Arizona Diamondbacks third baseman Jake Lamb is heading to Miami next week for the All-Star Game. He’s developing into a solid second banana behind Paul Goldschmidt and he’s an RBI machine. But is he more deserving of an All-Star Spot than Milwaukee Brewers third baseman Travis Shaw? Let’s take a look…
At The Plate
Travis Shaw and Jake Lamb are having eerily similar seasons at the plate. Lamb has a .916 OPS. Shaw has a .928 OPS. Lamb has slugged 18 homers. Shaw also has 18 home runs. Travis Shaw has compiled 61 RBIs and 45 runs scored. Lamb has 65 RBIs and 52 runs scored. Shaw has seven steals, while Lamb has four. Lamb has 17 doubles. Shaw has 20. These two hitters are so close in offensive production that comparing them is virtually a wash. Shaw has an edge in overall production, while Lamb has clearly amassed greater counting stats. There really isn’t an obvious choice here.
In The Field
Against these two are virtually identical at the hot corner. Shaw came to the Milwaukee Brewers with a reputation as a competent fielder. Lamb struggled at times last year. This year? Both are very close in terms of the raw data. Both are at a -1.4 defensive WAR. Lamb has been charged with eight errors, while Shaw has only four. Neither third baseman has tremendous range, but they both do well with the balls that they are likely to get to and routine plays. Lamb has made 96.3% of routine plays and 76.5% of likely plays. Shaw again is similar with 95.6% of routine plays made and 74.1% of likely plays completed.
The Milwaukee Brewers are 3 1/2 games up on the Chicago Cubs. The Arizona Diamonbacks are 3 1/2 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers. The D-Backs are in the driver’s seat for the NL Wild Card, but the Brewers are leading their division. Should the D-Backs really get four All-Stars while the Milwaukee Brewers get only one? Lamb could have easily been swapped for Shaw and no one would have complained too loudly.
The good news for Milwaukee Brewers third baseman Travis Shaw is that he’ll get to spend the All-Star Break with his family. In early June, Shaw’s wife gave birth to a daughter who required open-heart surgery right after she was born. While Shaw would have enjoyed the recognition for a great first half, he’ll appreciate the time with his newborn even more.
A case can clearly be made to include Travis Shaw on the NL All-Star roster, but he’s sure to enjoy the time at home.