One Fact About Each MLB All-Star Starter and Reserve (Position Players Only)

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AL Starters

Alejandro Kirk: Alejandro Kirk is only 23 years old. He needs 13 more games to reach 162. He has a 134 OPS+ in his first 149 games, many of which he was the catcher for. This year, he has also walked more than he has struck out. Kirk may very well be a star in the making. His stellar offense at a position that often struggles offensively makes him an essential part of any team.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr.: Like Kirk, Guerrero Jr. is also 23 and plays for the Blue Jays. Compared to Kirk’s career 134 OPS+, Guerrero has a career 135 OPS+ with nearly 300 more games played. The two will likely form a feared middle of the order for Blue Jays for years to come.

Jose Altuve: If Altuve does not have any major injuries, he will likely reach the 2,000 hit milestone and the 200 home run milestone next season. Three or four more years of this production could give him a serious case for making the Hall of Fame.

Rafael Devers: Rafael Devers was voted as the All-Star Game starter largely because of his league leading hit total and his .327 average. He is, however, also tied with Kyle Schwarber for the second-most home runs against righthanded pitchers since the beginning of last season.

Tim Anderson: Anderson has a .320 batting average since 2019. He is just behind teammate Luis Arraez (.321) over that span. He is doing so in his usual manner of maintaining a very high BABIP.

Aaron Judge: Judge will likely pass the 200 home run mark this season. For his career, he is averaging a home run about every 3.5 games. His contract discussions will be one of the main headlines this season and possibly into the offseason. Judge’s home run capabilities might be the best in the MLB, but will his contract be affected by previous injuries and the fact that we have not seen a 6’7″ 282lb baseball player before?

Mike Trout: Trout is 5th in OPS+ this season at 171. He is 71% better than the average MLB hitter. Somehow, he is just below his career average of 176. He is 10 home runs from entering the top 100 in career home runs.

Giancarlo Stanton: Stanton’s hardest hit ball this year is 119.8 mph. Since 2015, he has topped 120 mph every year. Could he be saving it for the All-Star Game?

Shohei Ohtani: This spot is for you to insert any crazy Ohtani stat that you find fitting.

AL Reserves

Jose Trevino: Trevino has a 104 OPS+ this year. As a catcher that is quite good. However, he truly shines on the defensive side of the baseball. Statcast’s catcher framing has him as the most valuable catcher with 8 catcher framing runs. He has greatly succeeded in getting inside, outside, and low pitches called strikes for his pitchers.

Luis Arraez: Luis Arraez has a .322 average over 323 games. Since 2000, only Ichiro Suzuki has had a higher batting average over his first 323 games while getting significant hitting opportunities. The key is not striking out.

Andrés Gimenez: Read here for Andrés Gimenez’s path to becoming an All-Star.

José Ramirez: Ramirez has 39 walks this year and only 36 strikeouts. He also has 17 home runs. His ability to hit for power while not striking out is rarely matched in today’s game.

Xander Bogaerts: For his career, Bogaerts has been best in April, May, and September. His numbers are a little worse in July and August. Could this be the year he turns that trend around?

Corey Seager: Like a lot of left-handed hitters, Seager has noticeable differences in his batting against left-handed pitchers and his batting against right-handed pitchers. The power actually seems relatively equal against both, but his average against righties is .297, compared to .279 against lefties. He has also walked in 10.3% of his at-bats against righties compared to only 7.5% of his at-bats against lefties.

Byron Buxton: Buxton has only grounded into 10 double plays in his career. The last time he did so was August 18, 2020. Since then, he has 149 hits and 50 home runs.

Kyle Tucker: Tucker ranks 3rd among outfielders in defensive runs saved. He has also improved his walk percentage to 12.6% from 9.3%. That places him in the top 10 percent of the MLB.

George Springer: Springer has 213 career home runs. His lowest totals are 14 in 2020 where he only played 51 games because of the shortened season and 16 in 102 games during 2015. Every other season, he has been above 20 home runs.

Andrew Benintendi: Benintendi is hitting .317 so far this year. This hit tool made him a valuable prospect since his power and defense are not amazing. He seems to be on his way to reaching his ceiling of a guy that just racks up hits. He is one to look out for during the trade deadline.

Julio Rodriguez: Julio Rodriguez has simply been incredible this season. Following Kelenic’s struggles to adapt to the MLB, Mariners fans were likely anxious to see Rodriguez have success in the MLB. The first month was a bit of a struggle as Rodriguez hit only .205 with no home runs and a .544 OPS. A 3 hit game on May 1 which included his first home run got him started. Since then, he has hit 15 home runs and raised his average to .275.

Yordan Alvarez: Yordan is one of the best hitters in the MLB. In 308 games, he has been 61% better than the average hitter (161 OPS). He leads the league in slugging percentage and OPS. His 26 home runs are just 3 below last year’s total. Additionally, Yordan had 50 walks to 145 strikeouts last season. Currently, he has 43 walks to 57 strikeouts. This shows he is being much more patient and pitchers are likely avoiding him more this year. If you had to choose between 5 years of Yordan Alvarez or 5 years of Juan Soto, who would you take?

J.D. Martinez: Martinez is leading the American League in doubles for the second consecutive season. While he only has 9 home runs so far this year, his career total stands at 275. A good second half would put him in position to reach the 300 milestone next season.

Santiago Espinal: Espinal finds success through being one of the best defensive second basemen in baseball. He also ranks near the top of the league in whiff%, leading to a low strikeout rate.

Ty France: Like Espinal, France succeeds through putting the ball in play a lot. His whiff% is just outside the top 10% of Major League Baseball. He also shows the ability to hit for a bit more power than a pure contact hitter. His 125 OPS+ in 343 career games means he could be a regular at the All-Star game over the next few seasons.

Miguel Cabrera: This is Cabrera’s 12th All-Star appearance. The most of any active player. He is just ahead of Pujols who is appearing for his 11th time and Trout who was selected for the 10th time.

NL Starters

Willson Contreras: Willson Contreras is leading the league in hit-by-pitches while regularly starting at catcher (about 2/3 of his games). Talk about tough. Contreras has been one of the bright spots for a largely disappointing Cubs team.

Paul Goldschmidt: Goldschmidt’s worst career OPS+ was 115 in 2019. He finished 20th in MVP voting that year. The last time he finished outside the top 20 in MVP voting was 2014.

Jazz Chisholm Jr.: Jazz Chisholm Jr. is having an Altuve-like power surge this season. He hit 18 home runs last year. He is already at 14. He is only 24, so this trend could continue in the coming seasons.

Manny Machado: Machado recently turned 30 years old. He has 49.4 career WAR. The only players 30 or younger with more WAR are Mike Trout and Mookie Betts. He is definitely on a Hall of Fame path.

Trea Turner: Each year, Turner averages almost as many stolen bases (46) as walks (52). He truly changes the game with his speed.

Ronald Acuña Jr.: Ronald Acuña Jr. is 5 stolen bases from having 100 stolen bases along with 100 home runs. Only 6 players have done that prior to their 25th birthday.

Mookie Betts: Betts is 2 home runs away from 200 career home runs. With 20 home runs in the Dodger’s first 90 games, he is also on pace to set a career high in home runs.

Joc Pederson: Pederson’s exit velocity, hard-hit percentage, and fly ball percentage are all the highest of his career. That is a good combination for hitting more home runs.

Bryce Harper: According to Baseball Reference Similarity Scores, the closest comparison to Bryce Harper’s career through his age 28 season is Barry Bonds. A massive power surge in his 30s like Bonds had is very unlikely but he is coming off of an MVP last season so he might be getting even better.

NL Reserves

Travis d’Arnaud: d’Arnaud had a .704 OPS in seven years with the Mets for a 97 OPS+. In two and a half seasons with the Braves, he has a 107 OPS+. He seems to have found his stride offensively. This is also his first All-Star team.

Pete Alonso: Alonso has 130 regular-season home runs, just one less than his 131 HR derby home runs prior to this All-Star break.

C.J. Cron: Cron is having a great year with 20 home runs and an .889 OPS. He was just as good last year, with a .905 OPS, even though he did not get a lot of recognition. Fewer walks have brought his on-base percentage down a bit, but his power numbers are up.

Jeff McNeil: McNeil has quietly been one of the better hitters in baseball since his debut in 2018. He ranks 35th in OPS+ among players with at least 400 games, tied with Trea Turner, Kyle Schwarber, and Anthony Rizzo. He ranks 4th in batting average among players with at least 400 games.

Nolan Arenado: Arenado is only striking out in 12.8% of his at-bats. If he continues this through the season, it will be just behind the shortened 2020 season for his lowest career K%.

Dansby Swanson: Swanson had a career-high 27 home runs last year, topping his 2019 total by 10. He is on pace for about 25 this year. He is showing consistent power potential that could make him a yearly contender for best hitting shortstop. This is an addition to his stellar defense.

Kyle Schwarber: Since the beginning of 2021, Kyle Schwarber has 49 home runs against righthanded pitchers. The only player with more is Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

Starling Marte: In 68 first-inning plate appearances this year, Marte has an OPS above 1.000. He has greatly helped the Mets take the lead early in games.

Ian Happ: While Happ’s home run pace is a little down from last year, he already has 3 more doubles than he had in 148 games last season. He is making full use of the gaps in the outfield.

Juan Soto: A walk allows you to travel the 90 feet from home to first base. Juan Soto is the only player in Major League Baseball to travel more than a mile on walks. He has traveled 7,110 feet as of July 18th. His 79 walks are 24 more than the next closest player. Somehow, he is actually walking less than last season.

William Contreras: Contreras made the All-Star team despite only appearing in 46 of Atlanta’s 94 games so far. When he has played, he has done very well. About 13% of his at-bats this season have ended with a double or home run.

Garrett Cooper: Garrett Cooper’s biggest challenge has been playing enough. He only played half of the games in 2020 and 2021. Both years, he had an OPS+ above 125. He is currently at a 130 OPS+. Only 22 players have been above a 125 OPS+ for 2020, 2021, and so far this season.

Freddie Freeman: Since 2013, Freeman has not had an OPS+ worse than 132. This year is shaping up to be one of his best seasons. He leads the league with 114 hits. He truly is one of the most consistent players in the MLB.

Austin Riley: Riley had a breakout season last year as he hit over .300 with 33 home runs. This season, he is trying to outdo himself. His average currently stands at .285 but the home runs have already totaled 27 with 68 games still to be played. Riley’s emergence has been an essential part of the Braves success last season and this season.

Albert Pujols: Pujols is simply one of the best players to ever play in the MLB. He is 15 home runs from 700 for his career. That number is likely out of reach with less than half a season left, but maybe?

The 2022 MLB All-Star Game is almost upon us. It should be an amazing show. Here is a reminder of what last year looked like.

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