The annual Major League Baseball All-Star Game is one of the most highly anticipated events in the sport, featuring the best players from each league competing in a midseason showcase.
Being selected as an All-Star is a prestigious honor that recognizes a player’s outstanding performance in the season up to that point. In 2021, William Contreras of the Atlanta Braves made headlines when he was named to the All-Star team as a reserve player.
In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at how William Contreras made the All-Star team, including the selection process, his performance leading up to the game, and the factors that contributed to his selection. Let’s dive in!
The All-star Selection Process
The All-Star selection process is a rigorous and complex procedure that involves a combination of fan voting, player voting, and managerial selection.
The starting lineups for the game are determined through fan voting, where fans get to select their favorite players to start the game at each position.
The player balloting process is used to select the reserve players, where players from each league vote for their peers who they believe should be selected as All-Stars.
In addition to player voting, the managers of each league’s All-Star team also have the opportunity to select a limited number of players for the team.
These players are typically selected to fill positions that were not adequately represented through fan and player voting, or to add additional depth to a particular position.
The criteria used for selecting All-Stars can vary based on the individual voters’ preferences. Some voters may place more weight on individual statistics, such as batting average or earned run average, while others may focus on more intangible factors such as a player’s leadership or impact on the team.
In general, however, All-Stars are selected based on their overall performance in the season up to that point, and are considered to be the best players in the league at their respective positions.
Ultimately, the All-Star selection process is a collaborative effort between fans, players, and managers, and is designed to recognize the best and most deserving players in the league.
William Contreras’ Performance
William Contreras is a young catcher for the Atlanta Braves who made his Major League debut in 2021. Despite his relative inexperience, he made a strong impression on both his teammates and other players in the league, earning him a spot on the All-Star team.
Statistically, Contreras had a solid first half of the season leading up to the All-Star break. He played in 39 games and had 111 plate appearances, hitting .231 with 4 home runs and 12 RBI.
While those numbers may not seem particularly impressive on their own, they were strong enough to earn him consideration for the All-Star team, especially when you consider his strong defensive skills behind the plate.
When compared to other catchers in the league, Contreras’ performance was more than respectable. His .231 batting average was higher than several other starting catchers in the league, and his 4 home runs were tied for 10th among all catchers.
In addition, his defensive metrics, such as his caught stealing percentage and his overall defensive runs saved, were among the best in the league at the time of his All-Star selection.
Overall, while Contreras’ performance may not have been eye-popping, it was consistent and solid enough to warrant consideration for the All-Star team, especially given his relatively short time in the league.
It’s clear that other players recognized his talent and potential, and felt that he was deserving of a spot on the All-Star team.
Factors That Contributed to William Contreras’ Selection
There were likely several factors that contributed to William Contreras’ selection as an All-Star reserve in 2021. Here are some possible reasons why players may have voted for him:
As mentioned earlier, Contreras was known for his strong defensive skills behind the plate. He had a caught stealing percentage of 42.9% at the time of his All-Star selection, which was the second-highest in the league among catchers with at least 25 games played.
His defensive runs saved (DRS) was also high, at 4, which was the 7th highest among all catchers.
Youth and Potential
At just 23 years old, Contreras was one of the youngest players on the All-Star team. His selection may have been seen as a nod to his potential and the bright future ahead of him in the league.
Impact on the Team
Although the Braves had struggled in the first half of the season, Contreras had made a significant impact on the team during his time in the lineup.
He had stepped up as a key player in the absence of injured catcher Travis d’Arnaud, and had earned the respect of his teammates and coaches.
In addition to these factors, it’s likely that Contreras’ overall performance up to that point in the season played a role in his All-Star selection.
While his offensive numbers may not have been eye-popping, his solid defensive skills and potential for future growth were likely enough to earn him consideration from his peers.
Overall, William Contreras’ selection as an All-Star reserve in 2021 was a testament to his talent and potential as a young catcher in the league, and a recognition of his impact on the Braves during his rookie season.
Comparison of Catchers’ Statistical Performance in 2021 (as of All-star Break)
This table shows how William Contreras’ offensive statistics compare to other catchers in the league, as well as his defensive prowess.
It’s important to note that these statistics only reflect performance leading up to the All-Star break, and may have changed over the course of the remainder of the season.
Was William Contreras the first Braves catcher to make the All-Star team in recent years?
No, William Contreras was actually the second Braves catcher to make the All-Star team in recent years. In 2018, Kurt Suzuki was also selected to the All-Star team as a reserve catcher.
Did William Contreras have any prior All-Star experience before 2021?
No, William Contreras had no prior All-Star experience before being selected as a reserve catcher in 2021. This was his first selection to the All-Star team in his young career.
How did the player balloting process work for selecting William Contreras to the All-Star team?
In the player balloting process, players from both the National League and American League were allowed to vote for their peers to represent them at the All-Star Game. Each player was allowed to vote for one player at each position in their respective leagues, and the players with the highest number of votes at each position were selected to the All-Star team.
Was William Contreras the only Braves player selected to the 2021 All-Star team?
No, William Contreras was one of two Braves players selected to the 2021 All-Star team. Outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. was also selected as a starter for the National League team.
William Contreras’ selection to the 2021 All-Star team was a result of several factors, including his solid defensive skills, youth and potential, and impact on the Atlanta Braves.
Although his offensive numbers may not have been the best in the league at the time of his selection, his overall performance and potential were enough to earn the respect and votes of his peers.
As a young player with a promising future ahead of him, Contreras’ selection serves as a recognition of his talent and potential, and a sign of the great things to come in his career.