Tommy La Stella is a First-Time All-Star!

Former Chicago Cubs IF and 2016 World Series champion Tommy La Stella, now of the Los Angeles Angels, has been selected to the All-Star Team in 2019, his first career appearance. La Stella’s breakout season and power bat have taken MLB by surprise since he had been a role player for the Cubs with only ten career home runs until given the opportunity to become a starter with the Halos. He is also in the middle of his age-30 season, which makes his achievement even more remarkable given MLB’s push towards signing and developing very young prospects.  La Stella currently leads his team in BA and total hits, even though he is teammates with the great OF Mike Trout.

Now that we know La Stella is beating out Mike Trout in a couple of different offensive categories, how does he stack up against his fellow All-Star middle infielders? (I will be comparing La Stella only to other All-Star middle infielders since these positions have historically not been known for slugging until the advent of current stars like Javier Báez, Francisco Lindor and Carlos Correa.) I will be using the figures available from Baseball Reference as of July 1. Please note the figures available on MLB.com, where I obtained the Angels team leaderboards, differ slightly.

Tommy La Stella, 2B

Team: LAA
AL All-Star Reserve (Players’ Ballot)
2019 Slash Line: .297/.349/.496
OPS: .845 (OPS+ 124)
HR: 16; R: 48; RBI: 44
wRC+: 128
bWAR: 1.8
fWAR: 2.1

DJ LeMahieu, 2B

Team: NYY
AL All-Star Starter
2019 Slash Line: .342 (leads AL)/.390/.528
OPS: .918 (OPS+ 142)
HR: 12; R: 60; RBI: 59
wRC+: 143
bWAR: 3.8
fWAR: 3.4

Ketel Marte, 2B

Team: ARI
NL All-Star Starter
2019 Slash Line: .313/.361/.578
OPS: .939 (OPS+ 138)
HR: 20; R: 55; RBI: 51
wRC+: 135
bWAR: 3.6
fWAR: 3.8

Mike Moustakas, 2B

Team: MIL
NL All-Star Reserve (Players’ Ballot)
2019 Slash Line: .275/.349/.570
OPS: .919 (OPS+ 133)
HR: 23; R: 50; RBI: 49
wRC+: 134
bWAR: 2.9
fWAR: 2.6

Jorge Polanco, SS

Team: MIN
AL All-Star Starter
2019 Slash Line: .321/.380/.525
OPS: .904 (OPS+ 140)
HR: 11; R: 54; RBI: 39
wRC+: 135
bWAR: 4.0
fWAR: 2.9

Francisco Lindor, SS

Team: CLE
AL All-Star Reserve (Players’ Ballot)
2019 Slash Line: .293/.352/.500
OPS: .852 (OPS+ 121)
HR: 12; R: 41; RBI: 27
wRC+: 116
bWAR: 2.3
fWAR: 2.0

Javier Báez, SS

Team: CHC

NL All-Star Starter
2019 Slash Line: .285/.324/.549
OPS: .873 (OPS+ 119)
HR: 20; R: 55; RBI: 56
wRC+: 120
bWAR: 3.3
fWAR: 3.0

Paul DeJong, SS

Team: STL
NL All-Star Reserve (League Selection)
2019 Slash Line: .261/.347/.462
HR: 13; R: 52; RBI: 36
OPS: .809 (OPS+ 113)
wRC+ 112
bWAR: 3.0
fWAR: 2.8

Analysis

La Stella is not the top offensive producer among the 2019 All-Star middle infielders, although he has hit the most home runs of his AL teammates at 2B and SS.

I have to grudgingly admit LeMahieu deserves to be the AL starter at 2B, although he is on my shit list after he whined to the umpires about fellow 2019 All-Star Javier Báez’s attempts to prevent him from stealing signs last year while playing against the Cubs as a member of the Colorado Rockies.

La Stella also has the lowest WAR totals of his fellow middle infield All-Stars (bWAR: 1.8; fWAR: 2.1), behind Lindor (bWAR: 2.3; fWAR: 2.0), who was injured at the beginning of the year.

The top sluggers appear to be Marte (20 HR; .578 SLG), Moustakas (23 HR; .570 SLG) and Báez (20 HR; .549 SLG).

It should be noted that Lindor’s counting stats are somewhat reduced compared to the others since he spent the beginning of the season on the Injured List. However, he has still been a better overall offensive contributor than DeJong, who is the weakest producer of all All-Star middle infielders with an OPS+ of 113 and a wRC+ of 112, along with the worst slash line.

The 2019 MLB All-Star Game will be held at Progressive Field in Cleveland on July 9, televised at 7:30 PM ET. Support the site by purchasing your tickets from SeatGeek!