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Driscoll’s Picks for 2024 National League All-Star Game Starters

MLB National League All-Star Game: Fernando Tatis Jr., Jackson Merrill, Jurickson Profar
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MLB All-Star Game starters were announced on July 3. While the fans did not do a terrible job, there were still some selections that I disagreed with.

Without further ado, here are my picks for the 2024 MLB All-Star Game American League starters.

Stats accurate as of July 4. Click here to see Chris’ picks for AL starters.

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Catcher: Will Smith

This was a super tough one. For me, it was either going to be Smith or William Contreras. At the plate, they are nearly dead even. Smith has 11 home runs, a slash line of .268/.339/.463, and a 125 wRC+. Contreras has 10 home runs, a slash line of .297/.356/.448, and a 128 wRC+. However, what separates them is their defense. Out of all catchers, Smith is the second-most valuable defensive catcher in the National League. While Contreras is roughly average, being able to play catcher is probably more impactful than any other position that is not a pitcher. When you can both hit and defend at an elite level at the catcher position, it is hard to argue anyone else is the best catcher in the league.

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First Base: Bryce Harper

Harper has missed some time, but he still earned this spot. I love Freddie Freeman more than the next guy, but he has not been as productive as Harper this year. Harper has 20 homers, a slash line of .303/.399/.582, and a 169 wRC+. Sure, he has not been great in the field or played a lot lately, but he has more than proved himself to be All-Star starter-worthy this time around.

Second Base: Ketel Marte

This was not even close. Marte has 17 home runs, a slash line of .286/.356/.514, and 139 wRC+. In addition to being the best-hitting second baseman in the league, he is also one of the better defenders. All put together, he has 3.7 WAR, which is 1.2 higher than any other second baseman in the NL. Brice Turang and Jonathan India have had solid seasons, but they’re not on Marte’s level.

Shortstop: Francisco Lindor

Lindor has been the best shortstop in the National League this year. Outside of a rough first few weeks, he has looked like one of the best players in baseball since being moved to the leadoff spot. For the entire season, he has 15 home runs, is slashing 249/.312/.452, and owns a 120 wRC+. These numbers are somewhat deflated with his awful start, too.

The only other player who deserved serious consideration was Cincinnati’s Elly De La Cruz. He has been pretty solid this year, delivering 15 homer runs, slashing .251/.339/.477, and posting a 125 aRC+. With this being said, he is also a strikeout machine. So while De La Cruz might be having the better season at the plate overall, Lindor has been more consistent as of late and has much better plate discipline. Also, even though De La Cruz is very good in the field, he is not as good as Lindor.

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One thing is for sure: Trea Turner did not deserve to start in the All-Star Game. He has only played in 47 games and ranks eighth in WAR amongst shortstops in the National League. WAR isn’t everything, but being that low compared to other players at the same position is an automatic disqualifier.

Third Base: Alec Bohm

Before Philadelphia fans jump at my throat for the Turner shade, please remember that I said very nice things about Harper and am about to do the same for Bohm.

Bohm has been the best third baseman in the National League this year, primarily because of his bat. He has 11 home runs, a slash line of .299/.351/.494, and a 135 wRC+. Joey Ortiz from the Giants has been nearly as impressive with a 134 wRC+, and Ortiz is also a significantly better fielder. However, Bohm has played 10 more games. So while Ortiz’s defensive talent is great, Bohm has been the best hitter and has been able to play in pretty much all of the Phillies’ games, which has been crucial with Turner and Harper missing time. This was a pretty easy pick for me.

Outfielders: Jurickson Profar, Brandon Nimmo, Fernando Tatis Jr.

This one was super tough. Outside of Profar, no one here was a lock to be an All-Star starter.

Indeed, Profar has been unreal this year. He has 11 home runs, is slashing .314/.407/.472, and owns a 157 wRC+.

After this, it got tough. I went with Nimmo because, even though he has been striking out a lot, he is someone who gets on base a ton and is awesome on the base paths. He is also third in WAR amongst NL outfielders.

Once these two were decided, it came down to Tatis, Christian Yelich, and Jackson Merrill. Yelich would have been my choice had he played in more games. So far, he’s only made 61 appearances. I ultimately went with Tatis because, even though he has not been as great in the field, his wRC+ is 14 points higher than Merrill’s.

Designated Hitter: Shohei Ohtani

Just like Alvarez in the American League, Ohtani being the best DH in the NL is probably a bigger no-brainer than any other position. He has 27 home runs, is slashing .319/.401/.642, and has a 189 wRC+. He is only batting this year and still leads the league in WAR. Do you know how insane it is to be impacting winning more than any other player in the league, despite only playing on one side? Let me tell you: it is pretty darn hard.


Main Image Credit:

Embed from Getty Images

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