MLB just recently released the ballots for this year’s mid-summer classic. The All-Star Game will be played Tuesday, July 19th at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. With the ballots being released, let’s take a look at one deserving player from each team.
Los Angeles Dodgers
With the All-Star game being held at Dodger Stadium, it seems only fitting to start this off with the Dodgers. Picking one All-Star from a team like the Dodgers is a difficult task, as they have so many stars and breakthrough performers that deserve to be there, and likely will. If there could only be one, it would have to be Trea Turner. In Turner’s first full season as a Dodger, the 28-year-old has slashed .301/.356/.473 to go along with 7 home runs, 30 runs, 46 RBI, and 13 stolen bases. It was hard putting Turner over players like Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman, but Turner’s impressive season so far gets him the nod here.
Unlike the Dodgers, the Diamondbacks do not have a plethora of deserving players for the All-Star Game. The team’s stars have been underperforming, and the rest of the team has followed suit. There is one deserving player, however, in Zac Gallen. Gallen’s career has been riddled with injuries, however, he has flashed superstar potential at times. He is currently pitching to the tune of a 4-2 record with a 2.95 ERA and 55 Ks in 58 innings. Gallen got off to a tremendous start but has slowed down over his last four starts. If Gallen is able to get back on track, there is a good chance we see him in Los Angeles on July 19th.
San Francisco Giants
Since signing with the Giants this off-season, outfielder Joc Pederson has put up a career year. Pederson is currently slashing to the tune of .265/.337/.565 with 13 home runs, 25 runs, and 32 RBI. Pederson seems to be on to something here and should find himself back in L.A. this summer.
San Diego Padres
The Padres have been one of baseball’s best teams this year, even without star Fernando Tatis Jr. on the field. If Tatis was healthy, he might’ve given righty Joe Musgrove a run for his money, but with the season Musgrove has had so far, he wins the nod just barely over Manny Machado. In 72 innings, Musgrove has a shiny (and league-leading) 1.50 ERA and 7-0 record to go along with 72 Ks and a 0.93 WHIP. Musgrove seems to be in line for his first All-Star appearance, and may even be in the Cy-Young conversation at the end of the season.
The Rockies got off to a hot start this season, but have since dwindled down, as have most of their players. The one player that has not dwindled down has been the first baseman, C.J. Cron. Cron has slashed to the tune of .286/.339/.870 to go along with 14 home runs, 33 runs, and a whopping 41 RBI. He seems well on the way to his first All-Star nod, one that he has well deserved.
The Brewers have a solid core of players, especially when it comes to pitching. Recently, the Brewers have developed what looks to be yet another ace, in Eric Lauer. Lauer has a spectacular 2.38 ERA and 1.12 WHIP to go along with a 5-1 record and 65 strikeouts in 56.2 innings pitched. Lauer should find himself in L.A. for his first All-Star appearance this summer, and just barely beats out teammate Corbin Burnes here, due to showing a little more consistency this season.
St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals find themselves atop of the division, and with a couple of deserving All-Stars. There is one clear choice, however, and that is Paul Goldschmidt. Goldschmidt is no stranger to the mid-summer classic, although he has taken a three-year hiatus, and he looks to find himself back in the game this summer. Goldshmidt currently leads the N.L. with a .333 BA and finds himself third in the league in RBI with 47. Even though there might be a few deserving players here, Goldy is the clear choice.
For a rebuilding Cubs team, they won’t have many representatives at the All-Star Game, although, they should have rookie Christopher Morel there. Since being promoted to the bigs on May 17th, Morel has batted .303/.388/.528 to go along with 3 home runs, 16 runs, 10 RBI, and 6 stolen bases. Morel homered in his first big league at-bat and now should have the chance to homer in the All-Star Game.
Another struggling team, the Pirates should not expect to see many of their players in L.A. this summer. One they should expect to see though, is the newly extended, Ke’Bryan Hayes. Hayes has yet to find his power stroke, yet everything else has come together this season. He currently sits on .284/.369/.381 and handles the defensive side of things very well. Hayes is worth a vote at third base.
The N.L. Central has quite a few struggling teams, and the Reds are surely one of them. They don’t have many players worth a vote, but we could consider one for rookie Hunter Greene. Greene has thrown 55 innings and accumulated an underwhelming 5.40 ERA, although he does have 72 strikeouts. The surface stats may not be appealing, but Greene has flashed some serious dominance at times and could be worth a vote with a few more strong starts as we inch closer.
The reigning world champions have a lot to be excited about, making this decision a tough one. The safe choice here is Ronald Acuna Jr., but we have something else in mind. Lefty Max Fried has been excellent this season, posting a 6-2 record with a 2.64 ERA and 1.04 WHIP, while collecting 69 strikeouts in 75 innings pitched. Fried looks well on his way to making what would surprisingly be his first All-Star appearance, and beats out teammate Acuna Jr. due to his delayed and slow start, although we still expect Acuna to be there.
Jazz Chisholm Jr. seems to be putting everything together, and he earns himself the nod here. Chisholm Jr. is slashing to the tune of .259/.314/.559 and throwing in 12 home runs, 31 runs, 40 RBI, and 10 stolen bases. He comes with quite a bit of electricity as well and should allow fans to get to know him plenty well in L.A. this summer.
New York Mets
After a busy off-season, the Mets seem to have put things together, making themselves serious contenders. There are a few good choices here, but we’ll go with shortstop Francisco Lindor. Lindor got off to a dreadful start to his time in New York but has flipped the script so far this season. He currently sits on a .250/.331/.425 batting line with 9 home runs, 39 runs, 45 RBI, and 8 stolen bases. Lindor has finally shown Mets fans what he is capable of, and it will likely earn him his first All-Star appearance in a Mets uniform.
The Nationals don’t have much, but they do have Juan Soto. Soto has kept things going this season, putting together a respectable .226/.368/.447 batting line. He has also clubbed 12 long balls to go along with 33 runs, 25 RBI, and 5 stolen bases. He seems to be a safe bet to represent the Nationals in L.A. this summer.
The Phillies have been average this season, however, the addition of the NL DH has helped them out tremendously. After suffering from a UCL sprain in his right elbow in mid-May, outfielder Bryce Harper has not been able to take the field. He has, however, been able to hit, and hitting is something he has done well this season. Harper holds a tremendous .317/.371/.639 batting line to add to his 15 home runs, 43 runs, 45 RBI, and 6 stolen bases. We may not see him in the field, but Bryce Harper should be the first starting NL DH in the All-Star game.
Toronto Blue Jays
The Blue Jays are filled with stars, but we should all expect to see Alek Manoah, among others, in the All-Star Game. Manoah has been tremendous this season, posting a 1.81 ERA and 0.96 WHIP in 69.2 innings. He also holds a 7-1 record and has collected 61 strikeouts. Manoah may be the starter for the All-Star Game, and if he keeps this up, will be in the Cy-Young conversation.
The Orioles should not expect a heavy representation in L.A. this summer. They could, however, expect to see first baseman Trey Mancini there. Mancini holds a great comeback story, and the story has continued this season with his .298/.373/.438 batting line and his 6 homers, 25 runs, and 25 RBI. The numbers aren’t great, but they’re not horrible, and there’s not much to choose from here.
Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays have had a history of developing great pitchers, and they have done so yet again with Shane McClanahan. McClanahan currently finds himself with the fifth-best ERA in the league, sitting at 1.87. On top of that, he has a stunning 0.85 WHIP to go along with a 7-2 record and 98 strikeouts in 72.1 innings pitched. McClanahan has been nothing short of fantastic this season, making it a safe bet to see him representing Tampa Bay this summer in L.A.
Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox may be 11.5 games back in the division, but they have had a solid year. Contributions from Rafael Devers have helped this, as Devers currently leads the MLB in hits with 81, and gets the nod here. Devers holds a tremendous .335/.369/.587 batting line to go along with his 12 home runs, 44 runs, and 31 RBI. He likely won’t be the only representative from Boston, but Devers deserves to be in L.A. this summer.
New York Yankees
For the team running away with the AL East, there are probably a handful of names I could say here. The most deserving, however, seems to be MLB home run leader Aaron Judge. On top of his MLB-leading 22 home runs, Judge carries a .308/.386/.664 batting line along with 48 runs and 45 RBI. He has also looked pretty good in the outfield this season, including in center. Perhaps we could see him in the home run derby as well, but Judge looks well on his way to making his fourth All-Star appearance this summer.
The Guardians have been surprisingly decent this season, but not surprisingly, Jose Ramirez has excelled. The Guardians locked him up long-term just before the season, and have been thrilled so far by the results. Ramirez sits on a sparkling .294/.394/.647 triple-slash line, and carries 16 long balls, 36 runs, 56 RBI, and 9 stolen bases along with it. Barring injury, there appears to be no reason why Ramirez should not be in L.A. this summer.
Kansas City Royals
It’s been a tough season for the Royals. On the bright side, they have gotten fantastic results from rookie Bobby Witt Jr. It took Witt a second to get things going, but did so in a big way once he did. Witt is slashing .233/.282/.438 so far this season. He has also slugged 7 homers and collected 32 runs, 29 RBI, and 10 stolen bases in the process. The future is bright for Witt Jr, and he may get his first taste of being an All-Star this summer.
For the second year in a row, reliever Gregory Soto should find himself representing Detroit in the All-Star Game. The lefty is tied for third in the AL for saves at 12, and also boasts a 1.71 ERA. He has only improved since last year’s appearance and should start planning his trip to L.A. this summer.
There are a lot of exciting options to choose from here, but Byron Buxton will take the nod over Luis Arraez and Joe Ryan. This was a close call, but it’s clear Buxton has earned it with his .236/.317/.594 batting line and 17 homers, 35 runs, and 30 RBI. Buxton has all the tools to be one of the best players in the game if he can stay healthy, which has been the problem. If Buxton can at least stay healthy through July 19th, he should make his first All-Star appearance.
Chicago White Sox
Perhaps one of the more disappointing teams this season has been the White Sox. As rough as things may be going for the team, they can always count on closer Liam Hendriks, which gets him the nod here. Hendriks currently leads the AL in saves at 16, which comes with a 2.81 ERA and 1.13 WHIP. Hendriks is well in line for his second consecutive and third overall All-Star appearance.
Los Angeles Angels
Perhaps one of the hardest teams to just pick one player is the Angels. Carrying arguably the game’s two best players will do this. Therefore, this decision had to be made by breaking two-way star Shohei Ohtani apart into two separate players, a hitter and a pitcher, which forced the decision to be Mike Trout. Trout has slightly better numbers at the plate than Ohtani this season, as he has cooled off a bit after a hot start. Trout currently finds himself sitting on .284/.388/.601 with 14 home runs, 39 runs, and 30 RBI. It seems Trout will have to take the trip from Anaheim to L.A. this summer for his 10th All-Star appearance.
The Astros are another team with plenty to choose from. Narrowing it down to one, recently extended Yordan Alvarez would have to take the nod. Alvarez currently finds himself in the top 5 in the AL in both home runs(17 T2) and RBI(39 T4). On top of that, he currently owns a .307/.400/.630 batting line. This would surprisingly be Alvarez’s first All-Star appearance, and there seems to be no reason why it shouldn’t happen.
On a team with not much to offer, there seems to be one player standing out from the rest. That would be starting pitcher Paul Blackburn. Blackburn has really started to put it together here in his age 28 season, as he currently holds a 5-2 record, 2.31 ERA, and 1.01 WHIP in 66.1 innings of work. It seems for the first time, Blackburn will not get much of a break over the All-Star Break, as he’ll be heading to L.A. to play.
The Mariners have had a few breakout performers this year, and there will likely be a few of them in L.A. this summer. The top performer of them all, by a very small margin, has been rookie Julio Rodriguez. Rodriguez currently leads all of MLB in stolen bases at 17 and adds his .264/.329/.412 batting line to that. It was close between Rodriguez and Ty France, but Rodriguez had the slight edge and should be ecstatic to have the opportunity to play in the mid-summer classic his first year in the league.
After a huge offseason, the Rangers have gotten some disappointing results from some of their new high-profile players. It seems the best move the Rangers made this off-season was bringing back starting pitcher Martin Perez, who has been surprisingly outstanding so far this season and has earned the nod here. Perez currently carries one of the best ERAs in the game, sitting at 2.18. He adds to that with his 1.10 WHIP, 9 quality starts, and 60 strikeouts in 74.1 innings. In what has surely been a career year for the 31-year-old ten-year veteran, Perez looks to make his first All-Star appearance this summer.
If you feel like voting for the All-Star Game, check out the ballots here.
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