Major League Baseball's 2019 All-Star Game rosters have been officially announced, and despite the thrill of being selected, there were plenty of players left unhappy in the aftermath of Sunday's reveal.
League rules dictate that all 30 teams must have at least one All-Star, and that requirement will always ensure a few names are left out. This year, however, there seem to be more snubs than usual - especially in the American League, where multiple positions are overflowing with talent.
With apologies to the litany of players who were deserving of a spot, here are the five biggest snubs after the rosters were announced.
The NL infield is a crowded place, but there should have been room for Muncy. After bursting onto the scene last year, Muncy's star has only grown in 2019. He's lowered his strikeout rate, reached 20 homers again, and is among the top 10 NL position players in WAR. His production trails only that of Cody Bellinger among Dodgers hitters. And if that wasn't enough, he's done it all while playing positive defense at three infield positions as part of baseball's best team. For a second straight year, it can be said: Muncy deserved better than this.
Multiple members of the 53-win Twins were snubbed Sunday - Nelson Cruz and Jose Berrios among them - but it's Kepler who stands out as the most glaring omission from Minnesota. The German has already improved his OPS by over 150 points from 2018, while his 21 homers are a new career high - he hit 20 all of last year. Kepler also ranks top-five in the AL in homers and extra-base hits, top-10 in slugging and RBIs, and is second to Mike Trout among AL outfielders with 2.7 WAR. Just like Muncy, Kepler's also played Gold Glove-worthy defense, doing it while shuffling between two outfield spots. Given that he plays on one of the best teams in the AL, a spot really should have been carved out for Kepler.
Bogaerts publicly voiced his displeasure after not being voted in as a starter earlier this month, and those complaints look even more reasonable today. He's been more than just the MVP of an inconsistent Red Sox team - Bogaerts has been the best shortstop in baseball this year. He's accrued 3.7 WAR, the fifth-most in all of baseball; players worth more WAR than him this year include Bellinger, Trout, and Christian Yelich. With due respect to AL starter Jorge Polanco, who's having a fine season of his own, or Francisco Lindor, elected as a reserve in his home ballpark, Bogaerts deserves a spot over both of them. It's a travesty that a top-five player and legitimate MVP candidate won't be playing in the All-Star Game.
As far as pitchers go, Vazquez is the most deserving of an All-Star selection. He's been one of the most dominant relievers in the NL this year, owning a sparkling 1.80 ERA and 241 ERA+, along with a career-best 14.1 K/9 rate. He's tied for third in WAR (1.3), trailing All-Star relievers Kirby Yates and Josh Hader while sitting ahead of another All-Star stopper in Will Smith. Vazquez can probably blame this one on other teams needing a representative, but it should still sting. He deserved to be the second Pirates player in this game.
Torres is yet another fantastic infielder pushed out due to crowding. While his case isn't as egregious as Bogaerts', he certainly has reason to gripe with missing out. He's been the quiet glue of a truly terrifying Yankees lineup and has improved across the board from his rookie season. He's bordering on the top 10 in WAR, and already ranks in the top 10 in his league in homers, OPS, and slugging (fifth in the AL).