ASG Worthy? Jose Trevino
The Yankees will be sending 6 representatives to the 2022 Midsummer Classic. This week, we're going to see if each player is worthy to go.
The History of All-Star Selections/Voting:
Starting in 1933, outside of a few instances (1945 and 2020), the All-Star Game has been a yearly occurrence at about the halfway point during the MLB season. In the early years, the All-Star teams were quite small (18 players in 1933. 20 from 1934-1938, 25 from 1939-1981) and in recent years rules have been implemented that each MLB team must have at least one representative at the game. In 1982, the rosters were expanded to 30 active players then it moved to 32 in 2003, 33 in 2009, and has been at 34 since 2010.
Alongside roster changes and expansions, the league has also had many different solutions to how a player makes the All-Star team. In the first two years, the fans voted for the 18 starters- including the starting pitcher- while the rest of the roster was compiled by the manager. This changed from 1934-1946 where the full roster was selected by the manager of the team. In 1947 fans were allowed to vote again for the starting 8 (no pitchers)...which was then stopped after Cincinnati Reds fans "stuffed the ballot" in 1957. It then became a decision by the managers and MLB again through 1969. In 1970 fan voting came back for the starting 8, though from then until 2003, the managers solely selected the back-up players. In 2003 the players were also given a voice in the voting process for the non-starters. The final voting changes occurred from 2002 to 2018 where fans had a vote for the final player on the roster, and a new rule for 2022 (and going forward) where the commissioner of the MLB is allowed to make a "legacy selection" for the All-Star Game. (This year the selected legacy players are Albert Pujols and Miguel Cabrera.)
All-Star Flubs and Snubs:
Now, with a history that is nearly 90 years going and the many many changes to team sizes, selection processes, and even positions to vote/select for (the outfield used to be separated by specific position), there should be an expectation that there are some players who snuck their way onto the team and others who should've been slam-dunk choices.
Take 2015 for example. The Kansas City Royals rallied their troops and got shortstop Alcides Escobar elected as the starting shortstop for the All-Star Game. By that time in the season, Escobar was hitting to a respectable .290/.327/.372/.700 quadruple slash and as a glove-first player with a 98 OPS+ it was not seen as out of the picture. However, at that same point in the season Xander Bogaerts (who didn't make the team at all) was hitting to a .304/.338/.411/.750 quadruple slash. (To put it into perspective, that .050 difference in OPS is the same between 2022 Giancarlo Stanton and 2022 Eugenio Suarez.)
Also to that point, let's highlight 2022 All-Star Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and non-all-star Ty France. Vladito is hitting to a .266/.346/.483/.829 quadruple slash with 19 home runs and 54 RBI's while France is hitting to a .306/.379/.460/.840 quadruple slash with 10 home runs and 45 RBI's. Are they comparable? Yes. However, did fan voting for a Toronto Blue Jay help elevated Guerrero over a more deserving player? Also, yes.
All that being said, let's see if the 6 Yankees 2022 All-Star Game selections are worthwhile.
The 2022 Statistics of Jose Trevino:
While the 2022 fan voting had Alejandro Kirk take the starting catcher spot for the American League, and while Jose Trevino was the lowest vote-getter- by percentage of votes- of players on the final ballot (not counting outfielders), the Yankees catcher was still selected via the players and coaches ballot.
Trevino came to New York just a week before the 2022 season began and was seemingly acquired as insurance for the Yankees as they were waiting for Ben Rortvedt (who came over in the Sanchez/Urshela for IKF/Donaldson trade) to come back from injury. Due to this, Trevino also started the year as the apparent back-up to Kyle Higashioka and had to play his way into a platoon and the starting role. Needless to say, Trevino himself played his way into securing each role with how he has played this season. At this point in the year, Jose Trevino is hitting to the following line: (Key: Leads MLB, Leads AL Catchers)
.255/.301/.429 (.729 OPS/107 OPS+/107 wRC+), 7 Home Runs, 27 RBI's, +2.1 bWAR/+2.4 fWAR
Across qualified American League catchers (minimum 150 PA's; by Fangraphs), Jose Trevino has the:
4th best Batting Average (Alejandro Kirk leads at .312)
8th best On-Base Percentage (Alejandro Kirk leads at .396)
5th in Slugging Percentage (Alejandro Kirk leads at .429)
5th in On-Base Plus Slugging (Alejandro Kirk leads at .878)
5th in OPS+ (Alejandro Kirk leads at 148)
6th in wRC+ (Alejandro Kirk leads at 149)
Tied for 10th in Home Runs (Jonah Heim leads at 12)
8th in RBI's (Gary Sanchez and Sean Murphy lead at 36)
Now, if we just looked at the offensive statistics, it's pretty clear that Trevino is comfortably above-average for a catcher this year, but not a true All-Star. Thus, we have to find why he has the 3rd best bWAR and the 2nd best fWAR for AL catcher this season. Obviously- if you've been watching him play- this is from his defense.
Across AL catchers with 250 or more innings in 2022, Jose Trevino has by far the best Framing (+10.3), DRS (+14), and Defensive (+15.9) numbers. To put some context on those numbers, Sean Murphy has the 2nd best Framing (+5.1), Cal Raleigh has the 2nd best DRS (+8), and Sean Murphy has the 2nd best Defensive number (+11.0). To bring even more context to this, all the numbers here hold when looking at the entire MLB this season too. Jose Trevino (and, to be fair, Sean Murphy) are much above their catching peers on defense.
In addition to having good offensive numbers, Jose Trevino has the best catching defensive in the MLB this year. At a position where defense should come first (along with center field and maybe shortstop), this is of huge importance. It's clear that Jose Trevino is deserving of the back-up catching spot for the AL All-Star team this year.
So far, after looking at the three starters for the New York Yankees, they are 3 for 3 with deserving players.