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Saturday, April 20, 2024

The California Aggie’s MLB All-Star team picks

Aaron Judge, Jose Ramirez, Manny Machado and other stars make the California Aggie’s MLB All-Star team


By PATRICK FIGUEROA — sports@theaggie.org


Major League Baseball’s (MLB) All-Star week is approaching, with the All-Star game scheduled for July 19 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. MLB released data from fans’ All-Star team voting on June 27. With these results in mind, The Aggie highlights who could potentially be an All-Star starter on July 19. However, this article will not feature starting pitchers because fans do not vote for pitchers on the All-Star ballot. While this list highlights some players that could be on the All-Star team, much can still change as official voting doesn’t close until July 8.


National League (NL) first baseman: Paul Goldschmidt, St. Louis Cardinals 

Paul Goldschmidt is one of the most popular picks to be an All-Star starter. In 73 games, he had 19 home runs, 65 RBIs and a 1.068 on-base plus slugging (OPS). With numbers like this, Goldschmidt seems in the running for his first MVP award as well. 


NL Second Baseman: Jazz Chisholm Jr., Miami Marlins 

Jazz Chisholm Jr. is a bright spot for a young Marlins team with 14 home runs, 45 RBIs and 12 stolen bases in 60 games. Baseball fans should be ready for excitement if he is an All-Star starter. 


NL shortstop: Dansby Swanson, Atlanta Braves

Despite not playing well in April, Dansby Swanson has been able to help the Atlanta Braves go on a 14-game win streak earlier this year. Swanson has 84 hits, 13 home runs and 43 RBI in 75 games this season. However, it is worth mentioning that the Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop, Trea Turner, has done very well and is also a contender for the starting spot. 


NL third baseman: Manny Machado, San Diego Padres  

Another NL MVP candidate, Manny Machado is having one of the best seasons in his career thus far. Before getting injured (after playing 66 games), Machado was batting .328 with 83 hits and a .945 OPS. When Machado gets healthy, he will likely look to get back into the MVP race. 


NL outfielders: Mookie Betts, Los Angeles Dodgers, Joc Pederson, San Francisco Giants and Ronald Acuña Jr., Atlanta Braves

Even after getting injured, Mookie Betts is a strong choice as an All-Star starter with 17 home runs, 53 RBIs and a .884 OPS in 60 games. His return is likely important for the Dodgers to make a push for the first seed in the NL. 

In his first year as a Giant, Joc Pederson has been a surprising star. In 64 games, Pederson has been crushing the ball with 17 home runs and a .928 OPS. He is especially good against right-handed pitching with 15 of his 17 home runs against right-handers. 

Despite suffering an ACL injury last season, Ronald Acuña Jr. is back to All-Star form. After 43 games, Acuña has racked up seven home runs, 13 stolen bases and a .828 OPS. 


NL catcher: Willson Contreras, Chicago Cubs

While the Cubs have been struggling recently, Willson Contreras has been one of very few bright spots. With 12 home runs, 32 RBIs and a .881 OPS in 65 games, Contreras is an offensive threat at the catcher position. With only one year left in his contract, fans should be on the lookout for Contreras to be traded to a contender before the trade deadline. 


NL designated hitter: Bryce Harper, Philadelphia Phillies

Despite playing with a torn UCL that restricted him from playing in the outfield for part of the season, reigning MVP Bryce Harper has still made an offensive impact in many games. Harper has 15 home runs, 48 RBIs and a .985 OPS through 64 games. Unfortunately for the Phillies, Harper will be out for six to eight weeks after Blake Snell missed with a high fastball that fractured Harper’s thumb. 


American League (AL) first baseman: Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Toronto Blue Jays

With Seattle Mariners’ first baseman Ty France injured, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has a good chance of getting the starting spot on the AL All-Star team. Following a season in which he finished second in the AL MVP race, Guerrero Jr. continued to be an elite offensive threat this season. In 73 games, he has had 18 home runs, 46 RBIs and a .869 OPS. 

AL second baseman: Jose Altuve, Houston Astros

32-year-old Jose Altuve continues to put up impressive numbers at second base. In 2022, Altuve has 15 home runs, a .272 batting average and a .890 OPS through 58 games. An honorable mention for the second baseman position is Andres Gimenez of the Cleveland Guardians.

AL shortstop: Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox 

Despite a very talented Red Sox offense, Xander Bogaerts still stands out. Through 72 games, Bogaerts has 88 hits, 31 RBIs, six home runs and a .874 OPS. The Red Sox will need Bogaerts to continue performing at a high level if they want to hold onto a playoff spot in a competitive season in the AL. 


AL third baseman: Jose Ramirez, Cleveland Guardians

One of the best in his position, Jose Ramirez is the starter at third base for The California Aggie AL all-star team. With 16 home runs, 63 RBI and a .993 OPS in 69 games, Ramirez is also in the AL MVP conversation. An honorable mention goes to Rafael Devers of the Boston Red Sox.  


AL outfielders: Aaron Judge, New York Yankees, Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels and Byron Buxton, Minnesota Twins

Aaron Judge has arguably been the best player in the 2022 baseball season. He has 28 home runs, 57 RBIs and a .992 OPS in 73 games. He has also played an impressive part in the Yankees’ best record in baseball this season (56-20).

Mike Trout has continued to prove that he is one of the greatest players to ever play baseball throughout this season. In 68 games, Trout has had 23 home runs, 46 RBIs and a 1.042 OPS. 

Byron Buxton gets the final outfield spot for the AL on the California Aggie’s All-Star team. In 57 games, Buxton has had 20 home runs, a .585 slugging percentage and a .900 OPS. 


AL catcher: Alejandro Kirk, Toronto Blue Jays 

The young catcher, Alejandro Kirk, is in the hunt to be a starter for his first All-Star game. Through 65 games, Kirk has been a pleasure to watch with 10 home runs, a .325 batting average and a .941 OPS. 


AL designated hitter: Yordan Alvarez, Houston Astros

Yordan Alvarez might be one of the best hitters in MLB right now. Alvarez is beating out Shohei Ohtani for this spot in The California Aggie roster, Alvarez has had 23 home runs, 56 RBI and a 1.081 OPS through 66 games. He rounds out an AL team that is filled with great hitters. 


Written by: Patrick Figueroa — sports@theaggie.org