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Top Potential First Time All-Stars for Every Team

Updated: May 31

Potential First Time All-Stars for Every Team

Written by: Nathan Middleton

First time All-Stars can be anyone from former top prospects having outstanding rookie years, to guys having breakout seasons, to players who have improved year after year and have reached an All-Star level, to magical first halves by guys well into their thirties. Today I will be determining who the most likely first time All-Star is for every team and rating their chances of making it to L.A. this summer.

*All stats are as of June 3rd.

Orioles: Austin Hays

The left-field wall in Baltimore has not stopped him from having the best season of his career so far with a .808 OPS for a 134 OPS+. He would be a deserving candidate even if there was no rule mandating every team has a representative.

All-Star Chances: 70%

Red Sox: Christian Vazquez

Not your typical batting profile for a catcher (or anyone in 2022) he is hitting .293 with just two home runs and 20 RBI. This choice takes position into account but I am not confident the Sox will have a first-time All-Star this year.

All-Star Chances: 15%

Yankees: Nestor Cortes

Has been one of the best pitchers in baseball so far this year and is not only a clear All-Star but a Cy Young candidate as well. Has an ERA of 1.50 which is the second-lowest in the AL (I will talk about the leader later). The ace of the best team in the AL in baseball's largest market makes him a near-lock to be heading for L.A.

All-Star Chances: 99%

Rays: Shane McClanahan

Massively improved in year two even after an excellent rookie season. He is 6-2 with a 2.10 ERA and leads the AL with 89 strikeouts. He has not walked many guys either which leads to a 7.42 SO/W ratio.

All-Star Chances 90%

Blue Jays: Alex Manoah

Another AL East starter who had a great rookie season but is improving even more in year two. Has a 1.98 ERA, a 6-1 record, and a WHIP of .911 and has even cut his walk rate by over half which is a major factor in his success.

All-Star Chances: 85%

White Sox: Luis Robert

Robert showed All-Star talent last season with a .338/.378/.567 for a .946 OPS in 68 games last season. He has not quite reached that level but still has hit .293/.325/.440 for a .765 OPS and a 120 OPS+. If he has a good June he will likely be heading to L.A. in July.

All-Star Chances: 40%

Guardians: Andres Giminez

Gimenez has had a great first half so far with a .308 average and .526 slugging percentage. One of the few non-Jose Ramirez Guardian hitters who did not fall off a cliff in May. Has flown extremely under the radar and this may hurt his All-Star chances.

All Star Chances: 25%

Tigers: Tarik Skubal

One of the only bright spots (a somewhat resurgent Miguel Cabrera is the other) on an atrocious Tigers team. Skubal has a 2.15 ERA with 61 strikeouts in 58.2 IP which leads to an ERA+ of 176 and is pretty likely to end up on the All-Star team.

All-Star Chances: 70%

Royals: Andrew Benintendi

Honestly surprised he was not an All-Star in Boston but is clearly the top candidate to be almost certainly the only Royal headed to L.A. this summer. He would be a deserving candidate as well with a .335 average and a .399 OBP for a 141 OPS+.

All-Star Chances: 95%

Twins: Luis Arraez

Is doing things differently than almost anyone else in the three true outcomes era that is modern baseball but is very productive (147 OPS+). Has a .342 average while striking out just 15 times in 155 at-bats (he has walked 23 times though) and only hitting one home run. If he keeps anything close to this level he will likely be a Commissioner’s pick as he would be a shining example of the kind of baseball the MLB Office wants to have more of.

All-Star Chances: 85%

Angels: Taylor Ward

Absolutely outstanding start for someone who has improved every year of his career. Is leading the league with a .443 OBP and a 1.087 OPS while hitting .333 with 10 HR and 26 RBI. He will be heading across town to play in the All-Star Game.

All-Star Chances: 99%

Astros: Yordan Alvarez

Has been one of the best hitters in baseball since his debut in 2019 and has signed a six-year deal for 115 million dollars (the record for a DH). So far he has 15 HR and a .281/.373/.593 slash line for a .966 OPS. Will almost certainly be heading for L.A.

All-Star Chances: 99%

Athletics: Paul Blackburn

Blackburn has been outstanding for an A’s team that has really struggled in May after a decent start. Is 5-1 with a 2.15 ERA and is an outstanding story after having an ERA of 7.60 in 79.2 innings from 2018-21. Could be heading to the All-Star Game with another solid month.

All-Star Chances: 55%

Mariners: Ty France

Underrated player who has a real chance of getting 200 hits this year (on pace for 218) and is hitting .341 on the season. Not the biggest power threat but does have seven homers and 36 RBI. Almost certainly heading for L.A.

All-Star Chances: 95%

Rangers: Martin Perez

Probably the biggest surprise in baseball has been the breakout year for Martin Perez. Mediocre starter for virtually his entire career, but now he is leading the league with a 1.42 ERA, a 274 ERA+ and has not allowed a single home run which is extremely impressive even with the deadened ball.

All-Star Chances: 99%

Braves: Max Fried

Won the clinching game of the World Series last season and could easily have been an All-Star last season (and would have been in 2020 if there was one). Currently is 5-2 with a 2.74 ERA. Probably will head for the Midsummer Classic for the first time with a solid month of June and if it’s close he will likely get the nod based on his reputation as a great pitcher.

All-Star Chances: 80%

Marlins: Pablo Lopez

His ERA has gone up almost a full run in his last three starts but is still just 1.83 with a WHIP of 0.983 allowing just 6.6 H/9. Continuing his solid last couple of seasons and is now at an elite level this first half.

All-Star Chances: 85%

Mets: Brandon Nimmo

The Mets don’t have many great candidates to be first-time All-Stars despite their outstanding start but Nimmo is their best choice. He has a .272/.365/.420 slash line for a .786 OPS and a 126 OPS+. Also leading the NL with four triples but needs a huge month to have a shot.

All Star Chances: 5%

Phillies: Seranthony Dominguez

The Phillies have been one of the most disappointing teams in baseball this year and do not have many good candidates to be first-time All-Stars. Could be a sneaky pick as there always seems to be a surprise setup man who finds their way on the team especially if he can improve his 1.83 ERA.

All-Star Chances: 5%

Nationals: Yadiel Hernandez

Not too many good choices on a poor Nationals team but Hernandez has done well with a .286 average and 23 RBI in 140 AB so far. Likely does not have the stats or hype to make the team and Juan Soto will take the mandatory spot in Washington but an outstanding month means Hernandez could go alongside him.

All-Star Chances: 10%

Cubs: Ian Happ

Happ is another guy who could have been a 2020 All-Star if there was one. He has a decent chance of being the (likely) lone Cub selected this year even though his stats aren’t quite All-Star worthy as he has a .371 OBP and a 128 OPS+ with 27 runs and 27 RBI.

All-Star Chances: 30%

Reds: Tyler Stephenson

One of the few bright spots on what has been a horrible but improving (15-12 since their 3-22 start) Reds team. Stephenson has been their best player so far with a .276 average, a .756 OPS, a 102 OPS+, and 24 RBI in just 37 games and those are decent All-Star numbers for a catcher in 2022.

All-Star Chances: 60%

Brewers: Hunter Renfroe

I am somewhat surprised he has not been an All-Star yet already having two 30 homer seasons under his belt. May not quite have the volume (just 39 games so far) but he does have nine homers, a .503 Slugging, and a 123 OPS+. Would not be an All-Star today but he can definitely have a hot streak to make it.

All-Star Chances: 25%

Pirates: Ke'Bryan Hayes

An outstanding young talent who has been a bright spot on a poor Pirates team. Hasn’t shown much power but has hit .288 with a .371 OBP for a 120 OPS+ so he could very easily be the Pirates representative.

All-Stars Chances 55%

Cardinals: Dakota Hudson

Hudson has been very good again this year and he already has more innings (51.2) than in the previous two seasons combined (47.2). Is not your prototypical starter in the modern game (28 strikeouts in 51.2 innings) but he has been extremely effective again with a 4-2 record and a 2.96 ERA. Seems unlikely to make it but a good month could get him in.

All-Star Chances 15%

Diamondbacks: Zac Gallen

Gallen has done very well for a D-Backs team that has stayed on the fringes of playoff contention in an expanded field. Is 4-0 with a 2.32 ERA in 50.1 innings. This is not extremely surprising either as he had an ERA under 3.00 in at least 70 innings in both 2019 and 2020 so this seems very sustainable and this could lead to an All-Star berth this summer.

All-Star Chances 40%

Rockies: C.J. Cron

Cron is well on his way to setting career highs across the board in his age 32 season and he has had a 30 homer season already. Already this season he has 14 homers and 40 RBI with a .292/.346/.550 slash line. Clearly the most deserving Rockie as of now.

All-Star Chances: 75%

Dodgers: Tony Gonsolin

Finally getting to be a full-time starter after three solid seasons in a limited role and is proving why the Dodgers have made the right choice. Is 6-0 with a 1.59 ERA and a 0.882 WHIP. Almost certain to make the team and could even start as the All-Star Game will be in Dodgers Stadium.

All-Star Chances: 95%

Padres: Joe Musgrove

One of the very best pitchers in baseball this year who has a 6-0 record and an NL leading 1.64 ERA. The most impressive part is that he is 10/10 in quality starts and this requires 6 IP in a start which is insanely impressive and especially so when starters average under 5.0 innings/start.

All-Star Chances: 95%

Giants: Mike Yastrzemski

Another guy who would have been an All-Star if there was one in 2020 and he is back in All-Star form this season. Has a .297/.405/.493 slash line in a pitchers park for a 153 OPS+. He is a good bet to join his Grandfather Carl as Yastrzemski family All-Stars

All-Star Chances: 70%

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