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All-Star Game Starter Selections vs. Total-Runs Leaders

July 17, 2017
Posting a week late due to the site admin's vacation. This is a good one so better late than never!

As the All-Star week is upon us, let's see how the fans did in their selections for the starting lineups by comparing the fan-voted All-Star Game starters to the Total Runs leaders. Total Runs is a statistic created by Baseball Info Solutions that combines offense, defense, baserunning, and an adjustment that allows for comparison across positions into one number in order to evaluate the total contribution of each player.

American League All-Stars
Pos. All-Star Selection Total Runs Total Runs Leader Total Runs
C Salvador Perez, KC 62 Salvador Perez, KC 62
1B Justin Smoak, TOR 64 Logan Morrison, TB 67
2B Jose Altuve, HOU 88 Jose Altuve, HOU 88
SS Carlos Correa, HOU 85 Carlos Correa, HOU 85
3B Jose Ramirez, CLE 84 Jose Ramirez, CLE 84
OF Aaron Judge, NYY 97 Aaron Judge, NYY 97
OF Mike Trout, LAA 58 Mookie Betts, BOS 96
OF George Springer, HOU 82 George Springer, HOU 82
DH Corey Dickerson, TB 70 Corey Dickerson, TB 70



The fans matched the Total Runs leaders very closely in their selection of the American League starting lineup. There are only two selected starters who are not Total Runs leaders – Justin Smoak and Mike Trout. Smoak trails Logan Morrison by only three Total Runs, and if Trout hadn’t have been out since May 28th after injuring his thumb, he likely would have been among the leaders. Mookie Betts, who is replacing the injured Trout in the starting lineup, leads all of baseball in both defense and baserunning with 20 Defensive Runs Saved and 5 Baserunning Runs, and trails only Aaron Judge in Total Runs.

National League All-Stars
Pos. All-Star Selection Total Runs Total Runs Leader Total Runs
C Buster Posey, SF 70 Buster Posey, SF 70
1B Ryan Zimmerman, WAS 65 Paul Goldschmidt, ARI 91
2B Daniel Murphy, WAS 65 DJ LeMahieu, COL 70
SS Zack Cozart, CIN 69 Corey Seager, LAD 79
3B Nolan Arenado, COL 94 Nolan Arenado, COL 94
OF Bryce Harper, WAS 82 Bryce Harper, WAS 82
OF Charlie Blackmon, COL 86 Charlie Blackmon, COL 86
OF Marcell Ozuna, MIA 78 Ender Inciarte, ATL 80


The fans matched up with the Total Runs Leaders for half of their National League selections. The biggest discrepancy comes with their first base selection, Ryan Zimmerman, who trails Paul Goldschmidt by 26 Total Runs. This season, Goldschmidt has been much better than Zimmerman defensively. He has saved the Diamondbacks eight runs, whereas Zimmerman has cost the Nationals two. Likewise, fans seem to have put defensive performance aside in their second base selection, Daniel Murphy, who trails DJ LeMahieu by five Total Runs. While Murphy is having an outstanding offensive season with a line of .342/.393/.572, he has cost his team 14 runs with his defense, which is more than any other second baseman. DJ LeMahieu, on the other hand, has saved the Rockies eight runs defensively. The other two All-Star Game starters who aren't Total Runs leaders, Zack Cozart and Marcell Ozuna, trail the Total Runs Leaders at their positions (Corey Seager and Ender Inciarte) by 10 and 2 Total Runs, respectively.

Logan Morrison is the only player that made one of the Total Runs All-Star teams who did not get named to an All-Star game roster. Yonder Alonso of the Athletics, who was selected as the AL first base reserve, has 46 Total Runs, 21 fewer than Morrison. Mike Moustakas of the Royals, who beat out Morrison in the Final Vote by the fans, has 59 Total Runs, 8 fewer than Morrison.


COMMENTS (4 Comments, most recent shown first)

The SABR Defensive Index for the first half of the season has just been released (see I don't think you have to be a member to access it) and Arenado leads MLB at his position and the NL overall.

I have some quibbles with the SDI, but this is certainly a plausible result. Arenado is a joy to watch.
7:34 AM Jul 22nd
I agree, what little I've seen of Arenado's defense has been eye-poppingly good.
3:08 PM Jul 21st
As someone who watches him almost every game, he's been brilliant. Nearly every game he does something over and above Gold Glove standards, and I say that as someone who thinks we are living in the golden age of defensive third basemen.

1:42 PM Jul 20th
How much of that Arenado total is defensive? He's having a pretty decent year with the bat, but I didn't expect him to be No. 3 in runs in all of baseball.
1:06 AM Jul 18th
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