As the season begins, it’s only natural to do something that we as humans love to do. So with that I will look ahead to the future and predict who will be this year’s All Star Starters. Predicting the starters is difficult because the best player isn’t always the starter due to the fan vote. With that, here will be your 2016 All Star Starters.
American League listed in batting order.
1) Second Base: Jose Altuve (HOU)
Jose Altuve is the shortest player in the MLB, but that doesn’t stop him from being an elite second baseman. He will hit over .300 again and will lead the AL in runs at the All Star Break because he has Carlos Correa hitting behind him.
2) Center Field: Mike Trout (LAA)
Saying Mike Trout is the best player in baseball doesn’t do him justice. Not only is he the best all around player, but he is elite in basically all facets of the game. He has great range in the field, great power and speed, and does it all. He will threaten to win the AL MVP again.
3) First Base: Miguel Cabrera (DET)
Winning the Triple Crown should be impossible. Miguel Cabrera did it with a .330 average, 44 home runs, and 139 RBI’s. Those numbers are really good for a video game, let alone for an actual human being. He might be the best overall hitter in baseball from line to line.
4) DH: David Ortiz (BOS)
As this is the final season of his glorious career, Ortiz will get in being the leading vote-getter in the AL this year. He may also have 20 home runs by the break. He has 30 each of the last 3 seasons and there’s no reason why he can’t end his career with an awesome year.
5) Third Base: Josh Donaldson (TOR)
Hitting second in a lineup that features Jose Bautista means that you are going to get some good pitches to hit. Of course he doesn’t need those pitches as he was only the MVP last season. Also a really good defensive player, Donaldson is one of the players that a team can be built around.
6) Right Field: Jose Bautista (TOR)
Playing in a contract season will give Bautista motivation to be even better than he has been the last couple seasons. He is one of the premiere power hitters in the game and will get RBI chances because he has Josh Donaldson hitting in front of him. He will challenge for the home run lead in the MLB.
7) Left Field: Alex Gordon (KC)
As I was making this list, Perez to me was a given. However it didn’t seem right to only have one Royal on this list because of how supportive their fan base is. So enter Alex Gordon, the best defensive outfielder in the MLB and the homegrown Kansas City Royal product. The Royals will get behind their guy and get him the nod.
8) Catcher: Salvador Perez (KC)
The AL is very weak at the catcher position, but not Salvador Perez. He is a capable defensive catcher with some offensive firepower in his game. His best quality is his ability to control the game from behind the plate.
9) Shortstop: Carlos Correa (HOU)
The only reason I have him hitting 9th is to pay respect to the two possible multiple time All-Stars in front of him fron Kansas City, but this kid has the potential to go to 14-15 consecutive All Star Games. He is already the best shortstop in the MLB, and he is only 21 years old.
Pitcher: David Price (BOS)
Having pitched in the AL East already, he will have some comfort pitching again in this division. He is right in the middle of his prime, and he is ready for the big time in Boston.
National League listed in batting order
1) Second Base: Dee Gordon (MIA)
Dee Gordon is the second basemen in the NL that reminds me most of Jose Altuve. He will hit for a high average, score a lot of runs, steal a bunch of bases, and play gold glove defense. He is a great catalyst at the leadoff spot for the Marlins.
2) Center Field: Andrew McCutchen (PIT)
Andrew McCutchen is possibly the best leader in all of baseball. The best player on a Pirates team that desperately wants to advance past the Wild Card round in the playoffs, he will be counted on as the anchor on offense and defense.
3) Left Field: Bryce Harper (WAS)
If Mike Trout isn’t the best player in baseball, it’s because Bryce Harper is. Bryce Harper hits baseballs really hard and really far. He and Trout are the only two players who could both hit 40 homers and steal 40 bases. The only reason he wouldn’t be a starter is because of how polarizing he is. He may not have enough fans to garner the needed amount of votes to win a starter role.
4) DH: Paul Goldschmidt (ARI)
Is it just me or is Paul Goldschmidt still underrated? Regardless, he is an elite player and one of the 5 best players in baseball. He hits for average power, and may have a .300 average, and .400 OBP, with 30 homers, 100 RBI’s, with 20 stolen bases. The only reason I don’t have him as the starting first basemen is because of the crazy fans in Chicago.
5) Right Field: Giancarlo Stanton (MIA)
No one in baseball hits more majestic home runs than Giancarlo Stanton. This season is all about him staying healthy. If he can stay healthy all season, 50 home runs is well within reach for this man. He is a true power hitting superstar.
6) First Base: Anthony Rizzo (CHI)
A fan favorite in Chicago, he may not be the best first basemen in the NL but he certainly has the most support. He does whatever it takes for his team to win as evidenced by his leading the MLB last season in HBP’s. The leader of the Cubs, if they are to handle the expectations, he’ll have a big part to do with it.
7) Catcher: Buster Posey (SFG)
Buster Posey is the best catcher in baseball and is a few healthy seasons away from being a lock for the Hall of Fame. He is the best catcher in the game at framing pitches, and may be the only capable catcher of hitting better than .300 on the year.
8) Third Base: Kris Bryant (CHI)
With Nolan Arenado playing in Colorado, he may have better numbers than Bryant. He is also a significantly better defensive player than Bryant. However, I believe in the Cubs fan base to get their guy into the Midsummer Classic. Bryant himself is no slouch, and his slight uppercut and surprising speed could allow him to be in the 20 homer, 20 stolen base club.
9) Shortstop: Brandon Crawford (SFG)
The best defensive shortstop in the NL, especially now that Andrelton Simmonds is gone, last year’s Gold Glove winner is a much better offensive player than given credit for. Look for Crawford to tease the 25 home run mark and 80 RBI mark. That type of offensive production plus his absolute wizardry on defense makes Crawford an All Star.
Pitcher: Clayton Kershaw (LAD)
The National League is absolutely stacked with fantastic starting pitching. From Jose Fernandez to Jake Arrieta, to the entire Mets pitching staff, to Madison Bumgarner, to Max Scherzer, the NL has an abundance of talent and potential Cy Young candidates. As much as I wish I could’ve picked any of those guys, not picking Kershaw seemed almost like it would be an insult to just how amazing he has been the last 4 years. He is threatening to be the best lefty pitcher the Dodgers have ever had, and that means being better than Mr. Koufax. He is only 28, and if he chose to retire tomorrow, to me he would be a Hall of Famer.