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The only correct 2017 MLB All-Star ballot for the American League


On Monday, I shared the only possible ballot for the National League All-Star starters. I might accept a substitution at third base, but I’ll need you to put your request in writing and provide three references. As it turns out, the NL was pretty easy.

The American League is a mess. It’s going to get me yelled at.

Alex Avila is a great story. His career was once threatened by concussions, and he was an unwanted free agent who signed a modest one-year deal with the White Sox, even though his dad was the GM of his old team.

No, teams can’t guess at how the immensely talented young players in the 2017 Draft might respond to a decade of disappointment or a sea change in how the sport is played. They can only evaluate what’s in front of them. Bat speed. Velocity. Projectability. Durability.

These teams are so much better at evaluating amateur players than you are, and they’re still wrong all the time. If Donovan Tate wasn’t drafted third overall, there wasn’t a team that was going to let him slip by. The Angels would have dropped everything and drafted Tate if he fell that far, possibly pairing him with their other first-round outfielder, Randal Grichuk.

So if the best people in the world at evaluating baseball players can’t figure this stuff out, I can’t understand why you would punch 2017 MLB Draft Grades into Google and expect something that would be worth your time.

On the other hand, I understand how it’s seductive to see a shiny A+ next to your team’s name after the draft. You don’t know what’s going on, so you want an expert opinion. If that expert’s opinion is that your team had a stellar draft, you will feel eminently better about the selection.

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