Major League Baseball announced the finalists for the 2021 All-Star Game and while there are plenty of players with good cause to feel snubbed, perhaps no one has a better case than Brewers catcher Omar Narvaez.
The three finalists for catchers in the National League are Buster Posey of the Giants, Yadier Molina of the Cardinals, and Willson Contreras of the Cubs. Those three have combined to start nine of the last 11 All-Star Games. This year, however, Molina and Contreras appear to be sneaking in based off of clout.
Comparing the offensive numbers of those three to Omar Narvaez, Omar’s omission seems especially jarring. While Buster Posey leads the NL in near every offensive category for catchers, the guy right behind him is Omar.
Posey leads NL catchers in batting average. Narvaez is second, Contreras is ninth, Molina is 12th.
Posey leads NL catchers in on-base percentage. Narvaez is second, Contreras in ninth, Molina is 12th.
Posey leads NL catchers in slugging percentage. Narvaez is second, Contreras is seventh, Molina is eighth.
To be fair, Contreras leads NL catchers in runs scored and Molina leads NL catchers in RBI. Those stats, however, are very teammate oriented. A player’s slash line, however, is produced solely by the individual player. When you compare slash lines, it’s not even close; the Brewer’s catcher is superior.
When comparing defensive numbers, nothing really pops out to make Narvaez’s omission acceptable. According to ESPN, Narvaez had a defensive WAR of 0.3, 10th in the NL. Compare that to Contreras’s 0.7 or Molina’s 0.5 and you have to wonder how that was enough to place them above Narvaez.
In terms of caught stealing percentage, Molina has made that stat his throne where he once again towers over everyone with a caught stealing percentage of 41.4%. However, Narvaez is fourth in the NL for qualified catchers throwing out 24.4% of base stealers. That’s one spot better than Contreras’s 24.1%. Posey has thrown out 30.4%, but hasn’t had enough base stealing attempts against him to qualify, which in itself is impressive.
Comparing passed balls doesn’t explain the snub either, with Narvaez and Contreras allowing three and Molina allowing four.
No matter how you look at it, Narvaez got snubbed. No other way to say it.