Remember Evan Gattis? How about Ryan Raburn? Or I can go back even further. What if Detroit Tigers first baseman Chris Shelton‘s ridiculous start to the 2006 season was situated a little closer to the All-Star break? Shelton hit nine home runs in half a month and set the baseball world on fire. It’s a good thing he cooled off before June hit, otherwise fans may have had the torture of watching him hack away in a contest which is supposed to showcase the game’s best.
A few good weeks don’t make someone an All-Star. Yasiel Puig doesn’t deserve to be compared to the people I’ve listed above because he’s in another league from all of them. The biggest argument in his favor is that he is exciting to watch. Sure, he has all kinds of different skills to showcase, but that doesn’t mean he deserves to be considered with the best players in the league.
Just because someone is exciting doesn’t mean they deserve the honor of being named an All-Star. Take Bryce Harper for example. The “worldwide leader in sports” pumps him up to catastrophic proportions and he ends up starting the All-Star Game over Andrew McCutchen, the best center fielder in the game today. Picking Puig over the other four candidates doesn’t give them credit for the solid seasons they have put together so far.
The other candidates have put together a few good months compared to Puig’s one. Ian Desmond already has 49 RBI as a shortstop. Freddie Freeman has been batting over .300 since May 27th.
Puig may be batting over .400 now, but so were a lot of guys after just over 100 at-bats. Gaudy numbers are the norm when a small sample size is in effect, which is why managers aren’t nearly as quick to anoint someone the next big thing until after they have a chance to cool down.
Puig is bound to hit a rut at some point, and who knows how quickly his numbers could come back down to earth after a couple weeks of struggling. Hopefully we won’t have to regret seeing him in the game that is supposed to feature the league’s best players.