2022 MLB All-Star Choice Finalists


2022 MLB All-Star Choice Finalists

Phase 1 results were announced Thursday on the MLB Network. The leading vote collector in each league — Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge in the American League and Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. in the National League — has earned a spot on his team’s starting lineup at the 92nd Midsummer Classic at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on July 19th.

Meanwhile, the next four outfielders (in terms of vote counts) in each league and the top two vote collectors at every other position, including designated hitter, will proceed to Phase 2, which begins at 12 p.m. ET on July 5 and through will continue at 2 p.m. ET on July 8, ahead of that evening’s 2022 Chevrolet MLB All-Star Starters Reveal Show.

During this time, fans will be able to vote once per day who they would like to see in the Midsummer Classic, and the total votes from Phase 1 will not carry over.

The Blue Jays lead with seven finalists in Stage 2, followed by the Braves with five finalists in addition to Acuña, who has already earned his seed.

The pitchers and reserves for both teams – a total of 23 players for each side – are determined via “player ballot” selections and Commissioner’s Office selections. The full All-Star roster will be announced during the 2022 Chevrolet MLB All-Star Selection Show on July 10.

Here are the MLB All-Star Ballot finalists.

One of seven MLB-leading Blue Jays to make it to Stage 2, Kirk has hit a .320/.413/.519 slash with 10 homers and more walks (30) than strikeouts (23) this season. The 23-year-old has also demonstrated excellent pitch framing skills, finishing third in called strike rate on borderline pitches, a category in which Trevino leads the majors. The Yankees planned to go into this season with Kyle Higashioka and Ben Rortvedt as their two catchers, but after Rortvedt strained his slash, New York Trevino earned 2nd best record. Trevino’s defense has always been his calling card, but the 29-year-old has made the difference with the bat again this season, hitting .271 with a career-high six homers and .771 OPS.

Not only did Guerrero start from first base for the AL at last year’s Midsummer Classic, he also won the All-Star Game MVP award amid a spectacular breakout season. The 23-year-old is on track to get close to the 40-homer mark again in 2022. He takes on France, who hit with 10 homers and a .867 OPS .316 but is sidelined by a flexor strain in his left elbow. The Mariners’ first baseman seeks his first All-Star nod.

Altuve is a seven-time All-Star and four-time starter, but he hasn’t appeared on the starting lineup for the AL since 2018. The 32-year-old’s 150 OPS+ this season is his best grade since he posted a 160 OPS+ during his AL MVP Award-winning 2017 campaign. Espinal, who is among the second-base leaders in above-average outs and hitting five home runs in .268 earned the other finalist spot at the Capstone for the AL.

Starting spot on the hot corner of the AL roster will be decided by a heavyweight match between two of the game’s best sluggers. In a corner is Ramírez, who leads the AL in RBIs (63) and has hit .297s with 16 homers and 178 OPS+. On the other side is Devers, who has an average of .328 and an OPS+ of 168 with 17 things. J-Ram has already started the All-Star game twice, in 2017 and 2018, but Devers is the incumbent.

After earning his first All-Star selection last year, Bichette will now be looking to secure his first start. His production has started to recover from a slow start as he has recorded nine homers, 27 RBIs and an .806 OPS in his last 39 games. The 24-year-old takes on Anderson, who edged out last year’s AL shortstop Xander Bogaerts for second finalist spot. The 2019 AL batting champion is in the mix for another crown, hitting .340 with five homers, 10 steals and 139 OPS+. Like Bichette, Anderson made the All-Star team for the first time in 2021.

Since Judge has the right to bypass Phase 2 and enter the AL starting lineup based on his total vote count in the league, the last two outfield spots in the AL are reduced to those four. Trout, Springer and Stanton are All-Star Game veterans who have made 16 selections combined – nine by Trout, three by Springer and four by Stanton. Meanwhile, Gurriel wants to be promoted to the All-Star team for the first time.

Alvarez, the MLB leader in slugging (.658) and OPS (1.070), won the 2019 AL Rookie of the Year award but never made an all-star team. The 25-year-old, who is being evaluated for a concussion after a scary clash with shortstop Jeremy Peña on Wednesday, would become the second-youngest player in All-Star Game history to start at DH, after Stanton in 2014. when passing the reigning AL MVP. Ohtani excelled in June, posting six homers, 17 RBIs and a .973 OPS on the plate and a 1.52 ERA, 38 K’s and seven walks on the mound.

Contreras, the NL’s starting catcher in both 2018 and 2019, is having the best season of his career this winter, with free agency looming. The Cubs backstop has a personal high of 154 OPS+ and leads all catchers with 13 home runs. d’Arnaud isn’t far behind at 11 things, and he’s improved his 2021 OPS (.671) by 151 points this year, putting himself in position to form his first All-Star team.

Goldschmidt was named to the NL All-Star Team for six consecutive seasons from 2013 to 2018 and started three times in that span (once as the NL’s DH after designating the team as a reserve), but this would be his first selection in four seasons with the cardinals. The 34-year-old leads MLB in batting average (.342) and on-base percentage (.424) and the NL in slugging (.630) and OPS (1.054). However, he has stiff competition for that seed, as Alonso shares the NL lead in home runs (22) and has more RBIs (69) than anyone in the majors.

In their history, only four Marlins players have started the All-Star Game: Hanley Ramirez (three times), Giancarlo Stanton (twice), Marcell Ozuna (twice) and Gary Sheffield (once). With Albies on the 60-day injured list after breaking his left foot in mid-June, Chisholm has a good chance of finishing fifth despite going into the IL himself on Wednesday with a right lower back strain. Chisholm, 24, had 14 homers, 12 steals and 139 OPS+ before his injury.

In Phase 2 of the All-Star Vote, two of the best of their generation will go head-to-head to determine the starting third baseman in the NL. Machado and Arenado have made 11 All-Star teams and won 11 Gold Glove Awards combined, and are both having stellar seasons for postseason contenders in 2022.

Before they both enter the free-agent market this offseason, Turner and Swanson will go head-to-head to determine the starting shortstop in the NL. The two have remarkably similar seasons — Turner has hit .309 with 11 homers, 15 steals, and .849 OPS, while Swanson has a .295 batting average, 13 homers, 11 steals, and .844 OPS.

Betts, who is currently in the IL with a fractured right rib, was the leading NL vote collector after the first and second Phase 1 updates, but he ultimately relinquished that spot to Acuña. As a result, he must compete with Pederson, Marte and Duvall for one of the last two outfield spots on the NL starting lineup. Betts’ five career All-Star selections are two more than Pederson, Marte and Duvall combined. Betts has started the Midsummer Classic three times, all during his time with the Red Sox.

Harper, relegated to DH duty for most of the year due to a cruciate ligament tear in his right elbow, has posted similar offensive numbers to his NL MVP Award-winning season a year ago. However, he is out indefinitely after suffering a broken left thumb on a hit-by-pitch, which could open the door for Contreras to secure the DH starting spot for the NL. The 24-year-old has hit nine homers this season and produced an .899 OPS while splitting time between DH and catcher for Atlanta. If both Contreras brothers end up in the NL roster, they would become the first pair of brothers to make the All-Star team in the same year since Bret and Aaron Boone in 2003, according to Elias Sports Bureau. The last brothers to start an All-Star Game in the same year? Sandy Alomar Jr and Roberto Alomar in 1992.

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