Who Will Be MLB's Second-Half All-Stars?
With this week's All-Star festivities coming to a close, baseball games that count will return to our lives today. Hooray! As much as we love seeing the game's biggest stars coming together to form these superteams -- including some new faces -- it's not long before we miss that daily baseball grind.
So what better time than now to look towards the rest of the season, and predict some "all-stars" for the second half. Now, you don't need me to tell you that guys like Bryce Harper and Mookie Betts should kill it the rest of the year -- those guys already got their due anyway! Thus, for this exercise, we'll only be looking at those who didn't get All-Star nods.
To do this, we'll be looking at batted-ball data to uncover who should excel the rest of the season. As we've come to learn, making hard contact can have dazzling results, and this is especially the case with fly balls. Sure, it's intuitive -- hard contact leading to good results is hardly shocking -- but in a growing age of metrics like average exit velocity and expected weighted on-base average (xwOBA), we're beginning to unlock just how important quality of contact is in baseball.
Without further ado, let's go position-by-position and highlight representatives from each league to form some second-half All-Star teams.