This is Part 2 of giving my picks for the 2023 All-Star Game Starts. This will be the American League edition. The starters were announced on Thursday. The fans did not do a terrible job, but as always, there were some things I disagreed with. Without further ado, here are my picks for the 2023 MLB All-Star Game American League Starters
This was super close between Heim and Adley Rutschman
. Heim’s triple slash line is .279/.331/.469 and has a 121 WRC+. This is in comparison to Rutschman, whose triple slash line is .268/.378/.411, with a 122 WRC+. Rutschman also walks more and strikes out less. Though their numbers at the plate are super close, the difference lies in defense. Heim has 5 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS), and Rutschman has 0. Put all together in the stat Wins Above Replacement (WAR), Heim’s is 2.7, and Rutschman’s is 1.8. The voters got this one right.
This one was a no-brainer. I did not have Diaz as a Top 12 Firstbaseman headed into this year, but he has been hands down the best in the American League this year. His triple slash line is .322/.407/.521 with a 166 WRC+. With his killer numbers at the plate, he has been a slight negative on the field with -1 DRS and -2 Outs Above Average (OAA), but believe it or not, this actually is not horrible at all compared to another first baseman in the American League, he is probably in the middle of the pack. With this all said, no one comes close to being as deserving as Diaz, and the fans also got this one right.
The voters got the winner correct, but the other finalist was Whit Merrifield
when it should have been Brandon Drury
. Semien and Drury are neck and neck at the plate. Semien has 11 Home Runs, a triple slash line of .282/.341/.460, and a 121 WRC+. This is in comparison to Drury, who has 14 Home Runs, a triple slash line of .278/.325/.505, and a 125 WRC+. Though Drury probably has the edge at the plate, Semien has played more games and is much better in the field. Semien has 6 DRS and 6 OAA, and Drury only has 1 DRS and 3 OAA. Though you could go either way, Semien has the slight edge.
was elected the starting shortstop for the American League. Though Seager has had a great season, he has only played 49 games and should not have been a finalist. It should have been either Bichette or Wander Franco
. Bichette has 14 home runs, a .319/.347/.504 triple slash line and a 137 WRC+. Franco has nine home runs, a .284/.345/.458 triple slash line and a 126 WRC+. While Bichette has been much better offensively, Franco certainly has the edge on defense, where he has 12 more DRS and OAA each.
of the Rangers will be the starting Third Baseman for the American League. With all due respect to Jung, he should have never been in the running. Out of all qualified third basemen in the AL, he is fifth in both WRC+ and DRS. It should have been Jose Ramirez of the Cleveland Guardians, and if not Ramirez, then it should have been Isaac Paredes
of the Tampa Bay Rays.
Ramirez’s triple slash line is .298/.367/.525 and has a 137 WRC+. This is compared to Paredes’s .264/.367/.483 and a 144 WRC+. Though Paredes has the higher WRC+, I think most people would still take Ramirez’s numbers at the plate. In addition to this, Ramirez also has nine more OAA and six more DRS. Ramirez has been one of the best third basemen in the league for a while now and should have been the starting third baseman.
Just like the National League, there were a ton of great players that had to be left off this list. It was easily the hardest to determine
Luis Robert should have been the first one selected, but he was not even a finalist. He has 23 Home Runs, a triple slash line is .271/.328/.564, and a 142 WRC+. He has also been elite in the field, with 8 DRS and 9 OAA (tied for first amongst outfielders in the AL). Putting both his elite batting and fielding together, he has the highest WAR amongst outfielders in the AL.
The next guy is Randy Arozarena
. His numbers at the plate have been filthy. He has 14 Home Runs, 286/.401/.475 triple slash line and a 153 WRC+. His WRC+ is higher because the Rays’ ballpark is more of a pitcher’s ballpark. He has not been as good defensively compared to his competition, with 2 DRS and -1 OAA. With this being said, it is tough to leave off the guy with the highest WRC+ of everyone qualified.
For the last guy, there were a few options. I could have gone to Aaron Judge
or Yordan Alvarez
, but they have not played enough games. It came down to Trout and Adolis Garcia. Trout’s triple slash line is .260/.367/.491 and has a 136 WRC+. Garcia has a slightly worse WRC+ with 131. In the field, Trout has 1 DRS and 3 OAA, and Garcia has 6 DRS and 0 OAA. When the numbers are so close, I think the edge should go to the guy who produces more offensively, so Trout takes the last spot.
Is anyone surprised? Because anyone who is has probably been living under a rock for the last three seasons. Not only is Ohtani the best player in baseball, he might be the best of all time. There is no one close to consideration besides maybe Yordan Alvarez, who was qualified as an outfielder. He had 29 Home Runs, a .309/.392/.666 triple slash line, and 184 WRC+. Oh yeah, and by the way, he is also one of the best pitchers in the league.
The MLB All-Star Weekend is probably the best All-Star Weekend out of the four major sports. This year will probably be no exception with how many great stars will be playing in it.
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