The All Star Game is supposed to be a representation of the best players in the MLB. However due to fan voting and the fact each team gets one representative, the goal of showcasing the best of the best usually doesn’t happen. What who made the all-star team was strictly based on who deserved it and nothing else? In this article, we’ll go over what the actual American League All Star Team should look.
Note: Teams are no guaranteed a representative in this article
Catcher: Wilson Ramos
Ramos is hitting .291/.340/.468 with 12 homeruns. These are excellent hitting stats for a catcher, as Ramos has the second highest batting average for a catcher behind JT Realmuto of the Marlins. Ramos’ -2 drs signals that he’s not a good defensive catcher by the metrics. However, he’s done a great job managing the Rays’ young pitching staff, and still has very solid WAR of 1.8.
Back Up: Yan Gomes
Gomes isn’t doing anything exceptional, but he’s been solid at everything. He’s currently hitting .252/.317/.459 with 10 home runs. His defense isn’t spectacular, but is still solid by the metrics as he has 1 drs this season. The class of AL catchers is very weak, and Gomes’ 1.4 WAR is one of the highest in this weak class, which is why he makes it here.
First Base: Mitch Moreland
When the Red Sox released Hanley Ramirez, they put their faith in Mitch Moreland to be the starting first basemen. That decision has paid off drastically, as the 32-year-old is having a career year. He’s hitting .288/.354/.553 with 11 home runs in 229 at bats. He’s been an average fielder by the metrics this season, but he has always had the reputation as one of the game’s better defensive first basemen. His 1.7 WAR is also one of the highest amongst first basemen.
Back Up: Matt Olson
Despite having a low average of just .236, Matt Olson should still make the all-star game as a reserve. His 2.3 WAR is the highest for AL first baseman, and his OPS is serviceable at .778. Olson’s been a solid power threat this year, but where he really has made a difference is defensively. He has 6 drs, which is above average. He also has been very durable, as he’s started at first base in all of Oakland’s 87 games this year. Being durable is a very underrated skill, but an important one as Olson’s teammates and manager Bob Melvin can count on him to be in the lineup every day.
Second Baseman: Jose Altuve
Altuve’s .332 average would be enough to get him into the all-star game by itself. Add on the fact that he has a .864 OPS and a 4.1 WAR, and you can see why Altuve is a top 5 MLB Player. He’s a solid fielder by the metrics with 1 drs and has shown his durability by participating in every one of the Astros’ 88 games this season. Jose Altuve is an all around superstar, and deserves to start in this year’s All Star Game.
Back Up: Gleyber Torres
A hip injury will likely prevent rookie phenom Gleyber Torres from actually playing in the All Star Game, but he should still make the AL Team. In just 218 at bats and 62 games, Torres is hitting .294/.350/.555 with 15 home runs. He currently has a 2.2 WAR and has 2 drs. Sure, it’s a small sample size. However, it can be argued that with a full season that Torres would be an MVP candidate, as its hard to imagine what his home run total and WAR would be if he started the season in the majors.
Third Base: Jose Ramirez
Jose Ramirez has officially reached superstar status. He’s backed up hs breakout 2017 season by putting even better numbers this year. So far, he’s hitting .294/.398/.600 with 24 home runs and 17 stolen bases. To be such a productive power hitter and be an effective base stealer is impressive. Add in the fact that he currently has 8 drs and has a 5.7 WAR, and you can see why Ramirez is on his way to being an MVP candidate. If not for this year’s starting All Star center fielder (you know who), he’d be the front-runner for AL MVP.
Back Up: Alex Bregman
Sparked by a hot June that won him AL Player of the Month, Bregman is hitting .279/.379/.512 with 16 home runs. His 3.8 WAR is also right up there with his teammate Jose Altuve, and his fielding is still above average despite what the metrics say. If not for Jose Ramirez, Bregman would be the clear starter at third base.
Shortstop: Francisco Lindor
Everything that was said for Jose Ramirez can be said Lindor as well. He’s hitting .297/.374/.573 with 23 home runs and 11 stolen bases. He’s also an elite fielder with 10 drs and is durable as he’s played in 84 of the Indians’ 85 games. His 5.3 WAR shows that he is one of the best players in baseball and he deserves to start in this year’s all-star game.
Back Up: Manny Machado
Forget what the defensive metrics say, Machado deserves to be in the All Star game. He’s hitting .308/.377/.560 with 21 home runs. His offense has actually produced a oWAR of 3.8, but unfortunately for him his dWAR is -1.5 and he currently has -20 drs. Forget what the metrics say and what his 1.8 WAR says, Machado is an elite player and a much better defender than what the metrics say just by the eye test. With the game on the line, I’d still want the ball hit to him, no matter what the stats say.
Left Field: Aaron Judge
Aaron Judge has already struck out 114 times. However, he’s also already walked 60 times and still is hitting .281/.399/.575. He’s also become an elite fielder in the outfield, as he has 10 drs. His 4.8 WAR is also elite, which shows how valuable he is to arguably the best team in baseball in the Yankees
Back Up: Eddie Rosario
The 26-year-old Rosario is on track to make his first All Star Game, as he’s having a breakout season. He’s hitting .308/.350/.555 with 18 home runs and a 3.9 WAR. He’s also an above average defender in left, with 6 drs.
Center Field: Mike Trout
This is the most obvious race of them all. With a 6.6 WAR, he’s the clear MVP front-runner. He’s hitting .310, leads the league with a .456 OBP, has hit 24 home runs and also has an outstanding .627 SLG. He also has 13 stolen bases, leads the league in walks, and is an elite fielder with 5 drs and the reputation as the league’s best defensive outfielder. Trout is running away as the clear MVP front runner, and we’re not even done with the first half.
Back Up: Aaron Hicks
Hicks has had a very underated season, as he’s been a big part of the Yankees’ success this season. He’s hitting .259/.354/515 with 15 home runs. The metrics have him as a solid defender with 1 drs, but he has the reputation of an elite defender in center. Hicks may not be standing out in any category, but he’s solid all around and it shows with his 2.6 WAR.
Right Field: Mookie Betts
If there is any sort of threat to Mike Trout winning MVP, its Mookie Betts. The 25-year-old is hitting .338/.432/.669 with 21 home runs. In fact, his slugging percentage and OPS (1.101) are the highest in baseball. To add-on to his hitting, Betts has also stolen 15 bases and has 6 drs. He’s a five tool player, and contributes to the Red Sox in every way possible. Hence, his 5.2 WAR despite him missing a couple of weeks due to injury.
Back Up: Mitch Haniger
A big reason that the Mariners are on pace to break their postseason drought is the emergence of Mitch Haniger. With Robinson Cano being suspended for PEDs, the team needed a leader, and Haniger came through. The 27-year-old is hitting .269/.351/.491 with 17 home runs. He also has 6 drs in total and 10 drs in right field, so he’s an all around player. His 3.3 WAR is amongst the best for AL outfielders.
Designated Hitter: JD Martinez
Despite being a DH for the most part, Martinez is in the running for the AL MVP. That’s because he’s hitting .327/.392/.642 with 26 home runs. His defense has actually not been horrible when asked to play outfield, as he has 3 drs. Martinez has simply been a machine since signing with Boston, and his 26 homeruns and 71 RBI lead the MLB. He deserves to start in the all-star game as much as anyone in the AL.
Back Up: Nelson Cruz
Throughout his long career, Nelson Cruz has been as consistent as it gets. Thais why he’s been a five time all-star and a two-time silver slugger. He isn’t slowing down at age 38, as he’s hitting .276/.365/.567 with 22 home runs. At this point in his career, he’s a DH only. However, that’s all he has to be as he’s still an elite hitter.
Starting Pitcher: Luis Severino
In a league with Chris Sale and Corey Kluber, it can be hard to stand out. Thats exactly what Luis Severino, as he’s been better than both of them this year. The 24-year-old right-hander has an ERA of 1.98, a WHIP of 0.95, and a FIP of 2.24. His WAR (4.8), H/9 (6.5), HR/9 (0.5), K/9 (10.5), and BB/9 (2.2) are amongst the league’s best as well.
Other Starting Pitchers
2.41 ERA 0.88 WHIP 2.38 FIP 5.7 H/9 0.8 HR/9 2.3 BB/9 12.7 K/9 4.8 WAR (Best K/9 in MLB)
2.24 ERA 1.01 WHIP 3.44 FIP 5.7 H/9 1 HR/9 3.4 BB/9 10.2 K/9 3.8 WAR (Best H/9 in MLB)
2.64 ERA 0.87 WHIP 3.30 FIP 6.9 H/9 1.3 HR/9 1 BB/9 9.1 K/9 4.0 WAR (Best BB/9 in MLB)
2.15 ERA 0.84 WHIP 2.61 FIP 5.9 H/9 0.9 HR/9 1.7 BB/9 11.0 K/9 3.6 WAR (Best WHIP in MLB)
2.70 ERA 0.97 WHIP 3.06 FIP 5.8 H/9 1.1 HR/9 2.9 BB/9 12.2 K/9 2.4 WAR
2.63 ERA 1.22 WHIP 3.04 FIP 8.3 H/9 0.8 HR/9 2.6 BB/9 9.8 K/9 2.3 WAR
2.55 ERA 1.11 WHIP 3.40 FIP 6.4 H/9 1 HR/9 3.6 BB/9 11.7 K/9 2.1 WAR
2.45 ERA 1.09 WHIP 2.16 FIP 7 H/9 0.4 HR/9 2.7 BB/9 11.6 K/9 3.6 WAR (Best FIP and HR/9 in MLB)
0.84 ERA 0.94 WHIP 1.82 FIP 5.9 H/9 0.2 HR/9 2.5 BB/9 11.0 K/9 2.1 WAR
2.35 ERA 0.83 WHIP 1.52 FIP 4.9 H/9 0.4 HR/9 2.5 BB/9 14.7 K/9 1.6 WAR
1.43 ERA 0.85 WHIP 1.43 FIP 4.1 H/9 0.2 HR/9 3.6 BB/9 15.5 K/9 1.8 WAR