Jun 27, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres left fielder Seth Smith (12) during the fifth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
The Padres just signed Seth Smith to a contract extension for two more years. Does he deserve it? Absolutely. He has been the sole consistent bat in the Padres’ lineup throughout the year. He leads the team in home runs (9), RBI (25), walks (38), average (.282), on-base percentage (.386) and doubles (18). It is a travesty that he is not even close to being voted into the All-Star game. The fact that I couldn’t find him on my online ballot is a crime. I had to write him in. There is little time, as the voting ends tonight.
Obviously, the outfield position is usually crowded for the Mid-Summer Classic and there are outfielders who have out-performed Smith for sure. The 3 top vote-getters in the outfield right now are: Andrew McCutchen (12 HR, 49 RBI, .313 avg), Carlos Gomez (13 HR, 45 RBI, .306 avg) and Yasiel Puig (11 HR, 46 RBI, .314 avg). All 3 of those players do have better numbers than Smith. However, there are only 3 outfielders in the NL who have a better on-base percentage than Smith. He is also among the leaders in the outfield in walks.
I know he isn’t the best outfielder in the National League. But I am a believer that a player who is most valuable to their team should be named an All-Star. An argument can be made for Tyson Ross or Huston Street as well. Seth Smith has been a reliable bat throughout the season. Who can forget his game tying home run against the Dodgers on opening night on ESPN? He has bailed out the offense on multiple occasions. He is someone who can be in the lineup every day and be counted on. He even has 3 doubles against left-handed pitchers. He should be recognized just for being a consistent bat in a near-historically bad lineup. All-Stars are consistent.
The only reason Smith doesn’t get in is because the outfield is crowded with great players this year. I know my opinion isn’t a popular one, but I believe Smith has been playing like an All-Star. He is on pace to surpass his career high in home runs…at Petco Park. He has never made excuses about the spacious park or the thick ocean air. He just hits. My final point is, the Padres usually send pitchers to the All-Star Game, with the exception of last year’s lone Padre selection, Everth Cabrera. It would be fun to see another Padres’ hitter make it into the game. Seth Smith has played well enough, in my opinion, to merit at least serious consideration to be named an All-Star in 2014.