The 2018 Major League Baseball All-Star Game roster was announced on July 8th and while baseball fans wait for the game, I felt the need give you, the readers of Doubleday Double Talk, a look at the rosters, as well as the good, the bad, the ugly, and the snubs of the 2018 Mid-Summer Classic that is to be hosted on July 17th, by the Washington Nationals in Washington D.C.
So without further ado, here are your 2018 All-Stars.
Catcher: Willson Contreras, Chicago Cubs
First Baseman: Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves
Second Baseman: Javier Baez, Chicago Cubs
Third Baseman: Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies
Shortstop: Brandon Crawford, San Francisco Giants
Outfielders: Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals; Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers; Nick Markakis, Atlanta Braves
C: Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals*
C: J.T. Realmuto, Miami Marlins
1B: Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks
1B: Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds
2B: Ozzie Albies, Atlanta Braves
2B: Scooter Gennett, Cincinnati Reds
3B: Eugenio Suarez, Cincinnati Reds
SS: Trevor Story, Colorado Rockies
OF: Charlie Blackmon, Colorado Rockies
OF: Lorenzo Cain, Milwaukee Brewers
OF: Christian Yelich, Milwaukee Brewers
Starters: Patrick Corbin, Arizona Diamondbacks; Jacob deGrom, New York Mets; Mike Foltynewicz, Atlanta Braves; Jon Lester, Chicago Cubs; Miles Mikolas, St. Louis Cardinals; Aaron Nola, Philadelphia Phillies; Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals.
Relievers: Sean Doolittle, Washington Nationals; Josh Hader, Milwaukee Brewers; Brad Hand, San Diego Padres; Kenley Jansen, Los Angeles Dodgers; Felipe Vazquez, Pittsburgh Pirates.
Catcher: Wilson Ramos, Tampa Bay Rays
First Baseman: Jose Abreu, Chicago White Sox
Second Baseman: Jose Altuve, Houston Astros
Third Baseman: Jose Ramirez, Cleveland Indians
Shortstop: Manny Machado, Baltimore Orioles
Outfielders: Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox; Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels; Aaron Judge, New York Yankees
Designated Hitter: J.D. Martinez, Boston Red Sox
C: Salvador Perez, Kansas City Royals
1B: Mitch Moreland, Boston Red Sox
2B: Gleyber Torres, New York Yankees
3B: Alex Bregman, Houston Astros
SS: Francisco Lindor, Cleveland Indians
OF: Michael Brantley Cleveland Indians
OF: Shin-Soo Choo, Texas Rangers
OF: Mitch Haniger, Seattle Mariners
OF: George Springer, Houston Astros
OF: Nelson Cruz, Seattle Mariners
Starters: Trevor Bauer, Cleveland Indians; Jose Berrios, Minnesota Twins; Gerrit Cole, Houston Astros; J.A. Happ, Toronto Blue Jays; Corey Kluber, Cleveland Indians; Chris Sale, Boston Red Sox; Luis Severino, New York Yankees; Justin Verlander, Houston Astros.
Relievers: Aroldis Chapman, New York Yankees, Edwin Diaz, Seattle Mariners; Joe Jimenez, Detroit Tigers; Craig Kimbrel, Boston Red Sox; Blake Treinen, Oakland Athletics.
*Molina was put into the game due to Buster Posey being injured.
Now that you know who and to some degree what to expect in the All-Star Game, here is the good, bad, ugly, and the snubs of the 2018 MLB All-Star roster.
Nick Markakis Making the Team
After 13-years of being one of the most consistent players in the Major Leagues, Nick Markakis is finally going to his first All-Star Game and it is as a starter. Markakis has hit .322 with 10 home runs, 59 RBI, a 140 OPS+ (100 is league average), and a .879 OPS. Markakis is proof that if you do what you do well for as long as you can, at some point it will be recognized and in Markakis’ case, it is as a National League All-Star Game starting outfielder.
Scooter Gennett Making the Team
Little did anyone know one fateful night in 2017 that one of the weakest hitters on the Cincinnati Reds would hit 4 home runs that game and little did anyone know that this was not a fluke and it was a sign of things to come.
Scooter Gennett has become the best second baseman in the National League in 2018 after hitting .326 with 14 home runs with 58 RBI, a .883 OPS, a 136 OPS+ (100 is league average), and a .515 slugging percentage. Gennett went from a nobody on the Milwaukee Brewers in 2016 to a superstar with the Cincinnati Reds in 2018 and despite not getting the fan vote to start the game (which I consider a snub in itself) Gennett will finally get his first career All-Star nod.
Eugenio Suarez Making the Team
Eugenio Suarez is one of the most underrated players in baseball and has quietly kept up with the likes of Nolan Arenado and Kris Bryant at the plate. Suarez has hit .315 with 19 home runs in 2018 and is getting the recognition that he deserves after being placed on the All-Star team as a reserve.
Miles Mikolas making the team
Mikolas has completely reinvented himself and has gone from owning a 6.44 ERA in 2014 before being shipped off to Japan, to putting up a 9-3 record with a 2.63 ERA in 17 Games Started. There are few more deserving of an All-Star nod than Mikolas and it is great to see him have so much success after being an outcast of the MLB just a few years ago.
Matt Kemp Making the Team
Matt Kemp making the National League All-Star Game proves one thing, that the fans are paying attention and are giving credit where credit is due. Kemp is hitting .319 with 15 home runs, 57 RBI, and a 145 OPS+ (100 is league average). It is nice to see players that appear to be out of it have big comeback seasons and Kemp is being rewarded for doing just that.
Bryce Harper Starting in Right
Bryce Harper in a contract year and has done nothing but hurt himself in 2018 for the 2018-19 Offseason. Harper has hit a meager .219 with 21 home runs in 2018. Harper somehow manages to keep a respectable OPS and OPS+, but he is hitting .219. Juan Soto is not being sent to the 2018 All-Star game after hitting .308 with 8 home runs and 26 RBI in 43 games with a .987 OPS so far this season because Bryce Harper is a fan favorite, proving once again that the All-Star Game is simply a popularity contest. The fact that Harper even made the All-Star team, let alone being a starter, is a disgrace to the game.
Salvador Perez Making Team As Reserve
Salvador Perez has been an All-Star every single year since 2013 and is a lock to get in every year (despite mediocre play at best in 2018). In 2018, Perez has hit an unimpressive .213 with 11 home runs and a 72 OPS+ (100 is league average). I get that the MLB wants every single team to have a representative, but seriously, when a team’s best option is to send a catcher who is barely keeping his head above the Mendoza Line to the All-Star Game, things have gotten out of hand.
The New York Yankees and The Los Angeles Dodgers are Banding Together For The Final Vote, Same With The Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals
The Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers have grouped up with marketing campaigns in order to get votes for Andrew Benintendi and Max Muncy while the Yankees and Cardinals are firing back with the same strategy to get support for Giancarlo Stanton and Matt Carpenter. All four teams also refused to pair with the Brewers or Rays, which is a selfish, cynical move as well as a disgrace to our game. Hopefully, the fans will vote for who they truly feel deserves the honor of being an All-Star and not just based off of whoever is being endorsed by who. You can vote for who you think is deserving of an All-Star nod HERE.
Ross Stripling, Pitcher, Los Angeles Dodgers
Through 13 starts and 24 appearances total in 2018, Ross Stripling currently owns a 2.22 ERA and is striking out over 28 percent of faced batters while causing almost 50 percent of his opponents to hit ground balls. His ERA is good for second in the National League and Ross should be a no-doubt All-Star. Dave Roberts had this to say on Stripling and the All-Star Game:
“Obviously every year … starters on their start days are not available to pitch in the All-Star Game, and certain other guys get opportunities. Ross is one of those guys. In our opinion, he’s an All-Star.”
Albert Almora Jr., Center Fielder, Chicago Cubs
How does a league’s highest batting average go unnoticed by MLB fans that cared enough to vote? The spectacular center fielder Albert Almora is tied for the league’s highest batting average with Cincinnati Reds All-Star Scooter Gennett (who missed out on a starting spot to Javier Baez) at .326. Almora is also tied for fifth in his position in defensive runs saved. Despite his efforts, Charlie Blackmon was given the nod over Almora.
Kirby Yates, Pitcher, San Diego Padres
Brad Hand was the San Diego Padres only All-Star Game representative despite the fact that Kirby Yates has put up Al-Star Caliber numbers in 2018. His 1.57 ERA in 35 games should be more than enough to get him a spot on the 2018 National League All-Star team.
Juan Soto, Left Field, Washington Nationals
The Washington Nationals are sending Right Fielder Bryce Harper, who is hitting .219 as I mentioned before, as their sole representative at the game that they are hosting while the 19-year-old Juan Soto is being restrained from going after hitting .308 with 8 home runs and 26 RBI in 43 games with a .987 OPS.
Adam Ottavino, Pitcher, Colorado Rockies
After posting an ERA that exceeded 5 in the 2017 season, Adam Ottavino has had an incredible bounce-back season in which he has posted a 1.79 ERA in 37 relief appearances. Ottavino has struck out over 41 percent of batters, has 0.92 WHIP, and is holding his opponents to a minuscule .157 batting average. Ottavino has been one of (if not the) best relievers in baseball this year and should be an All-Star.
“I’m not surprised,” Adam Ottavino said of not making the National League All-Star roster. “It’s because I’m on the Rockies. Pitchers don’t get any credit playing for the Rockies.”
Andrelton Simmons, Shortstop, Anaheim Angels
Andrelton Simmons is the best defensive player in baseball and his bat has finally come around the way that the Angels organization had hoped making him a true superstar. To accompany Simmons’ fielding, Simba has been slashing .312/.373/.442 and joins the Cleveland Indians’ Francisco Lindor as the only MLB shortstop worth over 3.2 wins. Simmons is currently a candidate for the AL Final Vote so he could still make the team. Simmons doesn’t hit for too much power, but he has been a key part of the Angels team this year and deserves to join teammate Mike Trout in Washington D.C. Vote Simmons HERE!
Jean Segura, Shortstop, Seattle Mariners
Jean Segura has been a stud in 2018, putting up a .330 batting average with 47 RBI and 14 stolen bases in 349 at-bats. Segura is also on the American League Final Ballot and could still be selected to the team. Segura should have been a no-brainer, but because of the incredible competition he faces at shortstop in the American League, Segura might not even get in.
Jeremy Jeffress, Pitcher, Milwaukee Brewers
Jeremy Jeffress currently owns a 1.05 ERA (best in the NL) through 42 appearances and is holding opponents to a .156 batting average. His WHIP is also down at 0.84 and the only reason he is not an All-Star is that of bullpen-mate Josh Hader has been even better. Despite this, Jeffress was still robbed.
Jesus Aguilar, First Basebaseman, Milwaukee Brewers
Jesus Aguilar leads all Major League first basemen with 23 home runs and 64 RBI, while his 1.001 OPS is also the best in the National League overall. Despite Aguilar’s early season success, he will have to settle for being included among the five players on the Final Vote (that is if he is voted in by the fans). Joey Votto and Paul Goldschmidt are putting together amazing careers, but Aguilar has outhit the two thus far in 2018.
Jed Lowrie, Second Baseman, Oakland A’s
Jed Lowrie lost a shot at his first All-Star Game appearance at the hands of Gleyber Torres who is having a fantastic season himself with a .905 OPS. Despite this, Torres has committed 10 errors and trails Lowrie in home runs (16-15) and RBI (62-42), two major statistics that Lowrie leads all American League second basemen in. Torres is also currently on the Disabled List and his status heading into the game is in question. If Torres is unable to play backup to Jose Altuve in the All-Star Game, Lowrie should be the clear choice to replace him.
Charlie Morton, Pitcher, Houston Astros
Not being selected to the 2018 All-Star Game must have been especially painful for Charlie Morton who has been outstanding this season with a record of 11-2 with a 2.83 ERA and an opponents’ batting average against of .199. Fellow staff mates Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole made the All-Star Game while Morton didn’t which is absolutely unacceptable. Morton has been in the league for over 10 years and has never been worthy of All-Star selection, which must make it especially disheartening after finally putting up All-Star numbers, just to fall short in the end.
Blake Snell, Pitcher, Tampa Bay Rays
Blake Snell is the biggest All-Star Snub of the 2018 season after posting a 2.09 ERA with 12 wins and a .183 opponents batting average against. The fact that Blake Snell was not voted on to the All-Star team is an absolute disgrace to the game and proof that the All-Star Game’s voting system is broken. While Snell will most likely be put on the team by Commissioner Robert Manfred, it is still a travesty that Snell wasn’t put on the team in the first place. Rays teammate Chris Archer also had some choice words for baseball fans, players, and the commissioner after being notified of Snell being snubbed.
Don’t forget to tune into the All-Star Game on July 17th, 2018 and watch the best players in the world face off in a battle of the titans in our Nation’s Capital, Washington D.C., at 7 o’clock P.M. EST on ESPN.
As a writer, I am supposed to be a somewhat neutral source, but let us forget that for just long enough for me to say, Go American League (sorry Daryll)! Feel free to tell us who you are rooting for in the comments section below.