Welcome to our 5th Annual Red Sox All-Star Prospectus. Voting for the Mid-Summer Classic ends on Thursday and this year for the first time the voting was completely done online. The purpose of this post is to project the American League All-Stars as well as looking at the potential for our beloved Sox to make the squad.
34 players will represent each league on July 11th in Miami for the 88th All-Star game. A reminder of the rules, each team must have a representative, the fans elect the starters and final player, player voting and manager Terry Francona will select the rest of the roster consisting of 21 position players and 13 pitchers.
C Salvador Perez, Kansas City
Perez is solidly in-line to start his 4th consecutive All-Star game. No complaints here as the Kansas City backstop is the best all-around catcher in the AL. As for the Sox duo of Sandy Leon and Christian Vazquez, while they have each put up solid seasons should not plan to travel to Miami for all-star purposes. Although an argument could be made if Leon and Vazquez were putting up their combined numbers as a single player.
1B Eric Hosmer, Kansas City
Hosmer looks to be set-up to start for the 2nd straight year, although Justin Smoak of the Blue Jays is breathing down his neck and Blue Jay fans have been known to vote early and often. While Hosmer is a fine player, this is probably a spot that will cost a more deserving candidate a roster spot as given his numbers Hosmer would most likely not make the roster otherwise. Our own Mitch Moreland for example could be bumped for Hosmer.
2B Jose Altuve, Houston
Altuve is on his way to a 3rd start in a row as the second-highest vote getter in the AL currently. This is for good reason, as Altuve despite his small stature is the best 2nd baseman in the AL if not all of baseball. Boston’s Dustin Pedroia is having a good season but not an all-star type of season.
3B Jose Ramirez, Cleveland
While Miguel Sano of the Twins currently leads the vote, Ramirez has been making a hard charge and we’ll project that the Indians 3rd baseman will overtake his counterpart from Minnesota. Either player would be a solid choice to start at the hot corner despite different games, Sano with mammoth power and Ramirez a do it all type of player. The Red Sox 3rd Base issues have been well-documented and therefore none of them are all-star worthy.
SS Carlos Correa, Houston
Correa appears to be well on his way to his 1st All-Star game with a sizeable lead of Francisco Lindor of the Indians. Correa is a great choice as one of the many young shortstops in baseball. The Astros SS is also putting up probably the best numbers at his position in the AL. Xander Bogaerts of the Red Sox is in contention to make the team however, he is not alone.
LF Mike Trout, Los Angeles
CF George Springer, Houston
RF Aaron Judge, New York
The Yankees Aaron Judge is currently the leading vote getter as he has put together a tremendous season. Trout is on his way to his 5th straight All-Star game start despite being on the DL since the end of May. Trout’s recovery from thumb surgery might lead to a replacement making the roster although Trout is reportedly hopeful of playing on July 11th. Springer, like many other Astros is having a great season. The Red Sox B Boys outfield on Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley, and Mookie Betts all have put together solid seasons however it is unlikely that any of them will be selected although Betts has the best chance.
DH Corey Dickerson, Tampa Bay
Like our 3rd Base selection, Dickerson is not currently the top vote getter at his position as Nelson Cruz of the Mariners leads. However, Dickerson like Jose Ramirez has gotten late support for a great 1st half and looks to have enough momentum to overtake Cruz. Hanley Ramirez of the Sox has put up decent numbers but not enough to warrant all-star consideration.
C Gary Sanchez, New York
Alex Avila, Detroit and Brian McCann, Houston
After Perez, Sanchez is the next best catcher in the AL. McCann is another option although the Astros having 3 starters hurt his chances while Avila as a part-time player for the Tigers has had a career resurgence in the 1st half and might be in-line to get selected as Detroit’s only selection.
1B Justin Smoak, Toronto and Jose Abreu, Chicago
Yonder Alonso, Oakland, Mitch Moreland, Boston, and Logan Morrison, Tampa Bay
Smoak might overtake Hosmer as the starter, if not he should still make his 1st all-star team. Abreu meanwhile will make his 2nd all-star team and first since 2014. Alonso has been outstanding for Oakland, which is most likely going to get a lone all-star and our choice will come later. Moreland and Morrison are both putting up fine season and would be worthy choices but are behind too many other candidates.
2B Jonathan Schoop, Baltimore and Starlin Castro, New York
Robinson Cano, Seattle, Brian Dozier, Minnesota, and Tim Beckham, Tampa Bay
Schoop is having a great year for an inconsistent Orioles squad and looks to be their lone representative. Castro is currently on the disabled list for the Yankees but looks to be back in time for the All-Star game. A name not on our list that is putting up a great season for as the Astros super utility man that should get serious consideration simply for his versatility is Marwin Gonzalez could be a possibility as an injury replacement for Castro. Cano, Dozier, and Beckham have all had good seasons but not quite good enough.
3B Miguel Sano, Minnesota and Ryon Healy, Oakland
Mike Moustakas, Kansas City, Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay, and Manny Machado, Baltimore
Sano might end up swapping spot with Jose Ramirez and Healy is our lone Oakland pick, both are putting up fine seasons. Moustakas is putting up great power numbers for a surging Royals team. While Longoria and Machado put themselves in contention based primarily on name alone.
SS Francisco Lindor, Cleveland and Elvis Andrus, Texas
Xander Bogaerts, Boston, Didi Gregorius, New York, and Andrelton Simmons, Los Angeles
Lindor like Correa is having a great season and is one of the fine young shortstops in the game. Andrus is having a career year and should be rewarded, possibly as Texas’ lone rep. That leaves Bogaerts and Gregorius on the outside looking in despite having solid seasons. Simmons is not quite at the level of the other names but is having a good year with the bat to go along with his outstanding defense.
OF Avisail Garcia, Chicago and Justin Upton, Detroit
Trey Mancini, Baltimore, Brett Gardner, New York, Michael Brantley, Cleveland, Ben Gamel, Seattle, Cameron Maybin, Los Angeles, Lorenzo Cain, Kansas City, and Mookie Betts, Boston
Garcia is finally having the type of season he has long been projected to have and Upton makes the team as the single Tigers player. Mancini and Gamel are 2 young players having good 1st halves. Gardner and Maybin are also having nice starts to 2017. Brantley has rebounded from injury to put up solid numbers, while Cain and Betts have produced fine seasons although not at their 2016 levels.
DH Nelson Cruz, Seattle
Albert Pujols, Los Angeles
Cruz makes our team as Seattle’s only representative and Pujols is mentioned for his career achievements.
Chris Sale, Boston, Craig Kimbrel, Boston, Roberto Osuna, Toronto, Dellin Betances, New York, Alex Colome, Tampa Bay, Jason Vargas, Kansas City, Corey Kluber, Cleveland, Andrew Miller, Cleveland, Ervin Santana, Minnesota, Brandon Kintzler, Minnesota, Yu Darvish, Texas, Dallas Keuchel, Houston, Lance McCullers, Houston
Marcus Stroman, Toronto, Luis Severino, New York, Chris Archer, Tampa Bay, Michael Fulmer, Detroit, Bud Norris, Los Angeles, Will Harris, Houston, and Chris Devenski, Houston
Pitchers are always a crap shoot based on who is available, the sheer number of pitchers, and whether you want more power armed relievers or starters. Sale and Kimbrel have arguably been the 2 best pitchers in the American League so far. For power armed relievers our roster gives us Betances, Colome, Miller, and Kintzler along with Kimbrel. Vargas has been outstanding for the Royals. Tito takes his guy in Kluber. Santana has been very good for the Twins. Darvish has been solid in his return from injury, while Keuchel and McCullers have been the leaders of the Astros staff. The Houston relievers Harris and Devenski could be solid choices if Francona wants more power arms and Fulmer nearly got our nod as the Tigers lone choice.
So there you have it the RSM 2017 All-Star Prospectus! Enjoy the game on July 11th.