2021 MLB All Star Game is fast approaching! With the All Star rankings coming out this past weekend, I thought it would be a good idea to give everyone the definitive guide to the best All Star ballot, so you can all send the truly deserving to the game. Most of these picks should be obvious, but some may surprise you!
1st Base: Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
This is one of the easier picks of the bunch. Vladdy Jr. is slugging, with an OPS over 1.000. He’s got 22 homers to his name, and is overall the best hitter at 1st so far this season. It would be weird if one of the top MVP candidates this year wasn’t on the ballot.
2nd Base: Marcus Semien
There’s not too many successful hitters at 2nd so far in the AL, so it’s pretty much between Semien and Altuve right now. Semien gets the edge because he’s got 3 more home runs and 7 more RBIs, good for an .875 OPS. Not much else to say here.
3rd Base: Rafael Devers
Raffy’s 2nd among 3rd baseman in OPS (.892), but has 1 more HR and 12 more RBI, so I’m giving him the edge over Jose Ramirez (.897 OPS). They’re pretty neck and neck in every area outside of RBI. Give the kid his first All-Star nod.
Short Stop – Xander Bogaerts
Bogaerts is leading all shortstops in AVG and OPS, Doubles and RBI (tied in both) and is 2nd in HR. The knock on him has always been on his defense, but it’s been closer to average this year than in years past (both according to his Rtot and Rdrs values). There’s a couple of other SS that are also having good years, but Bogaerts is a step above.
Catcher – Salvador Perez
Every other catcher this year seems to not know how to hit. I love Yasmani Grandal’s three true outcomes approach (he has a .151 AVG and .395 OBP, thanks to his league leading 52 walks), but Perez has been a much better hitter overall, and the defense difference doesn’t balance that out to me.
Outfield – Aaron Judge, Cedric Mullins, Mike Trout
Trout is a no-brainer. Cedric Mullins is having a career year and 100% deserves a spot for his play this year. Judge likewise is playing great and has played in 61 out of 65 games, meaning he’s staying healthy so far. I would love to give a nod to Byron Buxton, but he’s only played in 24 games so far.
DH – Shohei Ohtani
I would love to vote for J.D. Martinez here, but Ohtani is having a ridiculous year on both sides of the field and should probably get recognition for that. If there were a way for both of them to make the team, that would be the ideal, but as it is Ohtani gets the nod.
1st Base: Max Muncy
Muncy is clearly the best 1st baseman in the NL this year. His OPS is 100 points higher than the next best, he’s 2nd in HR and one of the tops in AVG among regular 1st basemen. The perennial all stars are always in the running (Freddie Freeman, Anthony Rizzo), but Muncy is better than both of them this year.
2nd Base: Jean Segura
There a lot of deserving candidates in the NL at 2nd, but I’m going with the underrated pick here. Jean Segura has a .335 average and .856 OPS, 1st and 2nd in the league for 2nd basemen. He’s not a power hitter by any means, which is why I think he’s being overlooked, but his stats as well as being one of the better defenders at 2nd is enough for me to pick him over Ozzie Albies and Adam Frazier.
3rd Base: Kris Bryant
Bryant is listed as a 3rd baseman, but he’s played all over the field this year. And he’s played well wherever he is defensively. .915 OPS with 13 homers? Very deserving. Shout-out to Evan Longoria and Austin Riley, though.
Shortstop: Fernando Tatis Jr.
Another one of the most obvious picks. Tatis is one of the best players overall, not just at short.
Catcher: Buster Posey
Posey (as well as Longoria) has found the fountain of youth this year. His hitting .329 with a .971 OPS, tops among all catchers. He’s a shoo-in.
Outfield: Robert Acuña Jr., Nick Castellanos, Jesse Winker
Winker and Castellanos both have an OPS over 1.000, which is elite. It’s a wonder why the Reds aren’t winning more games. Acuña is just under 1.000 at .987. While Tyler O’Neil is comparable offensively, Acuña has 3 more homers which gives him the edge for me. Starling Marte gets an alternate nod with a .990 OPS despite only 5 HR, but he’s only played about half of his team’s games so far.
Some of these picks are easy, some are not so much, but I hope these selections help you in filling out your own All-Star brackets. Remember, let’s try to only send the deserving candidates to Denver.
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