Updated American League All-Star Team Predictions

An updated projection of the AL All-Star team

With the Midsummer Classic just a few weeks away, I thought it would be a good time to take an updated look at what the American League All-Star could look like. The same rules as the last article still apply: The roster will contain 15 bench players and 15 pitchers and at least one player from each team.


AL Catchers


Starter:Adley Rutschman (BAL)

Bench: Jonah Heim (TEX)

Bench: Salvador Perez (KC)

First one out: Connor Wong (BOS)


The race for the starting catcher spot on the AL All-Star team could not be closer. Both Adley Rutchsman and Jonah Heim have 10 home runs, an OPS hovering around .800, and a WAR around 2.0.

I’m giving the edge to Rutchsman for two key reasons: He has walked over 30 more times than Heim, and, more importantly, had a significant lead in the first phase of All-Star voting. Like my last ranking, Salvador Perez earns the lone Royals All-Star spot despite his usual anemic on-base percentage and poor defense by leading all AL catchers with 15 home runs. That leaves Connor Wong on the outside looking in despite ranking seventh in the majors in defensive WAR. 


AL First Basemen 


Starter: Yandy Díaz (TB)

Bench: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (TOR)

Bench: Nathaniel Lowe (TEX)

First one out: Anthony Rizzo (NYY)


Yandy Díaz is once again my easy choice for the start at first base for the American League, as his .316/.404/.518 slashline is far and away the best at his position. Even in a relatively down season, Vladamir Guerrero Jr. has still found a way to top all American League first basemen in total bases, which should be good enough to earn a reserve spot.

The last reserve spot sees our first change on these updated rankings, as a dramatic Anthony Rizzo cold streak causes him to lose his spot to Nathaniel Lowe, who is tied with Diaz with a 2.3 WAR and ranks top five among AL first basemen in total bases, on-base percentage, and OPS.


AL Second Basemen


Starter: Marcus Semien (TEX)

Reserve: Brandon Drury (LAA)

First one out: Whit Merrifield (TOR)


Second base marks another easy decision, as Marcus Semien has been far and away the best American League keystoner this season with a 3.2 WAR that is nearly double any of his peers. The hard part is figuring out the reserves because the rest of the second base group is not too impressive.

Last time, I gave the spot to Andrés Giménez, but his .677 OPS really doesn’t deserve it. I also don’t feel great about Whit Merrifield, who has gone deep just twice and plays for a Blue Jays team that figures to have plenty of All-Star representatives. So I’m going to give the spot to Brandon Drury, who beats even Semien with 12 home runs and a .815 OPS.


AL Third Basemen


Starter: Josh Jung (TEX)

Bench: Matt Chapman (TOR)

Bench: José Ramírez (CLE)

First One Out: Rafael Devers (BOS)


This is another situation where the voting has affected who I picked. José Ramírez has been the best third baseman in the American League this year, leading the position with a .293 average and 2.9 WAR while walking more often than he strikes out.

However, like Franco, Ramirez was not chosen as a finalist, so instead, I’ll go with rookie Josh Jung, who leads with 15 home runs while playing terrific defense. Matt Chapman looked to be a shoo-in for the start a couple of months ago but has slashed just .204/.277/.343 since May 1, relegating him to a reserve spot.

The odd man out is the man who has started the last two All-Star games for the American League: Rafael Devers. Devers is easily the worst defender out of the three and is hitting just .241 despite ranking second in the majors with 60 RBI.


AL Shortstops


Starter: Bo Bichette (TOR)

Bench: Corey Seager (TEX) 

Bench: Wander Franco (TB)

First One Out: Bobby Witt Jr. (KC)


As weak as the second base group is, the shortstop class is that strong. Bo Bichette, Corey Seager, and Wander Franco all have strong cases for a starting spot. Honestly, if I had to choose between the three, I would have given it to Franco, who leads all three with a 3.9 WAR and has a massive lead in stolen bases with 24.

Yet given that only Seager and Bichette were voted finalists, I’m going to have to go with Bichette, who leads all AL shortstops in average, home runs, and RBI while playing in over 30 more games than Seager. Seager wasn’t even in the last update, as I gave the third reserve spot to Jorge Mateo, who has since fallen off and now has an OPS of just .623.

Instead, I’ll give a shout-out to Bobby Witt Jr., who has homered 12 times and swiped 22 bags. If Salvador Perez doesn’t make the team, Witt Jr. could very easily be the Royals’ lone representative.


AL Outfielders


Starter: Mike Trout (LAA)

Starter: Aaron Judge (NYY)- Will need an injury replacement

Starter: Randy Arozarena (TB)

Bench: Yordan Alvarez (HOU) – Will need an injury replacement

Bench: Alex Verdugo (BOS)

Bench: Masataka Yoshida (BOS)

Bench: Luis Robert Jr. (CHI)

Bench: Austin Hays (BAL)

Bench: Adolis García (TEX)

Bench: Julio Rodríguez (SEA)- Replaces Judge in starting lineup


First Three Out


Ok, things are about to get a little complicated. Based on the fan voting, Aaron Judge, Mike Trout, and Randy Arozarena are the favorites to start in the AL outfield, but Judge does not look like he will be anywhere close to ready to play by mid-July. That would leave Alvarez as the next man up, but he may be able to play either.

So that means we need an extra starter and two extra reserves. We’ll give the starting spot to Julio Rodríguez due to narrative, as despite not having a great statistical season, deserves to represent his team in his home ballpark. That leaves five more reserve spots:

Alex Verdugo: Second among AL outfielders with a .303 average and a 2.9 WAR

Masataka Yoshida: Third among AL outfielders with a .299 average, sixth with a .839 OPS

Luis Robert Jr.: Leads AL outfielders with 21 home runs and a 3.2 WAR

Austin Hays: Leads AL with outfielders with a .321 average, replaces Jarred Kelenic

Adolis García: Leads AL outfielders with a .318 average


On the outside looking in are a pair of Blue Jays outfielders in Daulton Varsho and Kevin Kiermaier who are having great defensive seasons but have not done quite enough on offense to earn a reserve role to overshadow their All-Star teammates. Likewise, Leodry Tavares has broken out with a .298 average and a 2.3 WAR but is not good enough to overshadow his more dominant Ranger teammates who deserve a spot more. All three of these players could easily find themselves on the team with another injury. 


AL Designated Hitters


Starter: Shohei Ohtani (LAA)

Bench: Brent Rooker (OAK)

First One Out: Justin Turner (BOS)


There is no suspense here: Shohei Ohtani earns the automatic starting spot as the AL-leading vote-getter. Claiming the reserve role is Brent Rooker, who has certainly cooled off after a torrid start but still holds a 135 OPS+, and someone has to be the Athletics representative after all.

Also worth mentioning is Justin Turner, who has flown under the radar but leads all non-Ohtani DHs in average, OPS, and WAR



  1. Julio Rodríguez
  2. Bo Bichette
  3. Mike Trout
  4. Shohei Ohtani
  5. Randy Arozarena
  6. Adley Rutschman
  7. Marcus Semien
  8. Yandy Díaz
  9. Josh Jung


AL Starting Pitchers


Starter: Framber Valdez (HOU)

Reserve: Shane McClanahan (TB)

Reserve: Gerrit Cole (NYY)

Reserve: Sonny Gray (MIN)

Reserve: Nathan Eovaldi (TEX)

Reserve: Shohei Ohtani (LAA)

Reserve: Eduardo Rodriguez (DET)

Reserve: Kevin Gausman (TOR)


First Five Out


Not much has changed since the last update. The only change is Nathan Eovaldi replacing George Kirby after a torrid May that saw him win American League Pitcher of the Month. The big question is who is going to get the honor of starting pitcher for the AL.

Last time, I gave the ball to Gerrit Cole, who is still a worthy choice but has fallen off just a bit with a 3.60 ERA over his last 11 starts. That has opened the door for Framber Valdez, who leads the AL with 12 quality starts, a 3.2 WAR, and ranks top five in both strikeouts and WHIP.

If Valdez falls off, look for Shane Mcclanahan to be next in line for his second consecutive All-Star start, as he leads the league with a 2.23 ERA.

Of course, a number of the eight starters on this list will not be available for the All-Star game whether due to injury or pitching the previous Saturday or Sunday, so Shane Bieber, Kirby, Luis Castillo, Brayan Bello, and Jon Gray could all be in consideration for All-Star nods. 

AL Relief Pitchers


Félix Bautista (BAL)

Yennier Cano (BAL)

Carlos Estévez (LAA)

Jordan Romano (TOR)

Jhoan Duran (MIN)

Emmanuel Clase (CLE)


First Three Out


Like last time, we’re going to choose six relievers, and like last time, the headliners are the Orioles’ dominant one-two punch of Yennier Cano and Félix Bautista. They have arguably been the best relievers in all of baseball this year, with Bautista somehow striking out 74 batters in 36.2 innings and Cano leading all relievers with a 2.4 WAR and a 0.94 WAR.

Closers Emmanuel Clase, Carlos Estévez, and Johan Duran all return to the list again, but the one change is Jordan Romano, who is having another dominant season, replacing Dane Dunning, who moved to the Rangers rotation. In the likely need of a replacement, Chris Martin, Hector Neris, and Matt Moore have all posted sub-2.00 ERAs and would be great options.

Daniel Fox

Since attending my first Red Sox game in 2009 at the age of seven, Daniel has been obsessed with all things baseball. Over time, he has learned to combine his love for writing, debating, and performing with his love of baseball. As a junior at Ithaca College, Daniel has been involved with both the TV and radio stations as an on-air personality while also continuing his passion for writing.

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