A little while ago, Nick Petakas wrote a post kicking off a “Jonathan Lucroy, All-Star” campaign. It was admittedly early — Lucroy had only been off the DL for a couple weeks — but it was fun to think about what seemed like a longshot.
I bring this up again because Buster Posey’s season-ending injury will likely make the NL All-Star situation a bit more interesting. How does Lucroy stack up against the remaining competition?
This is the list on the ballot, with numbers entering Friday:
Barajas – LAD
.221/.260/.404, .284 wOBA, 0.4 WAR
Hernandez – CIN
.327/.375/.558, .398 wOBA, 1.3 WAR
Iannetta – COL
.218/.369/.403, .350 wOBA, 1.4 WAR
McCann – ATL
.274/.340/.393, .317 wOBA, 1.0 WAR
Montero – ARI
.273/.359/.447, .353 wOBA, 1.4 WAR
I. Rodriguez – WAS
.205/.256/.342, .268 wOBA, 0.2 WAR
Snyder – PIT
.264/.341/.347, .307 wOBA, 0.2 WAR
Thole – NYM
.212/.289/.246, .239 wOBA, -0.5 WAR
Buck – FLA
.222/.304/.379, .300 wOBA, 0.7 WAR
Hundley – SD
.263/.336/.421, .333 wOBA, 0.9 WAR
Lucroy – MIL
.321/.369/.509, .385 wOBA, 1.1 WAR
Molina – STL
.318/.364/.470, .354 wOBA, 1.4 WAR
Ruiz – PHI
.247/.351/.371, .319 wOBA, 0.6 WAR
Soto – CHC
.226/.322/.387, .320 wOBA, 0.8 WAR
Towles – HOU
.229/.316/.371, .307 wOBA, 0.3 WAR
It’s a bit of a mixed bag, but it’s easy to forget just how much good catching talent there is in the NL, even with Posey out of the mix.
Even if Lucroy keeps up his torrid pace with the bat, though, it’ll be tough for him to make it in as anything other than a fan’s final vote (which Milwaukee has shown it can dominate in the past). If Posey’s ROY run and hot postseason last year made him a popular pick among fans to win this year’s starting role, the next two most popular options are likely Yadier Molina and Brian McCann, who are likely to get a ton of support simply due to name recognition (although Molina’s numbers to this point are certainly deserving).
Considering the National League typically only takes two catchers, it’s tough to see Lucroy getting in at this point, and that’s before you factor in large-market fan favorites like Carlos Ruiz or smaller-market guys who are mashing like Ramon Hernandez and Miguel Montero. Not to compare Lucroy to Prince Fielder, but remember the years when Prince was left off the All-Star team just because there wasn’t room on the roster with guys like Albert Pujols, Adrian Gonzalez, and Ryan Howard around? It looks like there might be a logjam of catching talent developing in the NL, too.
Of course, All-Star voting outcomes aren’t always logical. If Brewers fans vote enough, Lucroy can surprise and possibly make a run. So go vote. The All-Star Game is still pretty meaningless, but it’s always nice to see Brewers among the top vote-getters, even if they don’t end up winning the spot — it’s good pub for a team that still isn’t getting much attention, despite their latest run.