American League All-Star Starters Announced

Shohei Ohtani 06292023
(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

Phase two of the fan vote for the 2023 All-Star Game in Seattle is over, and the starters were announced on ESPN Thursday night. We are going to be looking at the American League’s lineup in this article. Four different teams are representing the American League in the starting lineup. The Texas Rangers lead the way with four starters, followed by the Tampa Bay Rays and Los Angeles Angels with two starters. The New York Yankees have one starter. Five of the starters for the American League will be starting for the first time in their careers, including one rookie.

The final All-Star Game rosters, including pitchers and reserve players will be announced on July 2. Unlike the starting position players, pitchers will be selected by a player vote. With the fan vote always being under such scrutiny, a player vote seems like the happy medium for baseball fans when it comes to voting. The All-Star Game takes place on July 11 at T-Mobile Park in Seattle.

Catcher: Jonah Heim (Texas Rangers)

Texas Rangers catcher Jonah Heim will be starting his first All Star Game in his first ever appearance. He barely beat out young phenom Adley Rutschman of the Baltimore Orioles. On the season, Jonah Heim is slashing .279/.331/.469. He has a .800 OPS and a 118 OPS+, 17 doubles, 11 home runs, and 55 RBI. Heim leads AL catchers in WAR at 2.7. Where he fell stands out is his framing. One of the best in the league, he ranks in the top 10% of all catchers according to Baseball Savant

First Base: Yandy Diaz (Tampa Bay Rays)

Yandy Diaz will also be making his first All-Star appearance as a starter. Yandy has helped lead the Rays to a league best 56–28 (.667) record. He is slashing .322/.407/.521 with a .928 OPS and a 160 OPS+. Diaz currently leads all American League first baseman in AVG, OBP, SLG, OPS, OPS+, WRC+, and WAR. One of the best players in all of baseball this season, Diaz certainly earned his first nod to the midseason classic. Runner up was Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

Second Base: Marcus Semien (Texas Rangers)

Marcus Semien will be an All–Star Game starter for the second time in his career. He started his last All–Star Game in 2021 for the Toronto Blue Jays. In his second season with the Rangers, Semien is slashing .282/.341/.460 with a .802 OPS, and a 119 OPS+. Semien currently leads all of baseball in games played, plate appearances, at-bats, and runs. He currently leads all second baseman in runs (65), RBI (55), and WAR (3.2). Marcus has helped lead the Rangers to an AL West leading 49–32 record, five games ahead of the second place Houston Astros. Runner up for second base was Whit Merrifield of the Blue Jays.

Third Base: Josh Jung (Texas Rangers)

Two rookies were named an All-Star Game this season. Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Corbin Carroll and Josh Jung of the Texas Rangers. Jung will be the first Rangers rookie to be a starter since the team moved to Texas in 1972. He leads all major league rookies in home runs (16), RBI (47), and runs scored (55). Jung ranks in the top 20% of all major league hitters in average exit velocity, HardHit%, xSLG, Barrel%, and OAA. He beat out runner up Matt Chapman of the Toronto Blue Jays.

Shortstop: Corey Seager (Texas Rangers)

Rounding out an impressive Texas Rangers double play combo is Corey Seager. Two season ago, the Rangers made a splash in free agency, and spent $500 million on Semien and Seager. Two years later, the combo will start the All-Star Game together. This is everything Rangers fans could have hoped for and more. On the season, Seager is slashing .345/.411/.609 with a 1.020 OPS and a 177 OPS+. Seager has 22 doubles, 10 home runs, and 48 RBI in 49 games this season since returning from the IL in May. Since his return he ranks in the top 2% of all major league hitters in Average Exit Velocity, HardHit%, xwOBA, xBA, xSLG, and Barrell%. He joins Alex Rodriguez and Toby Harrah as the only Rangers shortstops to ever start an All-Star Game. Seager beat out runner up Bo Bichette.

Outfield: Mike Trout (LAA), Randy Arozarena (TBR), Aaron Judge (NYY)

Mike Trout

Since making his first All Star Game as a reserve in 2012, Mike Trout has won the fan vote every year since. 2023 will mark his 10th straight selection to start the midsummer classic. Currently slashing .254/.363/.485 with a .849 OPS and a 132 OPS+. 13 doubles, 17 home runs, and 42 RBI, That is considered a down year for Trout, but it is still a very good season. Trout currently in in the top 10% of all hitters in Max Exit Velocity, HardHit%, xwOBA, xSLG, Barrel%, and Chase Rate. More impressively, in his 13th season in baseball, Mike Trout is still top 4% of the league in Sprint Speed.

Randy Arozarena

Randy Arozarena continues his fantastic year after his incredible run in the World Baseball Classic. He can now add All-Star starter to his impressive resume in his career. Add it to his 2021 American League Rookie of the Year award and his post season record for most hits and home runs. Slashing .286/.401/.475, he has a .876 oPS and a 146 OPS+, 14 home runs, 54 RBI, and 49 Runs. Randy leads all AL outfielders in OBP, wOBA, wRC+, and BB%.

Aaron Judge

Aaron Judge has been on the IL since June 3 when he hurt his toe making a spectacular catch in Toronto. Even so, that didn’t stop him from being named an American League starter. Although he will most likely need a replacement, this is his fifth time being voted as an All-Star starter. In 175 at-bats this season, Judge is slashing .291/.404/.674 with a 1.078 OPS and a 194 OPS+, 19 home runs and 40 RBI. Judge’s Baseball Savant page is amazing to look at. He currently is top 2% in the league at Average Exit Velocity, Max Exit Velocity, HardHit%, xBA, xSLG, Barrel%, and BB%. Judge also gets it done on the defensive side of baseball ranking in the top 10% in Arm Strength.

Designated Hitter: Shohei Ohtani (Los Angeles Angels)

Shohei Ohtani was the leading vote getter in the American League in Phase One of the fan vote. Thus, he didn’t need to go through Phase Two. This will be his third straight start at DH for the American League. He looks to be having the best season of his illustrious career in 2023. He is slashing .309/.389/.659 with a league leading 1.048 OPS and 182 OPS+.

His 28 home runs and five triples both lead baseball. Shohei leads all AL DH in AVG, OBP, SLG, OPS, OPS+, wOBA, xwOBA, wRC+, ISO, BABIP, WAR, HR, RBI, and R. And this is all to mention without even talking about what he has been doing on the mound this season. He easily deserves to have the most votes and gain his automatic bid to start this year’s All-Star Game.

 

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