The 90th Major League Baseball All-Star Game is right around the corner. If you haven’t already, make sure you’ve cleared your schedule for Tuesday, July 9, to watch this game, which has no bearing on the standings or postseason whatsoever.
Because I like making lists, I have put myself in the shoes of Alex Cora and Dave Roberts and compiled my 34-man rosters for each league. Going through this process has shown me that it can be extremely difficult to find a spot for a member of every team—the Blue Jays, Giants, Mariners, Marlins, Orioles and Pirates gave me issues. Perhaps there should either be an expansion of the rosters or an elimination of the rule that every team must be represented.
Just to keep things organized, I looked at squads from the previous few seasons and did my best to replicate how rosters were calibrated. I have three catchers for each team, eight starting pitchers (Yonny Chirinos for the Rays is a bit of an outlier as he’s been used as an opener, reliever and full-fledged starter at times), four relief pitchers and at least six outfield spots. Beyond that, I made sure there were at least two of each infield position.
The American League
SP: Chris Sale, Boston Red Sox
C: Robinson Chirinos, Houston Astros
1B: Carlos Santana, Cleveland Indians
2B: DJ LeMahieu, New York Yankees
SS: Jorge Polanco, Minnesota Twins
3B: Alex Bregman, Houston Astros
OF: Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox
OF: Byron Buxton, Minnesota Twins
OF: Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels
DH: J.D. Martinez, Boston Red Sox
C: Roberto Pérez, Cleveland Indians
C: Christian Vázquez, Boston Red Sox
1B: Hunter Dozier, Kansas City Royals
1B: Daniel Vogelbach, Seattle Mariners
2B: Gleyber Torres, New York Yankees
3B: Matt Chapman, Oakland Athletics
3B: Rafael Devers, Boston Red Sox
SS: Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox
SS: Marcus Semien, Oakland Athletics
SS: Freddy Galvis, Toronto Blue Jays
OF: Joey Gallo, Texas Rangers
OF: Max Kepler, Minnesota Twins
OF: George Springer, Houston Astros
Matt Barnes, Boston Red Sox
Cam Bedrosian, Los Angeles Angels
Matthew Boyd, Detroit Tigers
Yonny Chirinos, Tampa Bay Rays
Gerrit Cole, Houston Astros
Lucas Giolito, Chicago White Sox
John Means, Baltimore Orioles
Mike Minor, Texas Rangers
Charlie Morton, Tampa Bay Rays
Justin Verlander, Houston Astros
Brandon Workman, Boston Red Sox
Look at that. LeMahieu has left Coors Field and he’s still a starter on the All-Star team.
Sale over Verlander for starting pitcher might turn some heads here. Sale’s win-loss record may not look as pretty as Verlander’s, but Sale has an even better strikeout rate and Verlander has struggled with the home run ball (1.67 HR/9), which is a bit concerning, even in what may be the juiced ball era.
The National League
SP: Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals
C: Yasmani Grandal, Milwaukee Brewers
1B: Anthony Rizzo, Chicago Cubs
2B: Ketel Marte, Arizona Diamondbacks
SS: Trevor Story, Colorado Rockies
3B: Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies
OF: Ronald Acuña Jr., Atlanta Braves
OF: Cody Bellinger, Los Angeles Dodgers
OF: Christian Yelich, Milwaukee Brewers
DH: Anthony Rendon, Washington Nationals
C: Austin Hedges, San Diego Padres
C: J.T. Realmuto, Philadelphia Phillies
1B: Max Muncy, Los Angeles Dodgers
2B: Kolten Wong, St Louis Cardinals
SS: Javier Báez, Chicago Cubs
SS: Paul DeJong, St Louis Cardinals
SS: Dansby Swanson, Atlanta Braves
3B: Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs
3B: Evan Longoria, San Francisco Giants
3B: Justin Turner, Los Angeles Dodgers
OF: Michael Conforto, New York Mets
OF: Marcell Ozuna, St Louis Cardinals
OF: Hunter Renfroe, San Diego Padres
Luis Castillo, Cincinnati Reds
Jacob deGrom, New York Mets
John Gant, St Louis Cardinals
Josh Hader, Milwaukee Brewers
Luke Jackson, Atlanta Braves
Pablo López, Miami Marlins
Jordan Lyles, Pittsburgh Pirates
German Márquez, Colorado Rockies
Hyun-Jin Ryu, Los Angeles Dodgers
Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals
Kirby Yates, San Diego Padres
Báez has absolutely been running away with the voting for starting shortstop, but here’s the thing—Story should start because he’s having a better year. Story leads Báez in all three versions of WAR, and has come up with better marks in batting, fielding and baserunning. And yet, Story ranks fourth in the voting for shortstop in the NL, after Báez, Swanson and Corey Seager.
There is a new caveat to All-Star voting this year. Primary voting will end at 10 AM MT on Friday, June 21. The top three vote-getters at each position will advance to a special starter’s election for 28 hours beginning at 10:00 a.m. MT on Wednesday, June 26. Right now, Story would not be in that election (though he has pulled within 50,000 votes of Seager). If there’s anything you take away from this post, I hope it’s that I implore you to get out and vote for Trevor Story.
As for other Rockies, Arenado’s inclusion probably goes without saying. He’s rightly running away with the third base voting at this time.
I have included German Márquez as a member of the NL pitching staff. Despite recent struggles that have inflated his ERA, Márquez is still sporting a pristine 2.49 DRA (nearly 50 percent better than league average). He deserves to be there.
Some potential snubs you may be wondering about are Charlie Blackmon, David Dahl, Scott Oberg and Tony Wolters.
I just barely gave the third outfield spot to Renfroe over Blackmon. Heck, if Blackmon has another week similar to the one he just had, I’ll have Blackmon take over. Dahl has been very good as well, but there are just too many good players in the game. The same can be said for Oberg. There’s a lot of good relievers out there.
I’m sure you’re looking for an explanation about the inclusion of Hedges, even though Tony 3 Bags™ is hitting over 100 points higher than him. I simply have to say that Hedges is in another category among defensive catchers in the game and for the third backstop on the team, that gets my vote. Also—Hedges’ walk-up song is “Careless Whisper.” How can you not vote for that?
Don’t get caught up in your anger over that though. Channel your ire into voting for Trevor Story.
Finally, there’s no voting for a designated hitter in the NL, but there’s always a starting DH anyway, so I’m not sure why fans can’t vote for them. I gave that spot to Rendon as the best player I didn’t have starting.
Feel free to drop your thoughts on which Rockies should be in the All-Star Game in the comments. Or drop your entire roster if you feel like committing to that undertaking.
You can cast your All-Star votes for Trevor Story here.