MLB All-Star voting ended last night at 11:59 p.m. The rosters are set to be announced on Saturday. In all likelihood, there will probably be one or perhaps two Cleveland Indians in the 2013 exhibition at Citi Field. But, according to the statistical projections of the Elias Sports Bureau, there should be three.
Starting pitcher Justin Masterson, second baseman Jason Kipnis and catcher Carlos Santana all rate out as good enough to make the cut in Elias’ All-Star projections at ESPN.com. Both Kipnis and Santana rate as the best at their respective American League positions, while Masterson is on the end of a long list of solid starting contributors that would make their final roster.
The Elias Player Rating is used in the All-Star projections. This statistic, which is based out of a perfect 100, shows the winning percentage differences attributed to a given player over the course of the season. Based on the context of the player’s plate appearance as a batter or pitcher, they’re given a positive or negative boost to their average “replacement player” winning percentage of 50.
While clearly not a perfect method or statistic, it does showcase the impressive number-based All-Star portfolios of these three Tribe players.
Masterson, 28, has been solid throughout the season as the team’s undisputed ace. He is 10-6 with a 3.48 ERA. Entering play on Thursday, he led MLB with 18 starts, 124.0 innings pitched and three complete game shutouts. His 9.1 K/9 ratio is by far the best of his career and his K/BB has jumped nearly a full point (2.78 from 1.81) from his disappointing 2012 season.
Kipnis, 26, has been arguably the hottest player in baseball over the last 10 weeks and especially over the last month. On the season in 75 games, he’s now batting .301/.386/.535 with 22 doubles, 13 home runs, 54 RBI and 19 steals. After a brutal start, he started playing well by April 29 and leads MLB in average, on-base and slugging dating back to June 5th.
Santana, 27, has had a somewhat opposite season trajectory as the team’s second baseman. He got off to a sizzling start, leading MLB with a 1.198 OPS during April. He’s cooled down somewhat since, especially defensively, but still has a solid overall catcher line in 79 games: .266/.377/.453 with 21 doubles, 10 home runs, 38 RBI and 49 walks (fourth-most in MLB).
Most likely, Kipnis is a the surest Indian to find his way to the Midsummer Classic. None of these players will make it in as starters, so they’ll all be hoping for inclusion onto the team in the non-fan vote method. Santana has the offensive production as a catcher to warrant addition and probably has slightly higher odds than Masterson in a deep starting pitching field.