The first month of this year’s baseball is done, and while the All-Star game is still a little while off, it’s never a bad idea to look at some 2015 MLB All-Star Game prospects who might be taking the diamond for the Midsummer Classic in Cincinnati on July 14th. We’ve selected our top prospects based on mostly on the numbers they’re posting this year, although their track record is definitely a factor, too.
Lets start with the American League:
- Miguel Cabrera (1B, Detroit Tigers)
– There’s no reason that Cabrera should not keep his starting spot from last year’s game. He’s posting solid numbers (.333 BA, .438 OBP, .601 SLG), and is yet to make an error this year. He’s an absolute no-brain inclusion in the AL side.
- Hanley Ramirez (LF, Boston Red Sox)
– Although struggling a bit recently, he’s posting acceptable numbers when you take into account his power (10 HR in the first month), and that Boston are going through a rough patch, batting sub-.200 as a team this month. We predict that both he and the Red Sox will find their feet soon, and you’ll see Hanley take the field in the run-on side in Cincinatti
- Jose Iglesias (SS, Detroit Tigers)
– Despite stellar numbers this year in a strong Tigers side, Iglesias is perhaps a little fortunate with his timing. With last years retirement of the incumbent Jeter, and nobody really putting their hands up and staking a claim on this role, Iglesias’ .345 BA (highest in AL), .400 OBP, .445 SLG could win him the job. Don’t be surprised if he’s standing there at Shortstop when the Midsummer Classic rolls around.
- Michael Brantley (LF, Cleveland Indians)
– Without a doubt, Brantley has been the best hitter in the Cleveland Indians lineup. Take into account that Brantley is carrying a back injury with him which is restricting his power, and his .336 BA, .416 OBP and .546 SLG becomes even more impressive. His power is slowly coming back, evidenced by quadrupling his home run count inside May, and we think he’ll be at full power by July, and will be really pushing Ramirez for that starting LF slot. Either way, we’re confident that Brantley will feature in the game.
- Jose Altuve (2B, Houston Astros)
– At the start of the year, if you asked me to pick one person that was a certainty to maintain his spot in the AL side, I would have picked the evergreen Robinson Cano. However, both he and his Mariners are off to a so-so start to the season, and it’s hard to argue with the bat of Jose Altuve – at one point in the season he was hitting well over .350, and now has cooled a little, but you just can’t argue with a guy sitting on 24 RBIs from the leadoff slot. Unless Cano steps up his game significantly, we’re picking Altuve to make his debut in the run-on side in July.l
- Sonny Gray (RHP, Oakland Athletics)
– Instead of making the usual early prediction mistake of trying to shoot the moon and pick the breakout star who becomes the surprise inclusion, we’re gonna take a shot at picking the guy that’s going to be walking out onto the mound in the first inning for the AL. We believe there’s no better candidate than Sonny Gray. Leading the league in ERA, WHIP, and sitting in the top 10 for Wins, Innings Pitched and Strikeouts, we feel that the only other possibility is Felix Hernandez himself. As it stands right now though, there is no going past Sonny Gray to start that game in our opinion.
That about wraps up the AL, we threw up a few guys that are a near surety to hold their slot, and a couple of guys whose selections may be somewhat of a surprise. Lets move onto the NL team:
- Buster Posey (C, San Francisco Giants)
– An average April for Posey has turned into a far stronger May, hitting .321 since May 1st. The real clincher for Posey is the power threat that he represents, which is very unusual for a catcher. His .287 BA, .359 OBP and .474 SLG are good enough to earn the NL catching slot in the Midsummer Classic, and his 6 homeruns cannot be ignored. We expect a strong May to turn into a stronger June, and by the time July rolls around, this will seem like the most obvious choice in the world.
- Nolan Arenado (3B, Colorado Rockies)
– With Aramis Ramirez unable to put up the numbers this year, we consider the NL 3B slot completely up for the taking this year. The strongest candidate at the moment appears to be Nolan Arenado. This 2x Gold Glover is a shining light in the Rockies lineup at the moment, bringing incredible power to the order. He currently sits 9th in the NL for slugging, at .531, and his power will be the key to making sure he’s running out with the NL side in Cincinnati.
- Dee Gordon (2B, Miami Marlins)
– In our opinion there’s no player with more certainty of making an appearance in Cincinnati than Dee Gordon. Currently sitting on top of the NL in batting average (.406) and 2nd in the NL with 12 stolen bases inside the first month and a half, even Howie Kendrick cannot hope to push Dee Gordon out of that starting 2B slot.
- Matt Kemp (RF, San Diego Padres)
– There’s no more highly respected veteran of the game than Matt Kemp. Even if the numbers don’t make him a surety to make an appearance (.273/.305/.377), he’s an excellent chance at taking a spot through the fan favorite vote. May hasn’t been a great month individually for Kemp, but he’s still definitely making his contribution to the team, having already posted a respectable 22 RBIs on the season. We’re confident at this point that Kemp will be running out for the NL side in July.
- Joc Pederson (CF, Los Angeles Dodgers)
– May has been kind of slow for Joc, but seeing that 6 of his 10 hits on the month are homeruns, it’s clear that when he connects, he hits hard. Putting up 21 RBIs already is impressive, an 11 of those come this month, so the hits are coming when they really matter. So what do you get with a guy that can hit, and hit hard when it matters? A definite shot at an All Star appearance.
- Max Scherzer (P, Washington Nationals)
– Max Scherzer got off to an unlucky start of the year – at one point he was 1-3 with the lowest ERA in the league and a WHIP under 1. His team has risen up behind him and he now sits at 4-3, which is much more representative of the incredible pitching performances he’s putting in (1.75 ERA, 0.92 WHIP). We think that Max Scherzer is a good shot at being the guy that NL turn to in order to start their game off right in Cincinnati.
We hope you enjoyed our early look at some potential prospects for the 2015 MLB All Star Game. Let us know below if there’s someone in there that really surprises you, or if you think we’ve really overlooked an interesting race for an All Star appearance!