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Braves All-Star Snubs: Gattis and Heyward

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Daniel Shirey

The All-Star Game always features a few snubs on each team. For the Braves, in my opinion, two players who are deserving All-Stars did not make the game.

Jason Heyward

I think Heyward should have made it over Charlie Blackmon, but I absolutely did not expect him to. Heyward has provided a lot of value on the defensive side of the ball while he has only been league average with the bat. Unfortunately for these types of games and awards, offense is the main driver and Heyward's overall production is not really considered.

In terms of FanGraphs WAR, Heyward ranks sixth among qualified National League outfielders. The other five in front of him are all All Stars, and then there is Blackmon who has a 1.5 WAR and a 107 wRC+, which is just barely better than Heyward's current 101 mark. Park factors are also not considered much when fans, players, and managers decide on who makes the team, so Blackmon's .291 average and solid counting stats got him in.

Evan Gattis

Gattis may not have made it because he recently got injured, but he was a more deserving candidate than Yadier Molina. Unfortunately, Molina won the fan vote and the other two catchers who made it actually were more deserving than Gattis. Jonathan Lucroy and Devin Mesoraco have had awesome seasons and I am glad they are being recognized for their contributions to their team, but Gattis leads catchers in home runs and has already been worth 2.7 WAR this season.

I wonder if Gattis stayed healthy and clubbed another homer or two over the time he missed if he would have made the team, but his unfortunate back injury that we still have no time table on came at a difficult time for any personal accolades. Brandon Beachy suffered a similar fate a few years back, when he pitched like an All Star for a majority of the first half but underwent season ending Tommy John surgery a few weeks before the All Star game and was no longer considered.

The Braves have an opportunity to get one guy in who probably does not really deserve to make it in Justin Upton, but he has had a good enough season -- and has been better than Charlie Blackmon -- that I hope we get out to vote for him and push him through into Minnesota.