven of the 15 AL All-Stars made it to the postseason. Five of the 14 NL All-Stars made it to the postseason. None of the four starting pitchers among the NL All-Stars made the postseason.

Box-Toppers 2017 year-end All-Star teams

Box-Toppers 2016 year-end All-Star teams

Box-Toppers 2015 year-end All-Star teams

Box-Toppers 2014 year-end All-Star teams

Box-Toppers 2013 year-end All-Star teams

Box-Toppers top 10 player lists, end-of-season 2018

About Box-Toppers—Box-Toppers tracks who most helps their team win the most games. Using standard box score statistics, Box-Toppers uses a simple formula to determine a Player of the Game for each Major League Baseball game played. That player is the person who contributed most to his team’s win. In regular season games, players earn 1.0 Box-Toppers point for being named Player of the Game and can earn bonus points for being Player of the Day or top player or batter in their league for the day.

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