As you may have seen in our American League selections, we are having a go at selecting our own All-Star line-ups. The usual rules are out of the window, it’s strictly picking on position, ignoring the fan vote and with no obligation to have one player per team.
So, here goes. Feel free to get in touch on Twitter @FranchiseSprts with any disagreements…
|Posey, Realmuto||Posey, Cervelli||Realmuto||Contreras, Posey|
Willson Contreras and Buster Posey are going head-to-head for the catcher spot. Posey is hitting for average as usual, as is Contreras. Francisco Cervelli and J.T. Realmuto play in smaller markets, so got much less love from the public vote, despite having great seasons themselves.
Cervelli is an excellent defender, which contributes to Joe’s vote. Realmuto is hitting for considerable power with an OPS over .900. Each player has a great case for spot.
|Freeman, Belt||Belt, Freeman||Freeman||Freeman, Rizzo|
Freddie Freeman is finally getting the admiration he deserves thanks to the Braves’ breakout year. The depth at first base in the National League has seen Freeman make just two All-Star teams, but he’s nailed on to start this year.
The competition around him is still fierce. Brandon Belt was on fire earlier in the year, Anthony Rizzo‘s numbers have taken off after a freezing cold start and the immense Joey Votto is doing his thing again. It’s a case of pick your favourite to backup Freeman.
|Hernandez, Gennett||Albies, Gennett||Gennett||Baez, Gennett|
Ozzie Albies looked nailed on for an All-Star berth after his flying start to the year, but the fresh-faced Brave has dropped off. Cesar Hernandez, Scooter Gennett and Javier Baez all join the youngster here.
Baez is a highlight reel player with flashy plays and swim moves galore. Gennett is having a monster year, hitting for average and power. Hernandez is balanced, combining a high walk rate with speed and a bit of pop. As our picks suggest, there’s no clear favourite(s) at second.
|Crawford, Turner||Crawford, Turner||Crawford||Crawford, Turner|
With Cory Seager out for the year, this is a pretty clear cut thing. Brandon Crawford is a perennial gold glover hitting over .300, Trea Turner is one of the fastest men in the sport who is hitting homers and getting on base.
Dansby Swanson briefly looked like he could compete for a vote or two here, but the once highly regarded prospect has collapsed to a sub-.300 on-base percentage.
|Arenado, Muncy||Arenado, Suarez||Arenado||Arenado, Bryant|
Nolan Arenado is a lock for the All-Star team once again. His fourth All-Star selection is well deserved given his dominance and exceptional glove work.
The other spot is trickier. Max Muncy deserves a place on this team somewhere, but his utility role makes it hard to find a specific spot in this format. Kris Bryant is having a good year, though not a stunning one, and Eugenio Suarez – like his teammate Gennett – is having a huge campaign.
|Kemp, Markakis, Yelich, Cain, Nimmo, Schwarber||Kemp, Markakis, Cain, Nimmo, Harper, Peralta||Kemp, Herrera, Harper||Blackmon, Markakis, Harper, Acuna jr., Yelich, McCutchen|
Matt Kemp, who is having a season like literally no one predicted, and fellow veteran Nick Markakis get a lot of love here. Markakis is yet to make an All-Star team, but a .389 on-base percentage will end that streak.
There’s a real depth of outfield options in the National League. Although it lacks the superstars of the American League, there’s a lengthy list of players who could easily get selected from breakout Brandon Nimmo through to seasoned stars like Lorenzo Cain and Charlie Blackmon.
Bryce Harper‘s name will warrant a spot on the roster, even if .215 batting average might suggest otherwise. Christian Yelich has carried on in Milwaukee where he left off in Miami and is a definite contender, too.