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OTM Roundtable: Who’s an All-Star?

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We know two, but who else will make it?

Boston Red Sox v New York Yankees Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

We already know of two Red Sox players who will be participating in this year’s All-Star Game in Denver, with both Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers having been named starters on Thursday. But they likely won’t be the only players to make the team for the Red Sox, with reserves being named for both teams on Sunday. The question this week for the roundtable was simple: Who will be the Red Sox players heading to Colorado for this year’s All-Star Game?

Keaton DeRocher

For me, I think it’s four: Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts, J.D. Martinez, and Matt Barnes. Alex Verdugo is close, but I’m not sure he cracks the outfield this year. If it weren’t for Shohei Ohtani, I’d say all three hitters should be starters too but Martinez is competing for a tough spot there. I’m the most surprised by Matt Barnes, and because of that he’s the one I’m hoping gets in the most, and I think he will. Nathan Eovaldi and Vázquez could also join those other four, but that seems like a bit of an overreach. Both of those guys are having good seasons, but not All-Star worthy. I think the four are a lock, and anyone else will be a nice surprise.

Michael Walsh

Three Red Sox players deserve to be in the All-Star game: J.D. Martinez, Xander Bogaerts, and Rafael Devers. Martinez has been the second best DH in the AL behind only superstar Shohei Ohtani, and both Bogaerts and Devers should almost definitely be starters at their position. Alex Verdugo has been solid, but I’m not sure if he’s done enough to merit an All-Star selection; however, I am sure that it won’t be long before he reaches that goal.

Shelly Verougstraete

I think three players should be going to Denver. Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers, and Matt Barnes. I suppose you could make a case for J.D. Martinez or Alex Verdugo but there are a few better players in the American League from different teams who have cases to be made at those positions, which will make their road difficult.

Kansas City Royals v Boston Red Sox Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

Mike Carlucci

As I’ve said over the months I’m something of a maximalist regarding Home Run Derby, All-Star Game, and Hall of Fame. There are obviously limited roster spots and it’s nice to see lots of the best players in baseball appear. And Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers should be among them. They’re both crushing homers, hitting doubles, and carrying the offense day in, day out. If you can get J.D. Martinez out there too al the better but position by position it’s hard to top the X-man and Devers where J.D. has to compete with Ohtani. Three players is asking a lot but two stars at their respective spots on the diamond? That’s doable. And hopefully we see them in Colorado.

Phil Neuffer

Let me tell you why 26 Red Sox players should be named All-Stars...

On a more serious note, I think four Red Sox players should be making the trip to Colorado for the All-Star Game: Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts, J.D. Martinez, and Matt Barnes. Entering play on Thursday, Devers led all third basemen in MLB in fWAR, Bogaerts was second only to Fernando Tatis Jr. among MLB shortstops and Barnes was only second among MLB relievers behind Josh Hader. And wouldn’t you know, Tatis Jr. and Hader are both in the NL, so for the AL All-Star team, it’s clear Devers, Bogaerts and Barnes deserve to be in. Martinez has the difficult job of running up against Shohei Ohtani for the DH spot, but something tells me the AL can find room for a pair of hard-hitting DHs, even if only one of them can pitch as well.

Brady Childs

This is pretty obvious. Rafy Devers, Xander Bogaerts, and Matt Barnes. This has been a team carried largely by their best players so it makes sense that the three guys who’ve carried this team in Devers, Bogey, and Barnes, would be worthy of making the All-Star team. It’d be cool if they had an All-Star worthy starting pitcher, but sending your left side of the infield and your closer is good representation.

Bryan Joiner

I’m going with four: the two starters, Xander and Raffy, and J.D. Martinez and Matt Barnes. The first two don’t need my help, while J.D. is a legitimate baseball star and playing well enough to qualify given that it’s at least partially a popularity contest. This puts Alex Verdugo on the outside, and I think he belongs here, but Barnes does not. He’s been as good as anyone in the league at closer and that’s something that should get you into the All-Star Game even if your team doesn’t have the best record in the A.L. But if they do? Shoo-in, baby!

Jake Devereaux

Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers are your American League starters on the left side of the infield for the All-Star game. They both deserve it and I couldn’t be happier for them. A few other Red Sox players certainly deserve it as well. J.D. Martinez has been one of the better hitters in all of baseball this season and deserves to represent the team at the All-Star game. Is he better than Shohei Ohtani? Absolutely not, but who is? I will also get on my soapbox for two Red Sox relievers—Matt Barnes and Garrett Whitlock. Barnes’s numbers speak for themselves, 18 saves, 1.8 fWAR (second-best in the game among relievers), and a 38.5% K-BB rate. That last mark is the best in all of baseball ahead of names like Craig Kimbrel, Liam Hendricks, and Josh Hader. I need to also go to bat for Whitlock who leads this bullpen in both innings pitched and ERA. Without Whitlock pitching as well as he is this team is at least five wins below where they are, in my opinion. The kid won’t make it this year, but he will get there eventually.

Matt Collins

I think, as people have covered above, there are three very obvious answers in Bogaerts, Devers and Barnes. There’s really no discussion there. I think both Verdugo and Hunter Renfroe are close enough to be considered, but ultimately won’t be there. The road for Martinez is tough as well, as he’s not only battling Ohtani but also Yordan Álvarez and Nelson Cruz. With Byron Buxton on the shelf, the latter could be the Twins logical representative, which in turn could push Martinez off the roster. But I’m going to agree with Jake and say the Red Sox should get a second reliever. Whitlock is probably the best bet, as he is fourth among AL relievers in ERA, but Adam Ottavino and even Josh Taylor could get a look too. This bullpen has been too good to only get one reliever. I’m not sure they’ll get a second arm, but there are deserving options.