MLB All-Star voting season is upon us once again. First up on the ballot: hitters. The Red Sox have a few hitters in their lineup that have a good chance of making the 2022 MLB All-Star team in some capacity. Where do they stack up at their respective positions, and what are their chances of getting the nod?
First Base: Bobby Dalbec
Bobby Dalbec has struggled again in 2022, hitting .196/.269/.331/.601 with five home runs, 16 RBI and a 69 wRC+ over 58 games. The Red Sox (part-time) first baseman is tied ninth in home runs; 15th in RBI; 20th in average, on-base percentage, and wRC+; 18th in slugging percentage, and 21st in OPS among American League first basemen with a minimum of 40 plate appearances.
Verdict: It is doubtful we will see Bobby Dalbec in Los Angeles on July 19th, despite him (maybe?) getting going again (.268/.311/.518/.829, 129 wRC+ since 5/26). The first base field is just so much better than him.
Second Base: Trevor Story
What to make of Trevor Story, that is the question. Outside of a torrid May, Story has done almost nothing. He hit .218/.317/.525/.841 with a 132 wRC+ in May. All nine of his home runs, 32 of his RBI, and five of his stolen bases came during the stretch. Since 5/27, he’s hitting .188/.282/.275/.557 with a 53 wRC+.
Story leads AL second basemen in RBI with 42; ranks second in home runs (nine); 16th in AVG (.218); 10th in OBP (.303) and wRC+ (97); ninth in SLG (405), and 11th in OPS (.707) (minimum 40 PA).
Verdict: It’s a toss-up whether Trevor Story is an MLB All-Star in 2022. He ranks highly in many categories among second basemen, but most of that damage occurred during a single month.
Third Base: Rafael Devers
Rafael Devers is on another planet this season, hitting .329/.378/.612/.990 with 16 home runs, 40 RBI, and a 177 wRC+. And he’s turned himself into a well-rounded player. The progress he has made since last season is astonishing. Among AL third basemen with a minimum of 100 PA, the Red Sox star (franchise) third baseman is tied first in home runs; is first in AVG; second in RBI, SLG, OPS, and wRC+; and third in OBP.
Verdict: Rafael Devers is virtually a lock to be an MLB All-Star in 2022 and has a great chance of being the starting third baseman for the American League.
Shortstop: Xander Bogaerts
Xander Bogaerts is in 2022 what he’s always been: a great offensive shortstop that goes completely unnoticed. (He has shown surprisingly improved defense as well.) He is hitting .332/.397/.491/.888 with six home runs, 31 RBI, and a 152 wRC+. Among AL shortstops with 180 PA, he ranks fifth in home runs; third in RBI; and first in AVG, OBP, SLG, OPS, and wRC+.
Verdict: Like Devers, Bogaerts is virtually a lock to make the MLB All-Star team for the American League and has a great chance of being the starting shortstop.
Catcher: Christian Vasquez
Christian Vasquez has had a resurgence at the plate this year after struggling the last couple of seasons. He is hitting .272/.318/.370/.689 with 24 RBI and a 95 wRC+. Vasquez started slow, but since 5/7, he’s batting .303/.350/.413/.763 with a 118 wRC+. Among AL catchers with at least 40 PA, the Red Sox’ long-time backstop is fourth in RBI, fifth in AVG, seventh in OBP, 13th in SLG, 12th in OPS, and 13th in wRC+.
Verdict: Vasquez should likely be in Los Angeles as a reserve or replacement. There are only a few catchers with better numbers than him.
Outfield: Alex Verdugo, Enrique Hernandez, Jackie Bradley Jr.
Of the Red Sox outfielders on the 2022 MLB All-Star ballot, Alex Verdugo has the best odds of being named an All-Star. Enrique Hernandez has struggled and is now out with a hip injury, and who knows when he’ll be back. Jackie Bradley Jr. has almost no chance in a crowded outfield ballot, despite crushing it at Fenway.
Verdugo has been unlucky for much of 2022. But, thankfully, that bad luck has turned. Since 5/17, he’s hitting .292/.336/.406/.742 with a 111 wRC+. For the season, Verdugo is batting .248/.287/.360/.647 with a 78 wRC+, four home runs, and 33 RBI. He nor Kike nor JBJ rank highly in any offensive category.
Verdict: There are many more deserving outfielders than Boston’s starting outfielders. There’s a slim chance Verdugo gets the nod if the Red Sox outfield is to be represented at all. But that’s not likely, however.
Designated Hitter: J.D. Martinez
J.D. Martinez can’t make an out to save his life. Boston’s star DH is batting .351/.421/.573/.994 with a 181 wRC+, eight home runs, and 28 RBI. Martinez is tied 10th in home runs; tied 20th in RBI; is second in AVG and OBP; sixth in SLG; and fifth in OPS and OPS+ among all MLB batters.
Verdict: In any DH field that includes Shohei Ohtani, Ohtani wins. It’s just the way it is. So, Martinez will almost certainly be an All-Star in 2022 as a reserve.
MLB All-Star Voting Process Will Be Kind to Red Sox
The Red Sox will be well represented at the 2022 MLB All-Star game in Los Angeles on July 19th, with at least three All-Star hitters (those three, in all likelihood, will get in via the voting process) — before considering pitching. Nick Pivetta, Nathan Eovaldi, Michael Wacha, Matt Strahm, Austin Davis, and Tanner Houck have legitimate All-Star candidacies too.