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Looking Ahead to the MLB All Star Game: How Will the American League Shape Up?

Updated: Jun 20

With baseball season in full swing, it’s time to start thinking about the midsummer classic. Every year, the best players in the National League and American League square off to see who has the best and brightest talent. Currently, players are lined up on a fan ballot to see who should get into the game. While a fan vote is not always the most accurate way of telling who is the best and most deserving, the league does its best to accommodate these players in the second round, where the commissioner decides who should get in. As of today, here are the 32 players I believe should represent the American League in the All-Star Game. 

1st Base: Ryan Mountcastle (Reserve: Vladimir Guerrero Jr.) 

At first, Ryan Mountcastle is the perfect representative. While Mountcastle is one of the oldest of the young Baltimore Orioles core at 27-years-old, he has been one of the most impressive this season. Mountcastle leads all American League first basemen in WAR, slugging percentage, and OPS, and he’s second in doubles and home runs.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has also been impressive this season for a lackluster Toronto Blue Jays team, leading all AL first basemen in batting average with a .281 average. While Guerrero Jr’s numbers are great, the flashiness of Mountcastle’s plays earns him the starting nod.

Courtesy of Jess Rapfogel / Getty Images

2nd Base: Jose Altuve (Reserve: Marcus Semien) 

As a perennial all-star, Jose Altuve is almost a shoo-in for the starting spot. Even in a year that is seemingly wasted for the Houston Astros, their lead-off hitter has been going on as normal, leading all AL second basemen in OPS, slugging, OBP, and batting average. While Marcus Semien has shined for the other Texas team by leading AL second basemen in home runs, I don’t see him overtaking Altuve for the starting spot.

3rd Base: Rafael Devers (Reserve: Isaac Paredes) 

For the Boston Red Sox, Rafael Devers is the only remaining piece from their 2018 World Series team, and he is still producing at an elite level. Although Devers has played fewer games than other AL third basemen, he is still the leader in slugging and OPS and is second in home runs and OBP. Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Isaac Paredes is also having a great season, so this position could be a toss-up when the fan voting is complete. 

Courtesy of Barry Chin / The Boston Globe

Shortstop: Bobby Witt Jr. (Reserves: Gunnar Henderson and Anthony Volpe) 

The competition between Bobby Witt Jr. and Gunnar Henderson has to be one of the best between shortstops in recent history. With young stars on the rise, this position battle is shaping up to be competitive every year. Witt Jr. is having the best start of his young career, yet his season is underrated.

While most people have been talking about the season that Henderson is having, Witt Jr. is quietly leading AL shortstops in most categories. While this race could certainly end with either taking the starting spot, Witt’s .326 batting average and 19 doubles should propel him to the starting lineup.

Outfield: Aaron Judge, Juan Soto, and Kyle Tucker (Reserves: Julio Rodriguez, Taylor Ward, Steven Kwan, and Matt Vierling) 

The outfield is one of the most predictable starting spots for the AL. Even though Aaron Judge had a slow start, he has managed to climb to the top of the MLB leaderboard in home runs, RBIs, and OPS while being eighth in batting average with a .306 average. Judge’s success somehow overshadows teammate Juan Soto, who is second in the league in OPS right behind Judge and leads all AL outfielders with a .317 batting average.

While Kyle Tucker had a great start to the season, he has cooled down the last month, but he’s still within the top five in MLB in home runs and OPS. With the all-star outfield occupied by three of the best players in baseball, the four reserves don’t exactly have the best chance to make the starting lineup, although they are each having great seasons. 

Courtesy of Noah K. Murphy / AP Photo

Catcher: Adley Rutschman (Reserve: Salvador Perez)

Like the outfield, the catcher is one of the easiest positions to predict for the All-Star game. Since his debut in 2022, Adley Rutschman has been one of the best catchers in all of baseball, and this year has been no different. The Baltimore Orioles catcher leads the AL in home runs, RBIs, and WAR. Although Salvador Perez is also having an amazing season, it seems unlikely that he will beat Rutschman in the fan-voting process.

Designated Hitter: David Fry (Reserve: Yordan Alvarez)

David Fry is having one of the most underrated seasons for the Cleveland Guardians, and many fans might not even recognize his name. While Fry is not a qualified hitter (he would need at least 3.1 plate appearances per game), his stats are much better than the other designated hitters. While Alvarez is the better-known player out of the two, Fry’s high batting average and OPS as well as the way he has seemingly grown this season will likely earn him the starting spot in the lineup. 

Courtesy of Jason Miller / Getty Images

Starting Pitchers: Luis Gil, Tanner Houck, Tarik Skubal, Joe Ryan, Garrett Crochet, Corbin Burnes, Seth Lugo, and Marcus Stroman

Selecting pitchers for the All-Star Game is always one of the hardest tasks. Making sure that every team is represented on the roster while also choosing some of the best pitchers is a hard decision. These pitchers have been some of the strongest starters in the league this season, and their pitches would be hard to hit for even the best hitter in the National League.

When selecting the AL starting pitcher, Tarik Skubal is the strongest candidate so far. Even after struggling through his last few seasons, Skubal has risen to the occasion for the Detroit Tigers, leading the AL with a 1.92 ERA as well as having the third most strikeouts with 96. 

Relievers: Emmanuel Clase, Clay Holmes, Mason Miller, and Craig Kimbrel

Relievers in the AL are very competitive this year, and these four closers are the best of the bunch. Emmanuel Clase, Clay Holmes, and Craig Kimbrel represent three of the best teams in the league, while Mason Miller has completely blown away any expectations set for him in the preseason. If the National League has to face any of these flamethrowers, it will be a hard task for them to complete.

Courtesy of Jayne Kamin-Oncea / USA Today Sports

Edited By: Emma Habel

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