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  • Matthew Lapluzo

MLB All Star Game Picks V1



1st Basemen 

AL: Yandy Diaz (TBR) 


Backup: Ryan Noda (OAK)


It’s been known for years that Yandy Diaz was one of the most underrated hitters in all of baseball but there was always one thing bugging him from being a top hitter and which was lifting the ball. Well Yandy has figured that out, slashing .316/.409/.570 with 12 bombs and a 177 wRC+ only trailing Aaron Judge in that category. Diaz is smacking the ball around the ballpark and is breaking out as a top 5 hitter in baseball in front of your eyes. No doubter on this pick.


NL: Freddie Freeman (LAD)

Backup: Pete Alonso (NYM)


Just like a fine wine, Freddie Freeman just keeps getting better and better. Posting a line of .331/.402/.558 with 10 HR and a 158 wRC+, Freeman has reinstated himself as the man to beat at 1st base in terms of voting. At the age of 33, Freeman is still displaying the ability to spray the ball and spray it hard. The Dodgers have a bunch of great hitters but this man might be sitting at the top of that list.


2nd Baseman

AL: Marcus Semien (TEX)

Backup: Gleyber Torres (NYY)


Off a steaming hot 2021 campaign where Semien was in contention for AL MVP, a lot of analysts said not to sign him because of his age. But that age has not played a factor into Semien’s play so far in Texas. Currently June 6th, Semien leads all of baseball in fWAR. Constructing a line of .306/.375/.506 combined with elite 2nd base defense shows why this should be an unanimous pick.


3rd Baseman 

AL: Matt Chapman (TOR)

Backup: Josh Jung (TEX)


Matt Chapman has flown back onto the radar after disappearing the past couple seasons and has returned back to Oakland form and better. Slashing .281/.362/.487 with 8 HR and a 136 wRC+ with his gold glove at the hot corner only adds more value to this pick. Not only is Chapman hitting but he’s scorching the covers off baseballs, 100th percentile in HardHit%, 98th in Barrel% and 98th in Avg Exit Velocity. Chapman is becoming a freak of nature at the plate in terms of those percentiles and can confidently say he’s the lock for starting 3rd baseman for the 2023 All Star Game.  


NL: Max Muncy (LAD)

Backup: Jeimer Candelario (WSH)


3rd base for the NL was one of the weaker positions to choose from but I came away with the conclusion that Max Muncy is the man for the job. 2nd in the NL in HR’s at 18. Muncy has become a Whiff or hit type of player but still gets on base at an elite rate being in the 96th percentile in BB%.


Shortstop

AL: Wander Franco (TBR)

Backup: Bo Bichette (TOR)


Going from the weaker positions to the stronger positions is by far the toughest decision. Wander Franco and Bo Bichette are both having career years so far but the defense is what put Wander Franco over the top. The former number 1 prospect in baseball has been putting on a show in Tampa, .308/.372/.498 with 7 HR and a 146 wRC+. Currently sitting 2nd in fWAR, Franco also displays gold glove defense by being in the 98th percentile in OAA. Franco has lived up to the hype so far as being a number 1 guy and is gonna be a key factor in Tampa’s long October run.


NL: Geraldo Perdomo (AZ)

Backup: Dansby Swanson (CHC)


I wanted to make this pick because it’s very random but also Geraldo deserves this spot as well. To the casual fan, nobody will know this name but they should get to learn it. 132 wRC+ with a near 2.0 fWAR at the age of 23 is insane and a good reason the Diamondbacks sit on top of the NL West.


Catcher:

AL: Jonah Heim (TEX)

Backup: Adley Rutchman 


Heim has always been known for being an ELITE defensive catcher and is one of the best framers in all of baseball being in the 94th percentile. But in 2023, Heim has taken that next step offensively. Slashing .293/.343/.473 with a 125 wRC+, Heim is now a dual threat behind the dish and now one of the best catchers in all of baseball. 


NL: Sean Murphy (ATL)

Backup: Will Smith (LAD)


Coming over from Oakland, I felt not enough people knew how good Sean Murphy really was and now he’s showing the world on the best team on paper. Posting a line of .289/.394/.543 with 11 HR and a 154 wRC+ as a catcher is insane and definitely can debate if he’s the best catcher in all of baseball. 93rd percentile in Framing and 95th percentile in Barrel%, Murphy can do it on both ends and is a real unicorn at the catcher's position and the Braves got a steal.


Outfielders

AL: Adolis Garcia (TEX), Aaron Judge (NYY), Randy Arozarena (TB)

Backup: Mike Trout (LAA), Yordan Alverez (HOU), Josh Lowe (TB)


The outfield for the AL isn’t perfect, but I wanted to get names in there that deserve it over guys like Trout and Yordan, who are going to get the popular vote. Aaron Judge is Aaron Judge. I don't think I really need to elaborate on why he’s here. Basically carrying an entire offense by himself in New York.


It’s June 6th and Adolis Garcia is already at 51 RBI’s along with 14 HR and a 121 wRC+. Garcia is ripping covers off balls and getting on base at an All Star rate and deserves this spot. And talking about deserving, Randy Arozarena DESERVES this spot. Not only does he deserve this because he’s a 153 wRC+ player with a 2.1 fWAR but he deserves it because he brings an ora around the game of baseball that the game desperately needs.


NL: Ronald Acuña Jr. (ATL), Corbin Carroll (AZ), Juan Soto (SD)

Backup: Mookie Betts (LAD), Lourdes Gurriel Jr (AR), Fernando Tatis Jr. (SD)


People were legitimately concerned after last season with Ronald Acuña Jr. but now he’s BACK and could be better than ever. Starting off 2023 on a MVP course with a line of .331/.407/.564 with 12 HR and a 161 wRC+ combined with ELITE speed and 26 stolen bags and yes you heard that correctly, Ronald Acuña is on pace for 50 stolen bases this season. 

Talking about one of my favorite players in all of baseball, Corbin Carroll ever since being called up has been SPECIAL. 99th percentile in Sprint Speed, 93rd percentile in OAA, batting .286/.373/.523 with 10 HR, 141 wRC+ with a 2.4 fWAR. Carroll is a true 5 tool player and one of the most exciting players to watch in all of baseball.


Juan Soto after a “slow” start in San Diego has really kicked things off this season with a bang. .413 OBP is something we’ve come to expect out of Juan Soto and for good reason. 147 wRC+ with his ability to scorch baseballs being in the 98th percentile in HardHit%. With the Padres struggling could we see a Juan Soto trade? Guess we gotta wait and see.

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