ESPN: Metrics say D-backs’ Corbin Carroll is shoo-in to start All-Star Game

Jun 27, 2023, 6:12 PM

Corbin Carroll...

Corbin Carroll #7 of the Arizona Diamondbacks reacts as he scores a run in front of Will Smith #16 of the Los Angeles Dodgers, to tie the game 1-1, during the fifth inning at Dodger Stadium on April 02, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

If you have not heard, the Arizona Diamondbacks have a blossoming star in 22-year-old rookie outfielder Corbin Carroll.

Of course, everyone in the Valley has been well aware of his ascent through the minor leagues but as the national media has started to catch on, Carroll’s name is truly being compared to baseball’s best.

ESPN’s Bradford Doolittle uses an advanced metric called “AXE” which “is a consensus expression of leading bottom-line metrics, like the different versions of WAR and win probability-related metrics. … An AXE score of 118, for example, means the player’s performance is 1.8 standard deviations better than the league average player.”

Carroll is second in the National League outfield race with 140 AXE, trailing only Ronald Acuna’s 143. The top five are rounded out by Fernando Tatis Jr. (134), Mookie Betts (130) and Juan Soto (129).

First of all, Carroll had passed Acuna on the AXE leaderboard last week after closing in on him little by little with each passing performance, though Acuna regained the lead over the weekend. That means Carroll isn’t just a shoe-in as far as the NL Rookie of the Year race, but he’s headed toward legit MVP candidacy. It’ll be tough if he doesn’t separate himself from Acuna more than this, because Acuna is making the traditional stat line pop, with possible end-of-season totals like 40 homers/70 stolen bases within his reach.

So Carroll should be one of the two starters alongside Acuna. AXE likes Tatis for the other spot but he’s not a finalist. His disappointing vote total likely has something to do with his late start to the season and some residual backlash for the reason he wasn’t in the lineup from the outset. So we’re down to Betts, Gurriel and Harris, in which case Mookie has clearly separated himself from the other two.

With Acuna winning the first phase of fan voting, he has already guaranteed himself a spot in the starting outfield for the National League.

Doolittle thinks Carroll, by votes and AXE, should be a lock to join him as the rest of the outfielders in the running are in another tier.

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. is vying for one of the final spots but his lackluster play as of late has dropped his stock. He has slashed .238//.273/.426 over his last 30 games with 25 strikeouts.

It is still a possibility he joins Carroll on the team as a reserve if not named a starter.

Carroll and Gurriel are the only two position players that can start for Arizona in the All-Star Game. Pitchers have yet to be announced but Zac Gallen will be in contention.

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