The All-Star Game is such a fun and historically rich game, making it an incredible honor to be selected by the fans to be a part of. From Babe Ruth hitting the first home run in the game’s history to Ted Williams’ Walk-Off home run in the 1941 All-Star Game to the Randy Johnson/Larry Walker faceoff, all the way up to Ichiro Suzuki hitting the first All-Star Game inside the park home run and Torii Hunter robbing Barry Bonds of a bomb in 2002, the All-Star Game produces moments that will forever be engrained in our memories.
Moments like the “All-Century Team” in 1999 with players running out on the field to meet their childhood heroes (Ted Williams in particular) will forever be a part of the game’s amazing history and will be looked back upon with fondness and nostalgia. Winning an All-Star Game Most Valuable Player forever associates a player with the game while providing the player with a trophy and a new truck/car. The All-Star Game is simply a magical experience for any player lucky enough to be selected.
The 2018 All-Star Game will take place on Tuesday, July 17, at Nationals Park in Washington D.C. when perennial All-Stars and first-timers alike will battle it out on one of baseball’s biggest stages. This article will look at the first-timers in particular, so without further ado, here are 10 Players who could become first-time All-Stars in 2018.
10. Eugenio Suarez (Cincinnati Reds), National League Third Baseman
Eugenio Suarez has unbeknownst to most baseball fans, kept up with Kris Bryant and Nolan Arenado this season statistically. Suarez is 10th in National League in home runs (12), 2nd in National League in RBI (49), 3rd in National League in slugging percentage (.555), and 3rd in the National League in OPS (.939). If Suarez doesn’t make the All-Star team, it will be because of how underrated and he is, not his play.
9. Jose Martinez (St. Louis Cardinals), National League First Baseman
Jose Martinez is currently leading the St. Louis Cardinals in every major offensive category including batting average (.321), RBI (42), home runs (10), on-base percentage (.389), and hits (75). Martinez is one of the most underrated players in baseball and this could cost him an All-Star Game appearance. Freddie Freeman is a lock for the National League first base starting spot, but Martinez is 100% worthy of a bench spot for the 2018 All-Star Game.
8. Mitch Moreland (Boston Red Sox), American League First Baseman
First Base for the AL in the 2018 ALl-Star Game is a wide open position with few top candidates (Jose Abreu is first and Moreland is second with Albert Pujols and Miguel Cabrera not too far behind him). Moreland is currently hitting .281 with 10 home runs, 30 RBI, and a .364 on-base percentage. He is not having a monster season by any means, but he has been a solid player on the powerhouse Boston Red Sox and has been a large part of the team’s success.
7. Francisco Cervelli (Pittsburgh Pirates), National League Catcher
Francisco Cervelli has always been a consistent defensive force behind the plate, but just recently, Cervelli has cut down his ground ball rate and is hitting more fly balls, resulting in his hitting to improve dramatically. Cervelli, who’s career OPS to date is .749, is currently hitting an impressive .901 (a .152 OPS jump). The Pirates are currently sitting at 33-35 on the season and one of the main reasons their team is hovering around .500 is Francisco Cervelli who is hitting .263 with 9 home runs, 35 RBI, and a .389 on-base percentage. Cervelli will not be an All-Star Game starter in 2018 with Buster Poesy and Wilson Contreras leading the pack, but he is worthy of his first All-Star Game nod in 2018.
6. Trea Turner (Washington Nationals), National League Shortstop
While the American League Shortstop competition is tremendous, the National League position is wide open and with Corey Seager and Paul DeJong on the DL, this could be Turner’s chance at his first All-Star Game. Especially with the All-Star Game being hosted by his own team, Turner will get a great deal of fan support. The only knock on the speedy shortstop is his .258 batting average and just 7 home runs. Despite this, Turner is currently second in the National League with 19 stolen bases.
5. Trevor Story (Colorado Rockies), National League Shortstop
Trevor Story has been fantastic this season and should be given his first career All-Star nod in 2018. Story is currently 3rd in the National League in home runs (14), 1st in the National League in RBI (50), and 7th in the National League in slugging percentage (.527). The fact that he plays a majority of his games in Coors field is the only knock on his case, but Story is still worthy of playing in this year’s All-Star Game and his statistics prove this to be true.
4. Ozzie Albies (Atlanta Braves), National League Second Baseman
While he did not receive as much pre-season hype as Ronald Acuna, Ozzie Albies has proved to be an absolute stud for the Atlanta Braves and is currently 2nd in the National League in home runs (16) and 1st in the National League in runs (53). Of Albies’ 75 hits thus far, 38 of them have been extra-base hits. Albies is currently leading all National League second basemen in the All-Star Game polls, making him a virtual lock to make the team.
3. Gleyber Torres (New York Yankees), American League Second Baseman
Jose Altuve has the American League starting second base position locked up, but Torres should also be given an ALl-Star Game nod and take part in the game for the first time in his young career. The rookie is currently hitting .295 with 13 home runs, 33 RBI, and a .351 on-base percentage after getting called up to the Bronx Bombers midseason. Torres has been a monster and should be a no-doubt All-Star this year.
2. Scooter Gennett (Cincinnati Reds), National League Second Baseman
Scooter Gennett went from one of the weaker hitters on the Cincinnati Reds to an absolute monster in just one year. Gennett, a career .289 hitter, is currently 2nd in the National League in batting average (.341), 10th in the National League in home runs (12), 4th in the National League in RBI (47), 4th in the National League in Slugging (.550), and 5th in the National League in OPS (.928). Gennett is more than worthy of his first career All-Star Game nod and has put together a convincing case to be a starter.
1. Nick Markakis (Atlanta Braves), National League Outfielder
Nick Markakis has broken out of his shell in 2018 and is destroying the league’s pitching. Markakis currently owns a .325 batting average with 8 home runs, 44 RBI, and a .386 on-base percentage. Markakis is leading the young Atlanta Braves this season and has thus far made his mark across the league as well. The 34-year-old is currently 5th in the National League in batting average (.325), 7th in the National League in RBI (44), 9th in the National League in runs (41), and 10th in the National League in OPS (.873). If Markakis is not having an All-Star caliber season then my name is not Giuseppe Vitulli.
Major League Baseball fans may cast their All-Star Game votes at MLB.com and all 30 MLB team’s sites — on computers, tablets, and smartphones — exclusively online using the 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot until Thursday, July 5, at 11:59 p.m. ET. On smartphones and tablets, fans can also access the ballot using the MLB At Bat and MLB Ballpark mobile apps. Each fan can vote up to five times in any 24-hour period, for a maximum of 35 ballots cast.
Following the announcement of this year’s All-Stars, fans are encouraged to return to MLB.com and cast their 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Final Vote for the final player on each league’s roster. Then on Tuesday, July 17, while watching the 2018 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard live on FOX, fans are also encouraged to head over to MLB.com to submit their choices for the “Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award” presented by Chevrolet with the 2018 MLB All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Vote.
Don’t forget, any player you want to see participate in the 2018 All-Star Game is counting on your vote! So don’t be shy and vote for your favorite players to ensure that your All-Star Game experience is a great one.