Being selected to play in the All-Star Game these days is quite the accomplishment, and there are a couple of players just taken in the 2013 MLB draft who are bound to be getting their first taste of the Midsummer Classic soon.
Getting to the All-Star Game nearly means that a player is having a good start to the season—with the exception of injured stars whom fans continue to vote for year after year whether they’re deserving of the nod or not. The fans either think a player is worthy or the manager does. Either way, it’s something to be proud of.
Mike Trout and Bryce Harper each made their All-Star Game debuts a year ago, just a couple years after getting drafted, and 2012 looks to be just the first of many for the pair of young sluggers. So, who will follow in their footsteps?
Ahead are three players who were drafted a few days ago who, in a few years, will become household names at the Midsummer Classic.
Mark Appel, RHP, Houston Astros
Taken with the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, there are a pair of reasons why Appel will be making several All-Star Game appearances throughout his career. For one, he’s an extremely talented player who is bound to have a great career. He’s a very complete package who will make the Astros worth watching.
Funny that I mention Appel was drafted by Houston right there—yes, it was by design. Houston is one of the teams right now that makes one wish there wasn’t a rule in place requiring each team to be represented at the All-Star Game. Once Appel makes his major league debut, there shouldn’t be any reason why he isn’t Houston’s rep.
While Appel obviously won’t be pitching for the Astros before this year’s All-Star Game, there is the chance that he makes his debut at some point next year. Houston general manager Jeff Luhnow told ESPN’s Jim Bowden that, if Appel pitches well, he could break camp with the Astros in 2014:
Does that mean Appel could be an All-Star in his rookie season? Don’t bet against it.
Reese McGuire, C, Pittsburgh Pirates
McGuire is likely a couple of years away from the big leagues if he decides to sign with the Pirates instead of going to the University of San Diego in the fall. If he doesn’t sign, well, then the process to the majors is going to take even longer.
Either way, McGuire will be a stud.
McGuire was easily the top catcher in this year’s draft class, and the Pirates landing him with the No. 14 pick was a bit of a steal considering he could’ve gone within the top 10. Pittsburgh decided to go with Austin Meadows with the No. 9 pick instead of taking McGuire right away.
The Pirates didn’t have a long-term catcher until selecting McGuire, and he should be their starter for many years to come. But is the kid an All-Star in the making? Yes. He is fantastic behind the plate and is a good hitter with great speed as well. You can’t beat that coming from a catcher.
McGuire could very well be in the mix with Buster Posey and Yadier Molina behind the plate for the National League in the near future.
Aaron Judge, OF, New York Yankees
The New York Yankees may have gotten one of the biggest steals in the draft, taking Fresno State outfielder Aaron Judge with the No. 32 pick in the first round. This is a big kid with a lot of power who's going to be one of the faces of the Bronx Bombers in the future.
In 56 games at Fresno State this past season, Judge led the team in hitting with a .369 batting average, 12 home runs and 36 RBI. He finished the year with a .461 on-base percentage and a .655 slugging percentage. There is a lot to like about the 6'7", 255-pound center fielder.
As you can see in the tweet above from Andy McCollough of The Star-Ledger, Judge compares his game to that of Giancarlo Stanton.
Obviously, he’s yet to see a pitch in the minor leagues, but if he thinks that he can be the next Stanton, let’s sit back, relax and watch this kid turn into a star.
If Judge resembles Stanton even in the slightest bit, he could become a regular at the All-Star Game. The outfielder looks like he could hit at least 25 home runs per year and drive in around 75-90. If that’s the case, look for him on your ballot.