I love the All-Star Game. It’s fun to enjoy a game featuring stars without having to stress about the results, and it’s even more fun when your favorite players are participating. With that being said, it always makes more sense to be objective when selecting All Stars, since this kind of stuff can impact players’ bonuses and future Hall of Fame consideration. So, with that in mind, let’s look at the Red Sox players who truly and objectively deserve a spot on the American League All-Star roster.
There is absolutely no question as to whether or not Sale is a deserving All Star. The only reasonable debate would be whether or not he should start the game, and even that seems pretty simple. We’re talking about a pitcher with 155 strikeouts and only 21 walks in 113 2⁄3 innings. He’s pitched to a 2.77 ERA with a DRA that is a whopping 64 percent better than league-average. Sale is incredible, and an obvious All-Star selection.
Sale is the most obvious All-Star selection on the Red Sox roster, but Kimbrel is a close second. After a somewhat disappointing first year in Boston, the former Braves star has been electric for the Red Sox this year and has been arguably the best closer in all of baseball. There’s no such thing as a starting reliever in the All-Star Game, but if there was Kimbrel would easily be that selection.
Betts is the best overall player on this team and he’s easily the most charismatic as well. Part of the All-Star Game’s purpose is to market the game to casual fans, and Betts is a great way to do that. Plus, even in a relatively down year he’s been above-average at the plate and provides elite defense and base running.
While Betts is the best and most charismatic player on the team, Bogaerts is having the best 2017. At least, in terms of position players. Offensively, he hasn’t hit for the power many expected to see from him but his contact ability is off-the-charts and he’s been otherworldly with two strikes. Like Betts, he is also a tremendous base runner. Plus, he speaks a whole bunch of languages and that’s pretty neat.
We all know Bradley is a streaky hitter, and he’s had a major cold streak this year. However, he’s been good much more often than he’s been bad, and his overall numbers are outstanding. Plus, he is as elite as they come with the glove and has a legitimate chance at finally getting his Gold Glove this year.
Moreland has been one of the more surprisingly consistent hitters in the American League, and while he doesn’t quite have All-Star numbers he has been the most consistent contributor in a first place offense. That should count for something. Plus, he has a pretty neat nickname.
It hasn’t always been good for Pomeranz in 2017, but he’s really turned it around lately. When he’s throwing like this and is utilizing all three of his pitches, he’s one of the best arms in the American League for sure.
Rodriguez is obviously hurt and may not even be ready for the game, but either way he should get some recognition. When he’s been able to take the mound this season, he’s been fantastic and has made the leap. This should be his first of many All-Star appearances.
Porcello won the Cy Young last year and looked much better in his last start. I say we just give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he’s about to go on a crazy run in the second half. If he does, it’ll look pretty crazy if he doesn’t have an All-Star appearance to go along with his (hopefully) strong final numbers.
Benintendi probably isn’t going to win the Rookie of the Year like many expected him to thanks to a certain outfielder in New York, but he’s still been a steady member of this lineup in his first full major-league season. That deserves to be recognized, and you can’t break up this Red Sox outfield. Plus, how are you going to deny that hair the spotlight?
Catcher is where offense goes to die, but Vazquez has been surprisingly competent with the stick in 2017. He even hit his first homer of the year on Tuesday! Sure, it might not be sustainable, but it has happened and there should be a reward for that.
With David Ortiz retiring, the Red Sox need a new veteran with whom the rest of the league can be annoyed by. Pedroia is a perfect fit for that role.
He may not even be the best catcher on this team, but he has little runs where he looks like the best catcher in all of baseball. There’s a chance that kind of run could start in this game, and who are we to deprive the people of that possibility.
Over the last few years, teams have started to realize the value in having reliable options behind the closer. Kelly has emerged as the most reliable non-Kimbrel Red Sox reliever with a 1.10 ERA. Even better, there is a day off before and after this game, so there’s no worrying about him having to throw on back-to-back days.
Although there have been lapses in his performance this year, overall Barnes has been dominant and has the kind of strikeout stuff you would like to feature on one of the largest stages of the summer.
Every team needs someone to mess with the sideline reporter. In this case, I believe that is Ken Rosenthal. Could be fun?
Who doesn’t love Kenny Powers?
Look, we all know the bat isn’t good but the defense is outstanding. Third base defense is just plain fun to watch, and we would all like to watch it at the All-Star Game. Plus, how can you say no to his smile?
Price’s return from the disabled list meant the end of Kyle Kendrick’s run in the Red Sox rotation. ‘Nuff said
Anyone who can bring a sense of stability to the Red Sox’ left-handed reliever situation deserves all the recognition they can get.
It’s incredibly impressive to provide such little value to a baseball team. If there was the opposite of an All-Star team, we could put Sandoval on that roster but there isn’t. So, as it is, we can recognize him here.
Look, you get the gimmick by now, right?