At this point in time, baseball is the only sport going in the United States until the NHL, NFL and NBA kick off later in the year, and we are quickly approaching baseball’s All Star Game, to be held in Washington D.C, and fan voting is beginning to heat up now. It has been an incredible season thus far, with so many incredible players having great years and providing for some great entertainment, but at this time of year, we look to the All-Star game to truly see the best of the best.
Baseball is an interesting sport in this way, as the fans make up the vote for the All Star starters, so the lineups may not always reflect the deserving players to start the game, as it may be seen as more of a popularity contest, but that’s where we come in. The following article may not outline who the starters will indeed be, but it outlines who is deserving of the spots, however relevant it may be in the career of these incredible Big League players.
Plenty could change between the time of writing and the wrapping up of the All Star Game voting in a number of weeks, but as of now, this is who we believe should make up the starters for the 2018 edition of the Major League Baseball All Star Game.
19 AL: SP – Corey Kluber
These days, baseball has so many incredibly hard-throwing aces, but Corey Kluber combines that with incredible movement and several elite level pitches, and despite the fact that the likes of Justin Verlander are having great years, Kluber is just ahead of the pack for this spot. The case can be made for Verlander to start, and when it comes to availability for the game, he might just end up being the one that does it, but Kluber is a shoe-in for his second straight Cy Young, and an All Star start will just solidify the fact that he’s one of the games elite pitchers.
18 AL: C – Gary Sanchez
Many people will disagree with this selection (and let’s be honest, most of that is just people hating the Yankees).
While you can make a case that a guy hitting sub-.200 shouldn’t be an All Star, Sanchez has a cannon for an arm and incredible power, and with little competition, this is his spot to lose at the moment.
This young Yankees team has incredible potential with their young stars like Gleyber Torres, Aaron Judge and others, but if Gary Sanchez can become the player we all expect, this team could take home several World Series, and he could be an MVP candidate in the future.
17 AL: 1B – Mitch Moreland
First Base in the American League was once one of the more star studded positions in baseball, but these days, that’s a battle between short stops and the outfield.
Despite the lack of competition, Boston’s Mitch Moreland has well and truly made this starting All Star spot his own.
Sure, as of late, Moreland has been cooling down quite a lot, but hitting behind the likes of Boagaerts and Betts definitely helps disguise that, and while we can see Jose Abreu getting the spot ahead of him, it would feel undeserved, as Mitch is the man for the job.
16 AL: 2B – Jose Altuve
After winning the MVP award en route to leading the Houston Astros to a World Series victory, Jose Altuve has somehow taken his game to yet another level in 2018.
Despite the decent competition at second, there’s just no other choice to make but the diminutive dynamo.
Houston are just as good in 2018 as they were a year ago, and they’ll be tough to stop as they try to defend their first World Series victory in franchise history, and if Altuve can continue his form, he’ll continue racking up the accolades as he continues into what is becoming quite a special career.
15 AL: 3B – Jose Ramirez
The Cleveland Indians have uncovered some big time stars in recent years, most notable of which is Francisco Lindor, and it’s allowed Jose Ramirez to fly under the radar, but he’s now solidifying himself as one of the best Third Basemen in all of baseball.
After Manny Machado moved back to Short Stop, the starting spot in the All Star game is his for the taking.
He may not be as flashy as some other players at the hot corner, but he combines a great glove with some very underrated power, and if anyone else gets this spot in the All Star Game, it will be a travesty.
14 AL: SS – Manny Machado
Manny Machado has been the best Third Baseman in baseball for a number of years now, but the Orioles helped him return to his natural position of Short Stop, and while he could possibly be out of Baltimore and the American League as a whole by the time the All Star Game rolls around, he deserves this spot.
This is the most stacked position in baseball, with Francisco Lindor, Didi Gregorious and Carlos Correa all battling for the position, but Machado has been doing it best all year long, and he is the biggest star, making him the safest choice for this spot (but let’s be honest, any of those 4 names could be picked and it would be acceptable).
13 AL: OF – Mookie Betts
Mookie Betts has been looking to break out as a superstar in the MLB for quite some time now, and he put it all together a season ago, but the 2018 season has seen him step it up another level to the point where he can be considered one of the best players in the game, and he deserves this spot, no question.
Betts has cooled off a considerable amount from the beginning of the year, but he’s still one of the better all-around players we can see in the game today.
If he continues at this rate, this will be one of many accolades he receives in the very near future.
12 AL: OF – Mike Trout
Without a doubt, Mike Trout is the best player in baseball, and if he keeps up his current rate of play, he could be considered a top-5 all-time player, and this season is no different, and like it will be for the next decade, the Angels Centre Fielder will be patrolling the outfield for the AL All Star Team.
Baseball prospects and players are often labeled ‘5-tool players’, and Trout is the very personification of that, as he can do absolutely anything on the diamond, and despite being so young, he’s solidified his position as the best in the game, and that will continue with yet another start at CF.
11 AL: OF – Aaron Judge
Aaron Judge came out of nowhere a year ago to easily solidify the Rookie of the Year award (and the only person who challenged Jose Altuve for MVP).
While he may not be having such a good year in 2018, you can’t deny that he’s an All Star, and he deserves his first All Star start in his career.
Much like Sanchez, fans could deny the legitimacy of Judge’s claim to All Star status due to a simple hatred for the Yankees, but you can’t deny that he’s must-see, and he’s deserving of this start.
10 AL: DH – JD Martinez
Heading into the season, Boston vs. New York was again expected to be one of the hottest and best contested rivalries yet again, and that is personified in the battle between JD Martinez and Giancarlo Stanton, and with his incredible start to the season, Martinez is both outdoing Stanton, and living up to that mammoth contract he was given to start the year.
The Red Sox may have a mighty challenge ahead of them if they want to win their first World Series title since 2013, but with Martinez, they should be very confident, as he should be one of three starters for the team in the All Star Game.
9 NL: SP – Max Scherzer
Over the past few years, no one in baseball has been as good and consistent as Max Scherzer, but somehow, the Nationals ace has found a way to step up his game this year, and if he is available to pitch in the game, there is no one who even comes close to deserving this spot as much.
With Clayton Kershaw on the DL at different points throughout this season, it looks like Max is running unopposed to his 4thCy Young Award.
Although the Washington Nationals may not win the World Series, it will be yet another fantastic year in the incredible career of Scherzer, capped off with a start in the All Star Game.
8 NL: C – Buster Posey
Both catcher positions feature little competition to the top two names, and while you can argue that Wilson Contreras deserves this spot, he’s just not the all around, consistent player that Posey is, and as the best catcher in the game, this is still Posey’s spot, for now.
Playing in San Francisco doesn’t help the look of Posey’s numbers, but he still calls the game better than anyone else in baseball, and it’s safe to say that he’ll hold this spot for as long as he wants, as Posey has been a star since his debut, and will go down as one of the best catchers of all time.
7 NL: 1B – Freddie Freeman
The Atlanta Braves have been the surprise of the 2018 season, as many people thought it would be 2019 or 2020 before we’d see them competing, but with young guns Ozzie Albies, Dansby Swanson and Ronald Acuna, they’re on fire, but like expected, it’s veteran Freddie Freeman who is leading the way.
Freeman has been consistent all the way throughout the season, and combining his great D with hitting for both power and average, he’s been the standout First Baseman in baseball, and he will get starting honors in the All-Star game and help the Braves back to the playoffs.
6 NL: 2B – Scooter Gennett
Ozzie Albies is having an incredible year for the surprising Atlanta Braves, and many people will vote for him to start at second in the All Star Game, but as an individual player, no one has been better than the Reds Scooter Gennett, despite the fact that his team is unfortunately going nowhere.
It seemed that he was destined to be nothing but a decent role player, until one night Gennett hit 4 Home Runs in a single game, and since that point, he’s become a genuine power threat for Cincinnati, and could be considered one of the best second baseman in the game.
5 NL: 3B – Nolan Arenado
Third Base is one of the most stacked positions in baseball, but in the National League, it is only Kris Bryant that really gives Arenado competition for this spot, and you may say that playing in Colorado helps his numbers, but Nolan has been the best all-around player at the spot for years now.
Combining a gold glove and an incredible power bat, the Rockies corner man has led the team back to the playoffs, and although it will be tough to return to that spot, Arenado continues to put up incredible personal numbers, which are matched by few in the entire Major Leagues.
4 NL: SS – Brandon Crawford
Outside of Buster Posey, the San Francisco Giants often don’t get much attention, and while Brandon Crawford isn’t the biggest name at Short Stop, he is certainly the best player in the position in the National League, and with Corey Seager injured, there’s just no competition for this starting spot.
Crawford has been batting ridiculously well since the beginning of May, and despite playing in a pitchers park in San Francisco, he has put up some very respectable numbers.
Combining that with impeccable Defense, this should be the most obvious selection in the entire All-Star Game voting system.
3 NL: OF – Odubel Herrera
Coming into the season, no one could have predicted that a likely NL All Star outfield would look like this, but Odubel Herrera has been on fire since the beginning of the season, and he’s leading the Phillies into the playoffs at this point, and that alone is worthy of an All-Star starting spot.
As of late, he’s been on fire, hitting 5 Homeruns in a single week at the end of June, and his ability to stay hot all season long has made him incredibly entertaining to watch, and the fans may vote for a bigger name in this spot, but there isn’t anyone more deserving of a starting spot than Herrera.
2 NL: OF – Matt Kemp
If this was 2011, you’d expect to see Matt Kemp’s name up here, but in 2018, the thought of Matt Kemp being the most devastating outfielder in the National League was unimaginable at the start of the year, but that’s exactly what’s happened, as he is leading the Dodgers to another great season, and he is certainly worthy of a spot on this lineup.
No, we can’t get his MVP back from Ryan Braun, and he likely isn’t going to win the award this season, but Kemp has turned back the clock on his power and average, and he could be the force that takes the Dodgers back to the World Series again in 2018.
1 NL: OF – Bryce Harper
This is probably the most controversial pick in the National League team given how underwhelming Harper’s average has been this season, but the All Star game is about stars, and when Bryce Harper is at the plate, everyone wants to watch, and for that fact alone (plus his power numbers), Harper gets this spot.
By this time next year, we may be seeing Harper in the Yankee pin-stripes, or even with a different team, so expect his numbers to pick up as the Nationals go for one last shot at the World Series.
For now, we think Bryce has done enough to get the nod for the third and final outfield position in the All Star game.