Future value of Final Vote candidates 

July, 10, 2014
Jul 10
9:19
AM ET
Final fan voting ends Thursday afternoon, as MLB will announce the last player -- at least for now, before replacements -- for each squad in the All-Star Game. In theory, there’s nothing wrong with this idea of choosing one last performer for the game, as it’s really no less effective than how the other players are chosen. Quibble all you want about a few of the starters (Derek Jeter, Matt Wieters) and several of the manager-chosen reserves (Josh Harrison, Tony Watson), but here’s one last chance to select deserving players, democratically, I suppose.

So here are those 10 eligible players -- five American League pitchers and five National League hitters -- and my thoughts on them, in Player Rater order. Sure, I could have written about New York Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, but honestly, as of Thursday morning we don’t have enough information at this point to talk about buying, selling or whatever on him.

Chris Sale, SP, Chicago White Sox (25th on the Rater entering Thursday): How he wasn’t chosen over the likes of Scott Kazmir and Mark Buehrle, I really don’t know. Perhaps people weren’t paying attention. Sale missed some time with a strained flexor muscle, but he’s made up for it, and nobody should call him brittle. With Tanaka on the shelf, Sale is the best option to compete with Felix Hernandez for not only top AL pitcher honors, but maybe overall. This guy is so good he could win the final Rater, so invest.