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Werth a Worthy All-Star Selection?

Philadelphia Phillies' Jayson Werth at bat in the sixth inning of a baseball game with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Friday, July 10, 2009, in Philadelphia. The Phillies won 3-2. (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)It’s hard to fault Charlie Manuel when he picks one of his own for the Midsummer Classic.  He did just that by selecting Jayson Werth after Carlos Beltran was deemed out of the game due to a bone bruise in his right knee.

One of the perks of being the manager of the National League is the ability to make a decision like this.  And now, with the ASG determining home-field advantage in the World Series, it’s important to field a team that has the best chance at victory.  Does Werth give them the best shot at that?

Many baseball pundits around the country second-guessed the move, believing others were more deserved of the void left by the Mets center fielder.  Pablo Sandoval is the name that comes to the forefront. He lost the 33rd player vote to Shane Victorino and is more than worthy of consideration. Mark Reynolds and Matt Kemp have had stellar seasons as well, and should be included in the discussion.

2009 numbers:

Werth: .268 avg., 20 HR, 56 RBI, .895 OPS
Reynolds: .260, 24 HR, 62 RBI, .891 OPS
Kemp: .324, 11 HR, 50 RBI, .892 OPS
Sandoval: .331, 14 HR, 53 RBI, .954 OPS

If you take into account the numbers as a whole, all five players are nearly equal.  Werth has the power, as does Reynolds, but Kemp and Sandoval have ascended to the top of the NL in hitting.  Werth got the call because, lets face it, he is a Manuel product.  Whether or not it’s wrong or right, it’s hard to determine that one of these mashers is better than the other.

Another addition to this process – one that is often overlooked – is how the player fared after the All-Star break the previous season.  It’s fairly clear that it’s something that isn’t used as a barometer on who to pick, but it certainly could be.  It takes into account how well the player has performed over an entire year.

2009 numbers plus 2008 post ASG numbers:

Werth: .270, 32 HR, 87 RBI
Reynolds: .245, 33 HR, 101 RBI
Kemp: .312, 20 HR, 75 RBI
Sandoval: .335, 17 HR, 77 RBI

Overall, Hawpe has the best ASG to ASG numbers, but Werth definitely held his own.  We know in Philly that Werth was just becoming an everyday player late in 2008, so his numbers did suffer in the regard.  However, with a defensive element added in, the case for the Phillies right fielder becomes even stronger.

It’s tough to fault Manuel on his decision, but there will be people who believe others deserved the shot. Going strictly by this seasons stats, Sandoval appears to have the edge. Adding the defense into it, Werth rises to the top. It was a tough call for Charlie, but one Phils fans are excited about.  To be honest, it comes down to the ring.  Werth has one; the others do not.  He has earned that right.  See you in St. Louis, Jayson.

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