theScore's 2022 MLB All-Star selections
With Major League Baseball set to announce the 2022 All-Star teams later this week, theScore's MLB editors selected our own representatives for the American and National Leagues. Each side is made up of 20 position players and 12 pitchers, with all 30 MLB teams receiving at least one representative. Players who are currently injured were selected. The 2022 All-Star Game will take place on July 19 at Dodger Stadium.
C - Alejandro Kirk, Blue Jays
The Blue Jays catcher has become a folk hero in Toronto. His ability to cover the plate and hit to all parts of the field have allowed him to become one of the most well-rounded hitters in the AL. The 23-year-old has also improved defensively and could be making his first of many trips to the Midsummer Classic.
1B - Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Blue Jays
After an incredible MVP runner-up campaign in 2021, Guerrero has taken a bit of a step back this season. He had a very tough May but hit nine home runs in June. Although he's been slightly more inconsistent than last year, the 23-year-old remains one of baseball's most electrifying players and will look to win his second consecutive All-Star Game MVP.
2B - Jose Altuve, Astros
Altuve remains an invaluable presence in the Astros' lineup and is aiming for his third straight 30-plus homer campaign (over a 162-game schedule). The 32-year-old is inching closer to 2,000 career hits and will look to lead Houston to a staggering sixth consecutive ALCS appearance.
3B - Jose Ramirez, Guardians
Ramirez turned heads when he decided to sign a below-market extension to remain with the Guardians. It appears the security has put him at ease as Ramirez is carrying Cleveland to playoff contention almost single-handedly. The switch-hitting star should find himself firmly in the conversation for MVP and is a strong contender to lead the league in RBIs.
SS - Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox
There has been much consternation about Bogaerts' future in Boston. However, the pending free agent doesn't appear distracted by it. Bogaerts isn't hitting for that much power but remains one of baseball's most difficult outs. He's been a big catalyst in helping the Red Sox turn their season around.
OF - Aaron Judge, Yankees
Judge leads baseball in home runs and is authoring one of the best seasons leading into free agency in recent memory. Los Angeles is a city built on star power, and it's hard to argue that there are many bigger stars in the baseball universe than the Yankees' imposing slugger.
OF - Mike Trout, Angels
After a few injury-plagued seasons, Trout is back in his customary perch as one of baseball's best players. We won't hold the Angels' lackluster season against him as he and Ohtani continue to do everything in their power to make it a competitive summer in Anaheim. The All-Star Game just feels right with Trout in the American League's starting lineup.
OF - Byron Buxton, Twins
When healthy, Buxton has a legitimate claim as the most exciting player in the game. The 28-year-old has already set a new career high in home runs and has stayed relatively healthy with the Twins putting together a plan to keep him on the field as much as possible.
DH - Yordan Alvarez, Astros
Alvarez looks like the next David Ortiz. He rarely has a bad at-bat and is one of the most difficult hitters for an opposing pitcher to game plan for. The Astros handed Alvarez the second-largest contract in club history, and the slugger looks poised to anchor the middle of their lineup for years to come.
SP - Shane McClanahan, Rays
There were several deserving candidates to get the ball, but McClanahan's consistent dominance gave him the nod. The Rays' left-hander has improved his K/9 while decreasing his BB/9 this season. McClanahan has completed at least six innings in all but four of his outings in 2022. It's possible this won't be the only time McClanahan gets to start an All-Star Game in his career.
It's a new era for the AL bench, as just three of our Junior Circuit reserves - Rizzo, Devers, and Ohtani - have previously been All-Stars. The first-timers include a pair of Rookie of the Year candidates in Pena and Rodriguez, and they both deserve to represent their teams on this stage. Another fantastic story is Trevino, who's authored a breakout first half after being traded to the Yankees less than a week before Opening Day.
New York and Toronto each have two pitchers in a deep and talented AL bullpen. Verlander also returns to the All-Star stage in his comeback season following a remarkable first half in Houston. The biggest surprise name is Perez, a deserving choice as the Rangers' representative after his otherworldly - and truly shocking - first half.
C - Willson Contreras, Cubs
Contreras was the runaway fan favorite among NL catchers, receiving over two million ballots of support. The 30-year-old has always been among the best-hitting catchers in the league, but he's taking a leap forward this season with career bests in OBP and wRC+. The introduction of the DH in the Senior Circuit is almost definitely helping him focus on his craft at the plate while better managing his workload behind it.
1B - Paul Goldschmidt, Cardinals
Goldschmidt has been a revelation and might finally be en route to adding that long-awaited MVP to his mantle. The six-time All-Star has finished runner-up for the award twice and has another top-three finish, but he's posting career bests in AVG, OBP, and SLG this year. Hopefully, a Midsummer Classic nod is just the start of the honors in a special 2022.
2B - Jazz Chisholm Jr., Marlins
Chisholm is quickly becoming a household name, so earning his first career All-Star nod and start is only fitting. Players like him are particularly rare in the contemporary game, as the 24-year-old features an elite power-speed combo that is captivating fans around the league. What better platform than the All-Star Game to get more eyes on the Marlins phenom.
3B - Manny Machado, Padres
Is it possible that Machado has become underrated? The five-time All-Star is carrying the Tatis-less Padres with career-best numbers in batting average and on-base percentage, and he's only gotten serious MVP consideration once over the past five seasons.
SS - Dansby Swanson, Braves
Without Freddie Freeman on the roster, Swanson, a Georgia native, is arguably the face of the Braves - alongside Ronald Acuna Jr. And now, the former first overall pick is staking his claim among the league's best shortstops. He's one of three shortstops with double digits in homers and steals, and he leads that trio in dingers. He's doing all that while providing great defense at the sport's most demanding position.
OF - Kyle Schwarber, Phillies
Schwarber is doing exactly what the Phillies expected him to do when they signed him - slugging. Looking for his second All-Star nod, the 29-year-old is the only outfielder in the NL to surpass the 20-homer mark. No one else - regardless of position - in the Senior Circuit has more than 22 homers.
OF - Mookie Betts, Dodgers
Betts is pretty close to having a permanent residency at the Midsummer Classic as he's attended the last five. He's currently sidelined with a rib injury but could return shortly. That still might prevent him from participating, but Betts could end up part of the festivities with the game in Los Angeles.
OF - Joc Pederson, Giants
If you only casually follow baseball, you might know Pederson better as the guy who wore a pearl necklace in the postseason for the Braves last year or someone who got slapped by Tommy Pham this season. However, he's clearly thriving in his new environs of San Francisco, posting career highs in batting average and slugging percentage. There's no such thing as a bad one-year deal, but the Giants really hit the jackpot on this one.
DH - Bryce Harper, Phillies
Before going down with a broken thumb, Harper put together the makings of a back-to-back MVP run - all while also being held to designated-hitter duties with a torn UCL. The injury will keep Harper from participating in the All-Star Game, but he's been far and away the best DH in the NL. And, at 29, he's arguably the most recognizable face in the game. All that makes him a lock for a seventh All-Star nod.
SP - Sandy Alcantara, Marlins
If there's a way to make old school and new school work together, it's Alcantara. At 115 1/3 innings pitched, he's worked by far the most of any pitcher in the sport (Aaron Nola is a distant second at 103 2/3 IP). But he's not completely forgoing strikeouts and pitching to contact. At 21.9%, his strikeout rate isn't blowing anybody away, but it's also higher than Logan Webb and Yu Darvish, among others. And, because he's preventing walks and strikeouts so well, it all equates to a FIP that ranks sixth in the NL.
With so much depth in the NL, it was inevitable that the reserves would feature plenty of star power. Alonso and Freeman emerged from a very deep group of NL first basemen to take two bench spots, while Arenado probably would have started at third in any other year. Some other quality choices were squeezed out by the mandate of having every team represented, allowing Drury and Soto to sneak in.
Firepower stands out here in the form of five dominant NL relievers. Hader and Diaz were the easy choices, while Helsley stands out as a surprise after allowing just three earned runs in 32 2/3 innings this year. Several big-name starters are also here, including first-timers Fried, Musgrove, and Gonsolin.