Pete Alonso getting an All-Star selection over Cubs' Michael Busch is a joke

If the Cubs were winning, it's worth wondering if this situation would have played out differently for the team's rookie first baseman.
Los Angeles Angels v Chicago Cubs
Los Angeles Angels v Chicago Cubs / Jamie Sabau/GettyImages

The fan support for Chicago Cubs players in this year's All-Star Game voting was, tepid, at best. And, frankly, who can blame them? Even after Sunday's rainy win over the Angels, the team is 11 games behind the Brewers in the NL Central and are desperately clinging to longshot playoff chances in the wild card race.

Shota Imanaga will be the team's lone representative in Arlington next week - and, as a pitcher, the fan vote wasn't a factor here. You can actually make a decent argument for several of his teammates, including Ian Happ and Seiya Suzuki in the outfield - and even Justin Steele, who's been on a heater since coming back from the IL, peaking in his latest start: a complete game gem at Wrigley on Friday.

But the one that's really bothering me is Michael Busch, who ranks fourth among NL first basemen in wRC+ but will stay home while Mets first baseman Pete Alonso heads to Texas.

Cubs' Michael Busch has an edge over Pete Alonso in the numbers; but there's another snub even more deserving than either of them

This isn't a knock on Alonso. He's done what he always does: pound a ton of home runs and drive in runs. Driving in runs is tough for Busch given many of his Cubs teammates can't string hits together to save their lives, making opportunities to pile up RBI few and far between.

On the year, Busch is slashing .264/.360/.449, good for a 130 wRC+, while Alonso boasts a .243/.325/.467 line, checking in at a 126 wRC+. The Cubs rookie admittedly strikes out way too much, but he's drawing walks at a much higher rate than the Mets first baseman - and when you dig into defensive metrics, there's a Grand Canyon-sized gap between the two players.

By no means is Busch going to win a Gold Glove Award this year, but he's settled in nicely as the season has worn on, and Fangraphs has him at -2.2 Def. Alonso? A horrendous -10.2. And if you point to Alonso's bat as the difference-maker, they have Busch's work at the plate as more valuable than the two-time Home Run Derby champ.

And, frankly, Arizona's Christian Walker is more deserving than either of them, at 2.9fWAR (Busch is at 1.9 fWAR, Alonso at 1.2 fWAR). Early in the year, we were talking about Alonso being a potential trade target for the Cubs before things went sideways and I'm sure we're going to be talking about him again as a free-agent fit this winter.

But the numbers don't lie: at this point, Busch has been the more complete player - and while he won't be an All-Star in his rookie season, that doesn't mean we can't appreciate the fact the Cubs seem to have their long-term answer at first base.