Being an all-star is a great honor that not many players get a chance to do. It seems like in the 90’s your resume did not have to be as solid to make the squad. I wanted to highlight players that were able to make the team but their actual seasons were subpar to say the least.
1990- Ozzie Guillen, SS, Chicago White Sox
Ozzie Guillen won the gold glove in 1990. His defense was great but how does a player with a -18 value offensively (Fangraphs) make an all-star team. The numbers don’t lie. Ozzie Guillen was horrible with the bat during the season. Guillen featured a .312 OBP, .062 ISO and a 78 WRC+. These numbers fit more for a late inning defensive replacement rather than an all-star.
Clearly this was a defensive selection during a time where the shortstop pool was not overly talented. Imagine seeing a player with an OPS under .700 making an all-star team in today’s game. Would never happen.
1991- Juan Samuel, Utility, Los Angeles Dodgers
Juan Samuel had a long career in the majors. He had a lot of solid seasons that lead to a total of three all star game appearances. Samuel was a strikeout machine throughout his career and 1991 was no outlier. Samuel struck out 133 times while providing little power, finishing with 12 homers and an OBP of just .328. Samuel was a good utility player in his career but to be an all-star is well…ugh.
1992- Roberto Kelly, OF, New York Yankees
Roberto Kelly played for eight different teams during his 14 years in major league baseball. His best two seasons were 1990 and 1993, sandwiched in between was 1992 when he made his first all star game. Kelly had a decent season but finished with just a 1.4 WAR and an OPS of .706. Kelly didn’t bring much to the table on the defensive end either as he finished with a -10 defensive runs saved.
1993- Scott Copper, 1B/3B, Boston Red Sox
Scott Cooper had a short career in the MLB career. He was able to make it to two all-star games in his career and neither of which resulted in a stellar season. Cooper had the task of taking over for future hall of famer Wade Boggs. He had a solid season in 1993 with an OBP of .355. He however didn’t do much else well. Hitting nine homers and slugging just .397. His OPS of .752 is solid but is very average for a corner infielder on an all-star team. Cooper was good but he was not an all-star.
1994- Scott Cooper, 1B, Boston Red Sox
His 1993 season is basically the same.
1995- Steve Ontiveros, P, Oakland Athletics
Steve Ontiveros was coming off of a career season in 1994. He led the league in WHIP and ERA, pitching in 27 games, starting 13. In 1995 Ontiveros was going to be a cornerstone of the Athletics pitching staff. It didn’t really work out that way. Becoming a full time starter Ontiveros pitched in 22 games giving up a WHIP of 1.4 and an ERA of nearly 4.50. This was the time where most teams had to have a representative, but the A’s had Mark McGwire representing them. Ontiveros actually got to pitch in the game and took the loss…Duh.
1996- Roger Pavlik, P, Texas Rangers
Wins can be overrated, according to Brian Kenny they shouldn’t even count. In the case of Roger Pavlik he ended the 1996 season with 16 wins. That sounds great but every other stat was pretty embarrassing. Pavlik had a 5.16 ERA, a 1.50 WHIP and FIP of 5.00. Pavlik was an innings eater with 7 complete games but when he was bad, he was very bad. Pavlik’s ability to eat innings was the lone positive of a season that should have been forgotten. He will always have that all-star game in the record books but it is hard to believe.
1997- Royce Clayton, SS, St. Louis Cardinals
Royce Clayton had the task of replacing hall of famer Ozzie Smith. Clayton had his positives, he was a solid defensive player that was able to steal 30 bases in back to back seasons. The problem was Clayton really didn’t get on base enough to utilize his speed. In 1997 Clayton featured an on-base percentage of just .306. Clayton didn’t walk much and he only hit .206. This was right before the boom of talented shortstops took over the league. Clayton may not even start in today’s game. It’s laughable to think he would be an all-star.
1998- Edgar Renteria, SS, Florida Marlins
Having a historical moment can make your career. In 1997 Edgar Renteria was a part of one of the greatest moments in baseball history, getting the game winning hit in game seven. His historic moment seemed to grab him some legitimacy heading into the 1998 season. Renteria stole 41 bases which was the lone highlight of his statistical season. Edgar’s season finished with a .9 WAR and a WRC+ of 90. His loan highlighted statistics, stolen bases, had an asterisk next to eat as he was actually caught stealing a staggering 22 times.
Edgar Renteria had a few very good seasons but being an all-star in 1998 seems like a big reach.
1999- Ron Coomer, INF, Minnesota Twins
Ron Coomer was a bright spot in a pretty bad stretch for the Minnesota Twins. Coomer was a middle of the order bat that brought more of a look of a power hitter than a real threat. Coomer hit a career high 16 homers in 1999 but that really was the highlight of his season. His .306 OBP along with an OPS+ of just 86. Not much of an impact for a guy that was supposed to be able to help carry the order. Coomer making the all-star game was clearly just a guy that was put in there because every team needed to have a representative.