Commentary

MLB's 2011 No-Star Team

This group of players have hurt their respective teams immensely over the first half

Updated: July 4, 2011, 11:56 AM ET
By Jonah Keri | FanGraphs
Mauer/NathanGetty ImagesJoe Mauer and Joe Nathan haven't performed close to expectations this season for the Twins.

Welcome to the No-Stars Team. Rather than focusing on All-Stars, or All-Star snubs, we reward some of the worst first-half performers with special honors.

If you're a .190 hitter or own a 6.00 ERA, you've got a good shot at making the team. But special circumstances help. A player who's having a bad year and getting tons of playing time has a shot at the team. A player who's having a bad year, getting tons of playing time and getting paid superstar dollars is a virtual lock.

Without further ado, here's this year's No-Stars Team:

C Joe Mauer (.244/.298/.291, minus-0.2 WAR, $23 million)
A consensus top-10 MLB player, and possibly the best player on the planet just two years ago, Mauer has seen persistent leg injuries curtail his power and threaten his longterm outlook. He has just one homer since Aug. 19 of last year and isn't roping line drives like he once did either. Still just 28, Mauer has plenty of time to get healthy and return to elite status. But calls for him to switch positions to avoid further injuries aren't reassuring, especially when Mauer has seven and a half years left on a $184 million contract.


To see the rest of the 2011 MLB No-Star team, you must be an ESPN Insider.

Jonah Keri (@jonahkeri) is a staff writer for Grantland. His book, The Extra 2%: How Wall Street Strategies Took a Major League Baseball Team From Worst to First, is a national best seller. His new book Up, Up, and Away, on the history of the Montreal Expos, is now available for preorder.