Updated: Jul 8
Mets' manager Buck Showalter says they should have a spot
Written by: Wendell Quan Fun (Twitter: @Wendell_QF)
Arizona Diamondbacks' C/OF Daulton Varsho (Image: Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)
Last month, New York Mets' manager Buck Showalter said that there should be spots for utility players at the All-Star Game. He was referring to one of his own players, Luis Guillorme. Guillorme is batting a solid .292 while playing second base, third base, and shortstop. While I appreciate how much he values his own utility player with the Mets, here are six better players to choose from. All six players are regulars who:
Have played at least three positions
Have started at least 3 games at each position
Have played at least 30 innings at each position
Have better offensive numbers than Luis Guillorme (and most typical utility players)
Luis Arraez, Minnesota Twins
Luis Arraez has made at least 23 starts at 1B and 2B. He's also started 3 games at 3B, and played just under 40 innings there. But he's also slashing career highs of .354/.425/.455 in 75 games this year! His .354 batting average is tops in the American League.
D.J. LeMahieu, New York Yankees
LeMahieu has made at least 10 starts and played at least 84 innings at 1B, 2B, and 3B. While he won't replicate any of his three previous All-Star seasons, he is still on pace to finish 2022 with a respectable 16 home runs and 68 RBIs. We've seen far worse hitters make the All-Star Game before. And finally, he could be on pace for a career-high in WAR. Halfway through the season, he already has a WAR of 3.0.
Isaac Paredes, Tampa Bay Rays
Paredes has made at least 7 starts and played at least 61 innings at 1B, 2B and 3B. Yet, he's helped the Rays much more with his bat than with his glove(s). After hitting only 1 home run in each of his last two seasons, he's exploded for 13 this season, with a respectable .254 average. That's not what you would expect from a guy that was being shuttled between Tampa Bay and Triple-A Durham. Isaac Paredes spent all of April in Triple-A, and has only played with the Rays because of injuries to 1B Ji-Man Choi and 2B Brandon Lowe.
Daulton Varsho, Arizona Diamondbacks
Daulton Varsho has played the most difficult combination of positions on this list. He has crouched behind the plate as a catcher for 172 innings, and also chased down flyballs in centre field for 212 innings. He's also played 134 innings in right field. As if that wasn't demanding enough, he has already hit a career-high 12 home runs and 41 RBIs! That puts him second on the team, only behind Christian Walker.
Jon Berti, Miami Marlins
Jon Berti's offensive production doesn't jump off the paper, but it's still better than Luis Guillorme's. Berti leads MLB with 25 stolen bases, but he's only played 50 games! He's regularly played four positions this season, with at least 30 innings at 2B, 3B, SS, and LF. He's also played 12 innings in centre field.
Wilmer Flores, San Francisco Giants
Wilmer Flores has started at least 9 games and played at least 93 innings at three positions: 1B, 2B, and 3B. After a solid first half with 9 home runs and 41 RBIs, Flores is on pace to set career highs in home runs, RBIs, plate appearances, and runs. His versatility doesn't end there. Wilmer Flores has batted everywhere in the lineup at least 3 times, with at least 30 at-bats hitting second, third, fourth, and sixth in the Giants' batting order.
None of these players advanced to Phase Two of All-Star voting this year, but a few of them were inside the top ten at different positions. D.J. LeMahieu and Luis Arraez should get some consideration as All-Star reserves. Playing for division-leading teams should work in their favor.
Major League Baseball cannot grant Buck Showalter his wish this season, but a couple of utility players could make it to the All-Star Game anyway. We shall see on July 10!