The Finalists for the 2022 MLB All-Star Ballot

MLB All-Star Ballot

In 2022, the MLB All-Star Game will be held on July 19 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. The first phase of fan-voting for the All-Star Game has finished, with the finalists having been announced on Thursday. Only the final phase of voting is yet to be completed.

The top four outfielders in each league along with the top two players at every other position advance to the final voting phase, which begins on Tuesday and lasts until next Friday. Aaron Judge and Ronald Acuna, Jr. are the first two starters to be announced, as the pair received the most votes in the American and National League and automatically become part of the starting lineup.

Catcher

Alejandro Kirk and Jose Trevino advanced to the final phase at this position in the American League. Trevino has been good this season, with solid defense and a .771 OPS, but Kirk will almost certainly be the starter. The Blue Jays catcher has been incredible this season, with a .933 OPS, 10 home runs, and more walks than strikeouts.

In the National League Travis d’Arnaud and Willson Contreras advanced to the final phase. d’Arnaud has been extremely good this season, especially during June, and will make it to the All-Star Game as a backup, but Contreras has been one of the best overall hitters in the league.

Contreras is almost certainly in his last few weeks as a Chicago Cub, but the trade speculation hasn’t bothered him. He has hit 13 home runs and a .280/.394/.519 slash line already this season and leads the Cubs in WAR. He’s on track to be named an All-Star for the third time.

First Base

The American League competition at first base is one of the closest among All-Star voting, with Ty France and Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. advancing to the final stage of voting. France is off to the best start to a season of his career in his fourth year in the MLB, building off back-to-back seasons where had an OPS above .800 to record a .867 OPS so far this year, but the Mariners’ first baseman was placed on the injured list last week.

Guerrero dealt with a slump which lasted nearly the whole month of May, but since then the Blue Jays first baseman has emerged as an All-Star yet again, whether he is a starter or not. He has hit 18 home runs after leading the league with 48 last season, and he’s playing his best baseball of the season recently, with a .938 OPS in June, with France’s injury, he’ll start the All-Star Game in Los Angeles.

Just like in the American League, the National League has an incredible competition at first base. Paul Goldschmidt led voting at the position in the first round, and is an MVP candidate this season with a 1.054 OPS and the league lead in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, hits, and total bases.

Pete Alonso would be an All-Star Game starter in almost any other season. He leads the league in RBI with 69, already has 22 home runs, and has recorded a .280/.359/.560 slash line. He’ll be a member of the team, but Goldschmidt will almost certainly be the starter, and he deserves to be.

Second Base

At second base, another Blue Jay is one of the finalists heading into the second phase as Santiago Espinal joins Jose Altuve in the final phase of voting. Espinal has been excellent in his third season, with an OPS+ of 107 and excellent defense which has given him almost two WAR heading into the All-Star break.

However, Altuve was the leading vote-getter, and the Astros second baseman will almost certainly reach, and start, his eighth All-Star Game. Altuve has hit 15 home runs with a .866 OPS, and has been one of the most important players on one of the best teams in the American League.

The National League finalists are Ozzie Albies and Jazz Chisholm, who are unfortunately both injured. Albies was placed on the injured list on June 14 after fracturing his foot against the Nationals, the two-time All-Star is expected to return before the end of the season, but he was placed on the 60-day IL almost immediately after the injury and will likely not return until August or September.

Chisholm has started to establish himself as one of the best young players in the game over the last few years. The 24-year-old is on the way to a career-best season, with 14 home runs, and a .860 OPS in 60 games this year. Unfortunately, he was placed on the IL on Wednesday due to a back injury, and while he’ll likely be named a starter and reach his first All-Star game, it is unclear whether or not he’ll be able to participate.

Third Base

Jose Ramirez and Rafael Devers, the two finalists at third base in the American League, have been arguably the league’s two best position players outside of Aaron Judge, unfortunately only one of them will get to start the All-Star Game.

Ramirez has been incredible for the Guardians since signing a contract extension earlier this year. He has hit 16 home runs, leads the American League in RBI with 63, and enters July with a .296/.381/.596 slash line.

Devers has been just as good for Boston. He is tied for the MLB lead in hits with Paul Goldschmidt, and leads the American League in doubles with 26. The third base competition in the AL is one of the best in the sport heading into the final phase of voting.

The National League finalists are Manny Machado and Nolan Arenado. Arenado continues to be excellent since being traded to the St. Louis Cardinals. He is third in the league in Outs Above Average at the position while hitting 14 home runs and 19 doubles with a .835 OPS. He probably won’t start the All-Star Game, but he will still be a member of the team for the seventh time in the last eight years.

Manny Machado is an NL MVP candidate heading into the second half of the season. The Padres third baseman has a .943 OPS through his first 67 games of the season and his defense has been almost as good as Arenado’s, with his eight Outs Above Average just two behind Arenado’s 10. He will make his sixth All-Star appearance and will almost certainly be a member of the NL’s starting lineup.

Shortstop

Bo Bichette and Tim Anderson are the finalists at shortstop in the American League. Bichette had an uncharacteristic start to the season, and finished April with a .535 OPS, but since then the Blue Jays infielder has recovered to enter July with an OPS+ of 104.

Anderson remains one of the most consistent hitters in the sport. He is batting .340 this season across 212 plate appearances and is again one of the AL leaders in batting average after winning the batting title in 2019.

In the National League Trea Turner and Dansby Swanson advanced to the final phase of voting. Swanson has emerged as one of the best players at the position as he prepares for free agency, and he is playing excellent defense while hitting 13 home runs with a .837 OPS this season.

Turner has been outstanding as well, with an almost identical .838 OPS and 15 stolen bases so far this season. The competition for the starting spot at shortstop in the National League will be one of the most interesting to watch over the next week.

Outfield

Mike Trout, George Springer, Giancarlo Stanton, and Lourdes Gurriel, Jr. are the finalists in the outfield for the American League and will try to join Aaron Judge as starters at the position. Trout has again been one of the best players in baseball this season with an OPS of 1.037; he will almost certainly join Judge in the starting lineup.
Springer and Stanton have had very similar seasons so far. Springer’s OPS+ stands at 136 and Stanton’s is 144, while Gurriel’s is 113. Stanton and Springer are likely to compete for the final starting spot. Springer was slightly ahead of Stanton in voting during the first phase, but both are likely to be members of the AL team.

Ronald Acuna, Jr. will be one of the members of the NL outfield, and the other finalists are Mookie Betts, Joc Pederson, Starling Marte, and Adam Duvall. Betts nearly had the most votes in the NL during the first phase of voting, and has been one of the best players in the league during the first half of the season. Unfortunately, he cracked his rib on June 20, although he could return from the IL before the All-Star Game.

Pederson has been phenomenal in his first season in San Francisco. He is having one of the best seasons of his career, with a .934 OPS, 17 home runs, and more than 100 total bases in 65 games. He is likely to be one of the starters in the NL’s outfield.

In his first season as a New York Met, Starling Marte has been excellent, with an OPS+ of 118. He could be a member of the NL’s All-Star team even if he isn’t a starter. Duvall has been an All-Star once before, in 2016, and will enter the final round of voting with a chance to make his second appearance in the game.

Designated Hitter

Yordan Alvarez and Shohei Ohtani are the two finalists at Designated Hitter in the American League in what is one of the best competitions in All-Star voting. Alvarez leads the MLB in OPS and slugging percentage, and has hit 23 home runs this season to lead voting at the end of the first phase.

Ohtani has been excellent yet again in 2022 both as a hitter and a pitcher after winning the MVP award last season. He has an OPS of .855 entering July, with a 2.68 ERA on the mound. Ohtani will be a member of the AL’s pitching staff at the All-Star Game, but Alvarez will likely be in the starting lineup as the designated hitter.

Willson Contreras’ brother William is one of the finalists at DH in the National League, as he and Bryce Harper advanced to the final round of voting. Harper had a phenomenal .985 OPS this season, and was on track to compete for the MVP award for the second consecutive year, but he suffered an injury to his thumb that will require surgery and he will likely be out of the Phillies lineup for a few months.

Contreras has been one of the best hitters in the National League and will almost certainly be the NL’s starting DH in the absence of Harper. His .264/.343/.544 slash line is the best of his career so far, and will lead to him joining his brother in Los Angeles.

 


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