MINNEAPOLIS — Two weeks ago, Rays outfielder Tommy Pham voiced his frustration about the All-Star process to The Athletic’s Josh Tolentino.
Pham noted the amount of exposure the big-market teams like New York and Boston get compared to the small-market ones like Tampa Bay.
A few weeks later, it’s been confirmed that Pham was not a finalist for the starting roster, and it bothers him.
“I wasn’t too surprised,” Pham told DRaysBay before this evening’s game against the Twins. “It’s frustrating as a player.“
With the benefit of time, though, Pham has a solution.
“I have an idea. It’s just an idea. As every player in this game knows, All-Star voting is so important when you’re coming through the arbitration system. I’m in the middle of it right now,” Pham explained, “and I’m going to propose it to the union and hope it gains some traction.”
Changes to the All-Star voting process are more frequent as MLB and the MLBPA seek a balanced approach through online voting, but Pham believes some criteria is needed in order for players to make the initial ballot.
“The All-Stars, position player wise, should be calculated off of the percentage of games played,” Pham explained. “That way it would eliminate people getting votes or getting in and hurt.”
“Games played, wRC+, and WAR. Those three things should determine the position-player All-Stars. wRC+ is an important stat offensively and neutralizes park factors. WAR is your overall contributions. I think those three things should be the determining factors which determine All-Stars.”
The in-progress idea would benefit players in the midst of arbitration, where number of All-Star appearances can play a deciding factor in outcomes.
In 72 games, Pham is slashing .295/.400/.473 with a .373 wOBA, 138 wRC+, and a 2.4 fWAR that ranks fourth among American League outfielders.
Pham ranks near the top among American League outfielders in nearly every major offensive category, but is not a finalist for the All-Star Game at this time.