Don't get me wrong. Elias Diaz absolutely deserved to win the All-Star Game MVP. His game winning home run was clearly the difference maker. I don't even have a problem with him being an All-Star necessarily. Every team needs a representative and he's having a decent enough year especially for a catcher. You could make a case for Daniel Bard but we are just splitting hairs at this point.
Players worse than Diaz have made All-Star Games. Here's a blog I wrote last year of the worst All-Stars of the 1990's. Diaz has had a better career than Greg Olson, John Hudek and Tyler Green.
All-Star Game MVP is an entirely different stratosphere. If you go through the list of people who have won the ASG MVP, it's often the best of the best. Mike Trout. Mariano Rivera. Pedro Martinez. Carl Yastrzemski. Willie Mays. That's the level of greatness we are talking about. Elias Diaz doesn't quite fit.
Who else is among the worst players to win the award? If you go by WAR, Diaz is at the bottom of the list. In his defense, his career is still going so it can obviously improve. But he is also 32 years old. It's not like he has his whole career in front of him. Here are the five worst players by career WAR to win the All-Star Game MVP.
4.5 - Elias Diaz, Colorado Rockies (2023)
8.3 - Bo Jackson, Kansas City Royals (1989)
11.7 - Leon Wagner, Los Angeles Angels (1962)
12.1 - Lamarr Hoyt, San Diego Padres (1985)
13.7 - Sandy Alomar, Jr. - Cleveland Indians (1997)
14.3 - Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Toronto Blue Jays (2021)
17.0 - Shane Bieber, Cleveland Indians (2019)
This is an odd mix of guys to be sure.
-Bieber and Guerrero are not only the last guys on this list but obviously still active. Without question, they are both miles ahead of Diaz.
-Alomar Jr. had the benefit of playing in a time when there were few good catchers in the MLB. He was also wildly overvalued by fans. Even with such few good catchers, he should never have made it to six All-Star Games when guys like Ivan Rodriguez, Chris Hoiles and Mike Stanley were also in the AL during that time. He still did win a Rookie of the Year, played in two World Series and had over 1000 hits. He clearly had a better career than Diaz.
-Hoyt was a Cy Young award winner whose career was over when he was 31 due to a rotator cuff injury and drug possession issues. Hoyt was one of the better pitchers in baseball for a short time and even led the league in wins twice.
-Wagner was an original Angel but had a pretty nice career. He hit 26 home runs or more every year from 1961-65. He got a late start to his career (wasn't a regular until he was 27 years old) and was terrible defensively. But he had four seasons where he got MVP votes and had a much better career than Diaz.
-Crazy that Bo Jackson is in this list because we all forget how short his career was. He only had one season where he had enough plate appearances to qualify for a batting title. He only played 86+ games in a season four times! But he's Bo Jackson.
So there you have it. Elias Diaz is a very worthy All-Star but the worst player to ever win All-Star Game MVP.