Every year the MLB gathers together its best, and most popular, players for the Midsummer Classic.
These players can be chosen by either fan votes or by the votes of their peers and coaches. No matter how they are selected, the All-Star Game is a place for the league to showcase its very best talent.
Whether it’s due to their large payroll that buys them top quality talent or their nationwide contingent of fans that get out and vote for their favorite players, the Red Sox are usually very well represented in this annual star-studded event. And 2011 will be no different.
These are the top seven players on the Red Sox whom you're likely to see in the All-Star Game this year.
Crawford hasn’t had the fast start to his Red Sox career that Sox fans hoped he would.
He struggled out of the gate this spring and never really got red hot. He was only batting .243 with six home runs before he was put on the 15-day DL.
But here is where the All-Star Game selection process gets good. Despite his slow start and subpar stats, Crawford is still in sixth place amongst AL outfielders according to the vote totals that MLB released on June 14th.
Crawford is a big name player, especially after he signed that All-Star level contract this offseason. Not only will Red Sox fans keep him in the running for a spot on the All-Star squad, but even non Sox fans are likely to vote for him based on name recognition alone.
Youk is another Sox player who needs to hope that his reputation and his popularity among the Red Sox fanbase gets him the votes he needs to be an All-Star in 2011.
He’s fourth among third baseman in the AL in both batting average and home runs, but his RBI total is only one behind the league leader.
His stats may not be overwhelming, but so often the All-Star Voting turns into a popularity contest, which will definitely benefit a fan favorite like Youkilis.
If the fans don’t vote him in, he’s the type of player likely to get chosen by the other players and the managers.
The ace of the Red Sox pitching staff this season, Lester has had a solid season so far.
His 9-3 record has him tied for the best in the American League, but his 3.70 ERA and 1.27 WHIP are nothing to get too excited about.
Lester is another player who’s likely to get an edge because of the market that he plays in. And his reputation as the opening day starter for one of the best teams in the league will help his cause.
After two seasons of questions about whether or not Ortiz should still be the everyday DH in Boston, he’s come out with a tremendous first half of the season in 2011.
Ortiz leads all designated hitters in homeruns, RBIs and OPS. He’s also hitting .323, good for second place among the DHs.
Fans love to see Ortiz back in his place as one of the most feared hitters in the game. His previous clutch hits and name recognition alone amongst fans might have been enough to get him into the All-Star game even with pedestrian stats.
With the way he’s playing so far this year he’s the clear choice at DH.
After an injury plagued 2010 campaign, this year Ellsbury has settled right back into his role as the best leadoff hitter in the American League.
Ellsbury is hitting .311 with a .373 on-base percentage so far in 2011. He also leads the AL in stolen bases with 24. These are the type of numbers you’re looking for out of a leadoff hitter, the kind of guy who can set the table for your lineup.
Always a pink hat favorite, Ellsbury has both the production and the popularity it takes to be voted an All-Star.
Beckett has had some up-and-down results the past few years, but so far in 2011 has returned to All-Star form.
With a 6-2 record and the AL-leading 1.86 ERA, Beckett has put up the kind of numbers that will not only have him in the rotation, but could wind up with him being the starter for the American League.
Before Adrian Gonzalez put on a Red Sox uniform the expectations were enormous for the left-handed power hitter, and he’s delivered on all of them.
Red Sox fans waited years for the team to acquire him from the San Diego Padres. His 2011 performance so far has been well worth the wait.
Gonzalez leads all American League first baseman in batting average and slugging percentage and as of the June 14th vote totals has leapfrogged Mark Teixeira as the leading first baseman in the American League.