The first round of voting is over, and the Mets will once again not have a starter in the All-Star Game when it takes place on July 9 at Progressive Field in Cleveland. Pete Alonso was the closest in the starter balloting, but he wasn’t close enough to get the nod despite a push by the Mets’ social media team. He finished fifth at his position but is certainly worthy of selection to the National League roster. No other Mets really came close in the voting, but there are a few others who would be deserving if they get the nod.
The rookie slugger seems to be the most likely to be in Cleveland come July 9 and should have fared better with voters. From day one, his jaw-dropping power has been on full display. His 27 home runs rank second in the league behind only 2018 MVP Christian Yelich. Alonso ranks in the top ten in many offensive categories including extra-base hits, slugging, OPS, wRC+, and RBIs. His 3.5 bWAR ranks fourth in the league, and his 3.2 fWAR still makes the top ten.
Not only do his numbers hold up against the rest of the league, but he paces the field in many categories at first base. He leads all National League first basemen in fWAR, wRC+, slugging, home runs, and RBIs. His 1.008 OPS is good for third behind Josh Bell and Freddie Freeman. In short, Alonso is an emerging star who should’ve made it to the next round of voting to be given an opportunity to start.
Even if the All-Star game isn’t in the cards for the twenty-four-year old, it seems likely he will get an invitation to participate in the Home Run Derby, which he has already said he would be interested in. Considering Alonso’s home runs are averaging over 400 feet, watching him participate in the derby would be great.
Jeff McNeil did not receive much support in the All-Star balloting mostly because of being listed as an outfielder. It was a deep field, which led to a 20th-place finish for the converted infielder. Perhaps if he was still listed as second baseman the voting would have gone in his favor, but even as an outfielder he is more than worthy of representing the Mets.
Not as flashy as Alonso, McNeil can easily be forgotten despite being third in the league in batting average. He trails only Cody Bellinger and Christian Yelich, both of whom are MVP candidates. His on-base percentage also only trails those two, and he is among the league leaders in multi-hit games. Among outfielders his wRC+ is good for fourth, and his fWAR is also in the top ten. Despite lacking the power of Alonso, he does have some pop, and those two combine to make a pretty formidable top of the lineup. McNeil absolutely deserves to be an All-Star, but it might be hard for him to crack the roster.
If McNeil is overlooked, Michael Conforto might as well be invisible. The social media team never even bothered promoting him for the All-Star team even though he is putting up good numbers. Despite missing some time due to a concussion, Conforto still ranks in the top ten among outfielders in a few offensive categories, including wRC+, fWAR, and on-base percentage. He already has 15 home runs, which puts him on a pace for 32, and that would be a new career high. Unfortunately, he suffers from the same issue as McNeil that outfield is a crowded position.
Jacob deGrom seemingly picked up where he left off to start the season, but then, even by his insane standards, things went awry. He had a couple of very un-deGrom-like starts, but recently, he has looked more like the Cy Young winner that he was last season. Since his last bad game on May 17, he sports a 2.40 ERA with 54 strikeouts in 45 innings. Opponents are only batting .232/.263/.363 against him over that span. After his quality start streak ended earlier in the year, he has now gone seven straight starts allowing two or fewer runs.
Even with the bad starts factored in, he is third in the league in strikeouts per nine and second overall in strikeouts. His FIP and WHIP rank in the top ten, and his fWAR is third in among pitchers. bWAR likes him a little less, but he still ranks in the top ten. With many elite pitchers struggling this season, the Mets’ ace has a chance to be named to the third All-Star Game of his career.
Unfortunately for Edwin Diaz, when closers struggle the issues tend to get amplified since one bad outing typically leads to a loss. Diaz looked like the closer the Mets expected until recently when things blew up on him. He still ranks among the leaders in saves, strikeouts, and strikeouts per nine. His K/9 especially stands out since it comes in at 14.26, which is good for fourth among relievers. Outside of Kirby Yates, relievers have been volatile this season so if Diaz returns to his dominant form, he could have a chance of making the roster.
If anyone has been the Mets’ best reliever this season, it is Seth Lugo, his recent blowup notwithstanding. When he was on the injured list it showed how badly the Mets depend on him, and with Jeurys Familia struggling, he was entrusted with the eighth inning duties which he handled with aplomb. Even with his time missed, he ranks ahead of Diaz in strikeouts, and his ERA stands at a respectable 2.87. Lugo is crucial to the Mets’ bullpen, but it is still hard to see him getting named to the All-Star team.