Final 2022 MLB All-Star Game Roster Predictions

Joel ReuterJuly 9, 2022

Final 2022 MLB All-Star Game Roster Predictions

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    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    It's time to make our final 2022 MLB All-Star Game picks before the full American League and National League rosters are announced Sunday night on ESPN.

    In the past, we've made our selections based solely on who is most deserving, with our final round of merit-based picks released July 2.

    Now it's time to pivot our focus to predicting who will actually make the team as opposed to simply who is most deserving, which is not always one and the same.

    With the AL and NL starters announced Friday afternoon, 18 of the 64 spots have been filled. Keeping in mind the rule of one representative for every team and the roster construction of 20 position players and 12 pitchers for each league, we gave our best guess for who will fill out the other 46 slots.

AL Starting Lineup

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    Aaron Judge (Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

    AL Starting Lineup

    1. DH Shohei Ohtani, LAA
    2. CF Mike Trout, LAA
    3. RF Aaron Judge, NYY
    4. 3B Rafael Devers, BOS
    5. LF Giancarlo Stanton, NYY
    6. 1B Vladimir Guerrero Jr., TOR
    7. 2B Jose Altuve, HOU
    8. SS Tim Anderson, CWS
    9. C Alejandro Kirk, TOR
    SP Justin Verlander, HOU


    Notes

    -The starting lineups for each team were announced Friday afternoon, so there's no predicting to be done here in terms of who makes the cut, but we can take a crack at guessing what the batting order will look like.

    -There is still the matter of naming a starting pitcher, and it looks like a two-man race between Shane McClanahan (16 GS, 9-3, 1.74 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, 133 K, 98.1 IP) and Justin Verlander (16 GS, 11-3, 2.00 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, 98 K, 103.1 IP). Track record, a good narrative with his stellar return from Tommy John surgery, and the fact that Houston's Dusty Baker is managing the AL squad might be enough for Verlander to outweigh McClanahan's superior numbers.

AL Reserves (Position Players)

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    Julio Rodriguez (Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

    AL Reserves (Position Players)

    C Jose Trevino, NYY
    1B Ty France, SEA
    2B Andres Gimenez, CLE
    3B Jose Ramirez, CLE
    SS Xander Bogaerts, BOS
    IF Luis Arraez, MIN
    OF Andrew Benintendi, KC
    OF Julio Rodriguez, SEA
    OF George Springer, TOR
    OF Kyle Tucker, HOU
    DH Yordan Alvarez, HOU
    DH Miguel Cabrera, DET-commissioner's pick


    Notes

    -It was announced on Wednesday that MLB's new labor agreement includes a clause that allows the commissioner to select one player to each league's roster in recognition of career achievements. Along with the announcement of the starters on Friday, future Hall of Famers Miguel Cabrera and Albert Pujols were named to the rosters under that clause.

    -These 12 reserve picks include eight first-time All-Stars in Jose Trevino, Ty France, Andres Gimenez, Luis Arraez, Andrew Benintendi, Julio Rodriguez, Kyle Tucker and Yordan Alvarez.

    -If outfielder Austin Hays winds up being the only representative for the Baltimore Orioles, there will be a tough decision to make on which outfielder to snub. Benintendi likely won't be an option as the clear choice to be the Kansas City Royals' lone pick.

AL Reserves (Pitchers)

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    Dylan Cease (Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

    AL Reserves (Pitchers)

    SP Dylan Cease, CWS
    SP Nestor Cortes, NYY
    SP Logan Gilbert, SEA
    SP Alek Manoah, TOR
    SP Shane McClanahan, TB
    SP Frankie Montas, OAK
    SP Martin Perez, TEX
    RP Emmanuel Clase, CLE
    RP Clay Holmes, NYY
    RP Jorge Lopez, BAL
    RP Gregory Soto, DET


    -Assuming the "legend" pick of Cabrera does not fulfill the Detroit Tigers representative slot, closer Gregory Soto could be an All-Star for the second year in a row. Starters Frankie Montas (OAK) and Martin Perez (TEX) and reliever Jorge Lopez (BAL) are also our only picks for their respective teams, though Paul Blackburn could also be the pick for the Athletics.

    -Logan Gilbert (No. 14 in 2018) and Alek Manoah (No. 11 in 2019) are both living up to their first-round pedigree as two of the most promising young aces in the game.

    -Who would have guessed it would be Nestor Cortes and Clay Holmes as the most deserving All-Star pitchers for the New York Yankees and not Gerrit Cole and Aroldis Chapman?

Notable Projected AL Snubs

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    Byron Buxton (David Berding/Getty Images)

    Notable Projected AL Snubs

    C Jonah Heim, TEX
    1B Anthony Rizzo, NYY
    2B Gleyber Torres, NYY
    SS Carlos Correa, MIN
    SS Jeremy Pena, HOU
    OF Byron Buxton, MIN
    OF Austin Hays, BAL
    OF Taylor Ward, LAA
    DH J.D. Martinez, BOS
    SP Gerrit Cole, NYY
    SP Framber Valdez, HOU
    RP Ryne Stanek, HOU


    -A few pitchers always wind up ineligible to pitch after making their final start too close to the All-Star break, so expect Framber Valdez to find his way onto the roster eventually. He was by far the toughest omission on the AL staff.

    -Rookie shortstop Jeremy Pena also has a good chance of earning a replacement spot with AL manager Dusty Baker getting a chance to watch him on an everyday basis. The more established Xander Bogaerts is more likely to snag a reserve spot right off the bat, though.

    -It was a tough call between former teammates Jose Trevino (109 OPS+, 12 XBH, 2.2 WAR) and Jonah Heim (125 OPS+, 21 XBH, 1.7 WAR) for the backup catcher spot, and it's not out of the question that both could find their way onto the roster.

AL Team-By-Team Breakdown

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    George Springer and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (Cole Burston/Getty Images)

    BAL (1): RP Jorge Lopez

    BOS (2): 3B Rafael Devers, SS Xander Bogaerts

    CWS (2): SS Tim Anderson, SP Dylan Cease

    CLE (3): 2B Andres Gimenez, 3B Jose Ramirez, RP Emmanuel Clase

    DET (2): RP Gregory Soto, DH Miguel Cabrera

    HOU (4): 2B Jose Altuve, OF Kyle Tucker, DH Yordan Alvarez, SP Justin Verlander

    KC (1): OF Andrew Benintendi

    LAA (2): OF Mike Trout, DH Shohei Ohtani

    MIN (1): IF Luis Arraez

    NYY (5): C Jose Trevino, OF Aaron Judge, OF Giancarlo Stanton, SP Nestor Cortes, RP Clay Holmes

    OAK (1): SP Frankie Montas

    SEA (3): 1B Ty France, OF Julio Rodriguez, SP Logan Gilbert

    TB (1): SP Shane McClanahan

    TEX (1): SP Martin Perez

    TOR (4): C Alejandro Kirk, 1B Vladimir Guerrero Jr., OF George Springer, SP Alek Manoah

NL Starting Lineup

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    Ronald Acuna Jr. (Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    NL Starting Lineup

    1. CF Ronald Acuna Jr., ATL
    2. SS Trea Turner, LAD
    3. 1B Paul Goldschmidt, STL
    4. 3B Manny Machado, SD
    5. DH Bryce Harper, PHI (injured)
    6. RF Mookie Betts, LAD
    7. C Willson Contreras, CHC
    8. LF Joc Pederson, SF
    9. 2B Jazz Chisholm Jr., MIA
    SP Sandy Alcantara, MIA


    Notes

    -There is one big decision to be made in the NL starting lineup, and that's who will replace the injured Bryce Harper (thumb) as the starting designated hitter. Assuming there is no obligation to go with someone who was a DH on the ballot to fill that spot, first basemen Pete Alonso and Freddie Freeman would seem to be the most obvious candidates.

    -The starting pitcher nod should go to Sandy Alcantara (17 GS, 9-3, 1.82 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 107 K, 123.1 IP) for his more impressive workload, but don't sleep on Los Angeles Dodgers breakout star Tony Gonsolin (16 GS, 11-0, 1.62 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, 80 K, 88.2 IP) since the game is at Dodger Stadium.

NL Reserves (Position Players)

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    Josh Bell (Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

    NL Reserves (Position Players)

    C Will Smith, LAD
    1B Pete Alonso, NYM
    1B Josh Bell, WAS
    1B Freddie Freeman, LAD
    2B Jeff McNeil, NYM
    3B Nolan Arenado, STL
    3B Austin Riley, ATL
    SS Dansby Swanson, ATL
    IF Brandon Drury, CIN
    OF Starling Marte, NYM
    OF Bryan Reynolds, PIT
    OF Kyle Schwarber, PHI (injury replacement)
    DH Albert Pujols, STL-commissioner's pick


    -We mentioned the decision to be made on who replaces Harper in the starting lineup, but there's also a choice to be made to fill his spot on the roster. Giving the slot to his teammate and NL home run leader Kyle Schwarber feels fitting.

    -Infielder Brandon Drury (CIN) and outfielder Bryan Reynolds (PIT) are the lone representatives for their teams, though both have put together All-Star-caliber seasons separate from those requirements. If closer David Bednar is the pick for the Pirates, it would free up a spot in the NL outfield for the Mets' Brandon Nimmo.

    -Third baseman Austin Riley was snubbed from the All-Star team last year despite an .826 OPS with 14 home runs and 42 RBI at the break, and he's in a tight spot again this year with Manny Machado and Nolan Arenado also options at third base. However, Braves manager Brian Snitker picking the final reserves for the NL squad should help his chances.

NL Reserves (Pitchers)

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    Max Fried (Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

    NL Reserves (Pitchers)

    SP Corbin Burnes, MIL
    SP Max Fried, ATL
    SP Zac Gallen, ARI
    SP Tony Gonsolin, LAD
    SP Joe Musgrove, SD
    SP Carlos Rodon, SF
    SP Julio Urias, LAD
    SP Zack Wheeler, PHI
    RP Daniel Bard, COL
    RP Edwin Diaz, NYM
    RP Josh Hader, MIL


    Notes

    -Starter Zac Gallen (ARI) and closer Daniel Bard (COL) are the only picks for their respective teams, and the D-backs pick was the toughest of any team to nail down. Second baseman Ketel Marte is also a viable candidate, and that would open the door for one of a number of other deserving NL starting pitchers.

    -Left-hander Max Fried has 13 quality starts in his last 15 outings, and he has not only pitched his way onto the All-Star Game roster but also into the NL Cy Young conversation with a 1.35 ERA in his last four starts.

    -The trio of Fried, Gallen and Bard would be joined by Tony Gonsolin, Joe Musgrove and Julio Urias as first-time All-Stars on this projected NL staff. Closer Josh Hader has the most All-Star appearances of anyone in the group with three in the last four years.

Notable Projected NL Snubs

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    Tommy Edman (Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    Notable Projected NL Snubs

    C Tyler Stephenson, CIN
    1B C.J. Cron, COL
    2B/SS Tommy Edman, STL
    OF Ian Happ, CHC
    OF Brandon Nimmo, NYM
    OF Juan Soto, WAS
    DH William Contreras, ATL
    SP Miles Mikolas, STL
    SP Aaron Nola, PHI
    SP Kyle Wright, ATL
    RP Ryan Helsley, STL
    RP A.J. Minter, ATL


    Notes

    -Tommy Edman is one of only four position players with at least 4.0 WAR, but much of his value has come from his defense, and that is often the type of player who winds up snubbed when All-Star rosters are released. Just ask zero-time All-Star Andrelton Simmons.

    -Slugger C.J. Cron has a 136 OPS+ with 20 home runs and 65 RBI, but he faces a steep uphill battle with Paul Goldschmidt, Pete Alonso, Freddie Freeman and Josh Bell also in the mix among NL first basemen.

    -Non-closer relievers often get overlooked, which is why A.J. Minter (39 G, 17 HLD, 1.75 ERA, 12.0 K/9) and Ryan Helsley (27 G, 5 HLD, 0.77 ERA, 13.6 K/9) find themselves on the projected snub list despite stellar numbers.

NL Team-By-Team Breakdown

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    Trea Turner and Mookie Betts (G Fiume/Getty Images)

    ARI (1): SP Zac Gallen

    ATL (4): 3B Austin Riley, SS Dansby Swanson, OF Ronald Acuna Jr., SP Max Fried

    CHC (1): C Willson Contreras

    CIN (1): IF Brandon Drury

    COL (1): RP Daniel Bard

    LAD (6): C Will Smith, 1B Freddie Freeman, SS Trea Turner, OF Mookie Betts, SP Tony Gonsolin, SP Julio Urias

    MIA (2): 2B Jazz Chisholm Jr., SP Sandy Alcantara

    MIL (2): SP Corbin Burnes, RP Josh Hader

    NYM (4): 1B Pete Alonso, 2B Jeff McNeil, OF Starling Marte, RP Edwin Diaz

    PHI (3): OF Kyle Schwarber (injury replacement), DH Bryce Harper (injured), SP Zack Wheeler

    PIT (1): OF Bryan Reynolds

    SD (2): 3B Manny Machado, SP Joe Musgrove

    SF (2): OF Joc Pederson, SP Carlos Rodon

    STL (3): 1B Paul Goldschmidt, 3B Nolan Arenado, DH Albert Pujols

    WAS (1): 1B Josh Bell


    All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference and accurate through Tuesday's games.

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