After not having an All-Star game last season due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, the mid-summer’s classic will be back next month at Coors Fields. The MLB All-Star game is one of the best in the four majors sports, where the best players from the diamond meet up to showcase their talents.
But before we can get to the actual game, there’s a voting process that takes place where fans can choose who plays for the American and National Leagues. We’ll likely see some familiar names such as Buster Posey, Jose Altuve, Mookie Betts, and Ronald Acuna Jr. on the respective All-Star teams.
However, there will be some new players, who will breakthrough and earn their first-ever All-Star game appearances. We’ll breakdown who those players could be with Phase 1 of voting taking place right now.
1. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 1B, Toronto Blue Jays - Vladdy Jr. should be a shoe-in for the All-Star game as he had a tremendous season for the Toronto Blue Jays. Guerrero is having a career season, hitting .333 with 18 HRs, 47 RBI, and 1.098 OPS. The young first baseman will try to take the starting spot from Jose Abreu, Carlos Santana, Matt Olson, Trey Mancini, and Jared Walsh.
Those five first basemen have a strong case to be on the American League All-Star team. If Guerrero Jr. were to earn his first All-Star appearance, he would be the first Blue Jay position player to be in the mid-summer’s classic since Justin Smoak in 2017.
2. Ryan McMahon, 2B, Colorado Rockies - Unlike the American League where there have been multiple second basemen, who’ve been named to the All-Star team. In the National League, it’s completely different as none of the second baseman on the ballot have played in the All-Star Game.
With that being said, it would not come as surprise to see Rockies second baseman Ryan McMahon earn his first All-Star Game appearance. McMahon currently leads all second basemen in the National League with 13 HRs, despite having a .257 batting average and .804 OPS. Outside of shortstop Trevor Story, he’s been the second-best player this season for Colorado and has an equally strong chance to represent them.
3. Marcus Semien, 2B, Toronto Blue Jays - The 30-year-old second baseman is having a career year with the Blue Jays this season. Semien is hitting .294/.365/.531 with 13 HRs and 32 RBI in 255 plate appearances. The veteran infielder has played an instrumental part in Toronto’s success this season after spending the last six years with the Oakland Athletics. He will be looking to join Guerrero in the All-Star Game, which will be the first time multiple players for the Blue Jays have played in the game since 2017.
4. Rafael Devers, 3B, Boston Red Sox - Surprisingly, Devers has not made an All-Star team yet in his five-year career, despite hitting .324/.377/.546 with 16 HRs and 62 RBI in the first half of the 2019 season. The Red Sox third baseman should receive his first All-Star appearance this season as being one of the best at the position and one of the best players for Boston. The 24-year-old Devers is slugging .274/.342/.567 with 15 home runs and 48 RBI, his 15 HRs lead all American League third basemen this season.
5. Fernando Tatis Jr., SS, San Diego Padres - If there was an All-Star Game last season, Tatis no doubt would have been apart of it. The dynamic shortstop has taken the league by storm and is in contention to win NL MVP this season. Tatis is hitting .283 with 17 HRs and 39 RBI for the Padres. If he earns the appearances, he would be the first position player since Wil Myers in 2016 to represent San Diego in the All-Star Game.
6. Adolis Garcia, OF, Texas Rangers - Garcia has some tough competition in the outfield in the American League for the All-Star Game, but it’s hard to overlook what he’s done as a rookie this season for the Texas Rangers. The 28-year-old outfielder is hitting .277 with 16 HRs, 42 RBI, and an OPS of .863. Garcia also has the most HRs out of all the outfielders on the AL ballot.
7. Jesse Winker, OF, Cincinnati Reds - Winker has been one of the best stories this season in the majors as him and teammate Nick Castellanos have been on absolute fire. The 27-year-old is hitting for power and average, which has helped make the Reds one of the best offenses in MLB. Winker is slashing .350/.412/.665 with a career-high 17 HRs and 37 RBI.
Ronald Acuna Jr. will likely take one of the spots in the outfield based off his tremendous output thus far. But the other two outfield spots should go to Winker and his teammate in Castellanos.
8. Nick Castellanos, OF, Cincinnati Reds - Rounding out our list is Castellanos, who is also having a career year at the plate for Cincinnati. The 29-year-old outfielder is slugging .359/.415/.623 with 12 HRs and 31 RBI. While Winker is providing the power in Cincinnati’s lineup, Castellanos is getting on base, which plays a major part in why the Reds have one of the best offenses in the NL.