Mariners’ James Paxton is Box-Toppers’ most deserving player not selected to 2018 All-Star Game

Here are 2018 All-Star team selections, followed by lists of players who Box-Toppers deems "worthy but unchosen" for the game. Starting batters for both leagues are shown at top, followed by batting reserves and pitchers selected by managers and coaches. The "Worthy but unchosen" players are listed at the bottom. Players' Box-Toppers point (BTP) total for 2018 is shown as well as their Rank among all players in Box-Toppers points for the season. (Shifts in rosters are ever-changing, so these rosters may not be up-to-date.)

American League National League
Starters Starters
Pos Player Team BTP Rank Pos Player Team BTP Rank
CA Salvador Pérez* Royals 1.0 392 CA Wilson Contreras Cubs 4.0 129
1B Jose Abreu White Sox 4.0 141 1B Freddie Freeman Braves 6.5 48
2B José Altuve Astros 3.5 174 2B Javier Baez Cubs 6.0 61
3B José Ramírez Indians 4.0 118 3B Nolan Arenado Rockies 4.0 119
SS Manny Machado Orioles 4.0 124 SS Brandon Crawford Giants 7.5 35
OF Mookie Betts Red Sox 7.2 36 OF Nick Markakis Braves 0.0 697
OF Mike Trout Angels 5.5 75 OF Matt Kemp Dodgers 4.5 111
OF Aaron Judge Yankees 4.0 116 OF Bryce Harper Nationals 3.0 183
DH J.D. Martinez Red Sox 8.5 25
Reserves Reserves
Pos Player Team BTP Rank Pos Player Team BTP Rank
CA Yan Gomes Indians 1.5 368 CA Yadier Molina Cardinals 2.0 286
CA Wilson Ramos# Rays 4.0 134 CA Buster Posey# Giants 0.0 585
1B Mitch Moreland Red Sox 3.5 168 CA J.T. Realmuto Marlins 4.0 132
2B Gleyber Torres# Yankees 1.5 384 1B Jesus Aguilar Brewers 4.5 110
2B Jed Lowrie Athletics 1.0 404 1B Paul Goldschmidt Dbacks 4.5 108
3B Alex Bregman Astros 3.5 173 1B Joey Votto Reds 0.0 636
SS Francisco Lindor Indians 7.9 29 2B Ozzie Albies Braves 2.0 345
SS Jean Segura Mariners 5.0 96 2B Scooter Gennett Reds 3.5 161
OF Michael Brantley Indians 0.0 1042 3B Eugenio Suarez Reds 7.5 34
OF Shin-Shoo Choo Rangers 5.0 88 SS Trevor Story Rockies 2.5 256
OF Mitch Haniger Mariners 6.5 47 OF Charlie Blackmon Rockies 2.5 243
OF George Springer Astros 3.5 167 OF Lorenzo Cain Brewers 2.5 244
OF Nelson Cruz Mariners 1.5 367 OF Christian Yelich Brewers 5.0 90
Pitchers Pitchers
Pos Player Team BTP Rank Pos Player Team BTP Rank
SP Trevor Bauer Indians 10.4 14 SP Patrick Corbin Dbacks 11.0 11
SP Jose Berrios Twins 15.1 3 SP Jacob deGrom Mets 8.4 26
CP Aroldis Chapman# Yankees 4.0 140 CP Sean Doolittle# Nationals 5.0 89
SP Gerrit Cole Astros 13.0 7 SP Mike Foltynewicz Braves 8.7 23
CP Edwin Diaz Mariners 4.0 120 SP Zack Greinke Dbacks 9.0 20
SP J.A. Happ Blue Jays 8.7 22 CP Josh Hader Brewers 5.7 69
CP Joe Jimenez Tigers 1.0 559 CP Brad Hand Padres 6.0 63
CP Craig Kimbrel Red Sox 6.0 59 CP Kenley Jansen Dodgers 1.0 394
SP Corey Kluber# Indians 10.7 12 CP Jeremy Jeffress Brewers 2.0 336
SP Charlie Morton Astros 11.8 10 SP Jon Lester# Cubs 5.7 67
SP Chris Sale Red Sox 13.7 6 SP Miles Mikolas# Cardinals 7.7 33
SP Luis Severino Yankees 16.7 1 SP Aaron Nola Phillies 14.4 4
SP Blake Snell Rays 12.7 8 SP Max Scherzer Nationals 16.4 2
CP Blake Treinen Athletics 5.0 98 SP Ross Stripling Dodgers 8.7 24
SP Justin Verlander# Astros 12.4 9 CP Felipe Vazquez Pirates 5.0 93
Worthy but unchosen Worthy but unchosen
Pos Player Team BTP Rank Pos Player Team BTP Rank
SP James Paxton Mariners 14.0 5 SP Nick Pivetta Phillies 9.7 17
OF Nomar Mazara Rangers 7.0 37 OF Brian Anderson Marlins 6.5 49
CP Lou Trivino Athletics 7.0 39 OF David Peralta Dbacks 5.5 76
DH Edwin Encarnacion Indians 6.5 45 OF Jesse Winker Reds 5.5 78
1B Ryon Healy Mariners 5.5 74
3B Yangervis Solarte Blue Jays 5.2 83
# Player selected but will not play
* Player selected as roster replacement
Box-Toppers all-stars graphic.png

(This post was edited Thursday, November 22, 2018, 2018, to correct an error in the Box-Toppers point total of Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom. During the 2018 season, an extra, unearned point was added to his total. There is more information about this at the bottom of the post.)

Top 10 players

Here are the top 10 players in Box-Toppers points (BTP) for the 2018 season through the games of July 15:  

Player Pos Team BTP
1 Severino, Luis 3567 pi sp nyy al 16.7
2 Scherzer, Max 2588 pi sp dc nl 16.4
3 Berrios, Jose 3791 pi sp min al 15.1
4 Nola, Aaron 3569 pi sp phi nl 14.4
5 Paxton, James 3280 pi sp sea al 14.0
6 Sale, Chris 2806 pi sp bos al 13.7
7 Cole, Gerrit 3232 pi sp hou al 13.0
8 Snell, Blake 3688 pi sp tb al 12.7
9 Verlander, Justin 2112 pi sp hou al 12.4
10 Morton, Charlie 2503 pi sp hou al 11.8
What are those numbers after players' names?
About Box-Toppers’ team abbreviations

Mariners pitcher James Paxton is the most deserving player not selected to the 2018 Major League Baseball All-Star teams.

Paxton has 14.0 Box-Toppers points in 2018, fifth among all players and fourth among American League pitchers.

However, even if Paxton were selected, he likely would not have been able to play. He went on the 10-day disabled list Friday, July 13, with lower back inflammation.

Paxton, who pitched a no-hitter May 8, ranks ahead of several AL starting pitchers selected for the All-Star team in Box-Toppers season player rankings, including:

  • Gerrit Cole of the Astros, 13.0 Box-Toppers points, ranked seventh.

  • Blake Snell of the Rays, 12.7 points, ranked eighth.

  • Justin Verlander of the Astros, 12.4 points, ranked ninth.

  • Charlie Morton of the Astros, 11.8 points, ranked 10th.

  • Corey Kluber of the Indians, 10.7 points, ranked 12th. (However, Kluber ranks third among AL pitchers over 2017-18 with 32.7 Box-Toppers points.)

  • Trevor Bauer of the Indians, 10.4 points, ranked 14th.

  • J.A. Happ of the Blue Jays, 8.7 points, ranked 22rd.

Phillies pitcher Nick Pivetta is the most deserving player not selected to the 2018 National League All-Star team. Pivetta has 9.7 Box-Toppers points in 2018, 17th among all players and fourth among NL pitchers.

Pivetta ranks ahead of several NL starting pitchers selected for the All-Star team in Box-Toppers season player rankings, including:

Nomar Mazara of the Rangers is Box-Toppers’ highest-ranked AL batter not selected for the All-Star team. Mazara has 7.0 Box-Toppers points, 37th among all players and fourth among AL batters, third among AL outfielders. He ranks ahead of AL All-Star starting outfielders Mike Trout of the Angels (5.5 points) and Aaron Judge of the Yankees (4.0 points). Since the start of 2017, Mazara has 12.0 Box-Toppers points, sixth among AL outfielders, which is less than Judge has over the same period (15.2) but still more than Trout (10.5).

Brian Anderson of the Marlins is Box-Toppers’ highest-ranked NL batter not selected for the All-Star team. Anderson has 6.5 Box-Toppers points, 49th among all players, fourth among NL batters and first among NL outfielders. He outranks all outfielders selected for the NL All-Star team, including the three starters: Nick Markakis of the Braves (0.0 points), Matt Kemp of the Dodgers (4.5 points) and Bryce Harper of the Nationals (3.0 points).

Ryon Healy of the Mariners, who was Box-Toppers’ most worthy but unchosen player for the 2017 All-Star teams was also not chosen to the team in 2018 despite his worthiness. His 5.5 Box-Toppers points in 2018 ranks eighth among AL batters and first among AL first basemen. Last year, he was not chosen to the All-Star team despite leading all AL batters at the All-Star break (when he was with the Athletics)with 8.7 Box-Toppers points.

Edwin Encarnacion of the Indians was also one of the most worthy and unchosen for the All-Star Game for the second straight year. In 2017, Encarnacion ranked third among AL batters with 7.9 Box-Toppers points, but did not make the AL All-Stars. This year, he has 6.5 points and ranks fifth among AL batters, but second among designated hitters behind overall AL leader J.D. Martinez of the Red Sox (8.5). Encarnacion led AL batters in 2017 points (12.1).

Also among Box-Toppers’ worthy and unchosen for the All-Star Game are Lou Trivino of the Athletics, who leads AL closing pitchers in Box-Toppers points (7.0); Yangervis Solarte of the Blue Jays, who leads AL third basemen (5.2); David Peralta of the Diamondbacks, who ranks second among NL outfielders (5.5); and Jesse Winker of the Reds, who ranks third among NL outfielders (5.5).

One player in the All-Star starting line-up has no Box-Toppers points for 2018—outfielder Nick Markakis of the Braves. However, Markakias had 2.5 points in 2017, his 12th straight season earning points, and has 49.6 career points, eighth among active NL outfielders.

Three other players selected as reserves also have no Box-Toppers points in 2018:

  • Buster Posey of the Giants. However, Posey had 9.5 points in 2017—his best season—and ranked fourth among NL batters, first among NL catchers.

  • Joey Votto of the Reds. However, Votto had 4.0 points in 2017, has had as many as 11.0 points in a season (in 2008) and has 68.2 career points, first among active NL first basemen.

  • Michael Brantley of the Indians. Brantley last earned a Box-Toppers point May 5, 2016, and has just that 1.0 point over the past three seasons. His best year was 2013, when he had 6.7 points, seventh among AL outfielders. He has 21.4 career points since 2010.

Players leading each league’s batters and pitchers in Box-Toppers points all made the All-Star teams for 2018:

  • Luis Severino of the Yankees, who leads all players with 16.7 Box-Toppers points, is on the AL All-Star roster. However, Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale is the game’s starter for the AL. Sale has 13.7 points, sixth among all players and fourth among AL pitchers. However, Sale led all players in Box-Toppers points in 2017 with 25.1.

  • Max Scherzer of the Nationals, who leads all NL players with 16.4 Box-Toppers points, second overall, is on the NL All-Star roster and will start for the NL. Scherzer also led all NL pitchers in Box-Toppers points in 2017 with 25.0.

  • J.D. Martinez of the Red Sox, who leads all AL batters with 8.5 Box-Toppers points, 26th overall, is starting designated hitter on the AL All-Star roster.

  • Eugenio Suarez of the Reds, who leads all NL batters with 7.5 Box-Toppers points, 34th overall, is on the NL All-Star team as a reserve second baseman.

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.

Box-Toppers strives for accuracy. See a mistake in a post? A wrong name, wrong team, grammar error, spelling goof, etc.? Thanks for pointing it out! Contact Box-Toppers here. Let's fix it and make it right.

NOTE ABOUT JACOB DEGROM: After this post was published, Box-Toppers discovered an error: Jacob deGrom was credited with 1.0 more Box-Toppers point than he actually earned in 2018. This post has been changed to include deGrom’s actual Box-Toppers point total and player ranking position at the time of this post. Subtracting a point from deGrom’s season total meant he had 16.8 Box-Toppers points, rather than 17.8. Despite the change, he still finished third among National League pitchers. However, the change moves him from ninth place to 12th place in overall season player rankings, moving him out of the top 10 and keeping Yankees pitcher Luis Severino (17.7 points) in the top 10 for the season, in 10th place.

This is made all the more odd and awkward because the error was discovered while compiling the post about deGrom winning the NL Cy Young Award on Wednesday, Nov. 14. deGrom was the near-unanimous choice for the award, but even with his higher, incorrect Box-Toppers point total (17.8), Box-Toppers had him ranked third among NL pitchers, needing nearly 50 percent more points to catch the NL pitching leader, Max Scherzer of the Nationals (25.1).

My post was about how Scherzer was more deserving of the award than the widely acclaimed deGrom because Scherzer actually helped his team win more games. Despite deGrom’s great performances, the Mets lost most of the games he pitched. Since winning is the name of the game and since Box-Toppers points are only awarded in wins, deGrom’s point total was far lower—but it was still remarkable, given all the losses, that he reached as high as third place among NL pitchers. While writing about how deGrom wasn’t as deserving of the award, I found the error (the extra point), and correcting the record (subtracting the point), I found he was even more undeserving.