Brandon Crawford and the 15-Game All-Stars of seasons past

USA TODAY Sports

Fun with early samples: Brandon Crawford is the most valuable player on the Giants.

More fun with early samples: Brandon Crawford is the fifth-most valuable player in the National League.

Yet even more fun with early samples: Brandon Crawford is the most valuable shortstop in baseball.

If you want to revisit your Crawford projection, it's not too late. But there's a great chance that Crawford isn't really this good. I know, settle down, let me explain myself, quiet please, hold on, please let me finish, dammit let me finish. I can buy Crawford turning into an almost-decent hitter. That almost-decent hitter would make for an outstanding player. If you want optimism, you can find some while being reasonable at the same time.

Expecting Crawford to hit 15 homers with a .400 on-base percentage … gonna go out on a limb and say that's a little much. Which means that we probably have the leading vote-getter for this year's 15-Game All-Star selection. Every year there's a player that makes you think maybe-just-maybe, even though you know you shouldn't. And every year you feel like a fool when everything returns to normal. Well, I do, at least. You're really, really arrogant and set in your ways. A little introspection and self-evaluation wouldn't kill you.

If you want to know what it means to be a 15-game All-Star, here are some previous winners:

Nate Schierholtz - 2012
After 15 games: .340/.373/.681, with three homers and three triples

Narrative: Found power stroke

Result: He's doing the same hot-start thing in Chicago, but he's basically been the same ol' Schierholtz since he was traded.

Star-divide

Aaron Rowand - 2011
After 15 games: .364/.378/.568 with six extra-base hits in 44 at-bats

Narrative: C'mon, you don't really expect us to believe this crap, right?

Result: No one really expected us to believe that crap.

Star-divide

Pablo Sandoval - 2010
After 15 games: .322/.403/.576 with 8 walks in 67 plate appearances

Narrative: Oh, man, he's found plate discipline, and he's going to win the Triple Crown.

Result: Benched in the playoffs so Edgar Renteria and Juan Uribe could both play at the same time. Which … wait …

Star-divide

Fred Lewis - 2009
After 15 games: .360/.484/.480

Narrative: Finally the Giants have developed an All-Star position player! Or, fine, at least an outfielder good enough to start.

Result: Turns out that .545 BABIP wasn't sustainable.

Star-divide

Fred Lewis - 2008
After 15 games: .333/.409/.538

Narrative: Finally the Giants have developed an All-Star position player! Or, fine, at least an outfielder good enough to start.

Result: .231/.268/.269 for the Hiroshima Carp so far in 2013. C'mon, Freddie! We're pulling for you!

Star-divide

Rich Aurilia - 2007
After 15 games: .345/.381/.500

Narrative: He found his stroke with the Reds, and it is in no way weird that he is a starting first baseman.

Result: Suddenly, people realized it was weird that a 35-year-old Rich Aurilia was a starting first baseman.

I'll stop at six 15-Game All-Stars because you get the point. There are examples that trend in the other direction, too. Maybe Aubrey Huff can hit after all, we said in 2010. Maybe Juan Uribe can actually start and produce for a good team, we started to think as early as 2009. So this isn't to suggest that Crawford is doomed to be the 15-Game All-Star this year. There are actually some good reasons to believe in him.

But there's bleating about small samples, and then there's attaching names to the idea that small samples aren't that meaningful. In 2009, people were excited about Fred Lewis. In 2011, people were excited about Aaron Rowand. In 2012, people were excited about Nate Schierholtz. After 15 games -- almost a tenth of the season! -- it's easy to see what you want to see. Here's a gentle reminder.

(Still believe in Crawford, dammit. What naïve fool made those dour preseason projections? For shame!)

(Also, I know the Giants have played only 14 games. But 14-Game All-Stars didn't have the same ring to it.)

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