The Fan Favourites
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. took the league by storm in 2021 and was the leading vote-getter for last year’s game. Things haven’t come quite as easily for the phenom in 2022 as his numbers are down across the board. Still, he’s slashing .246/.469/.805 with an OPS+ of 129. Guerrero Jr. remains a fan favourite and has an excellent chance of making the team.
Bo Bichette slogged through a disappointing first month of the season but has really picked up his production since then and could be rewarded with his second All-Star game selection. Since April 30th, Bichette has hit .301 with 19 extra-base hits, 22 RBI, and an OPS of .895. That surge has put his overall numbers closer to where fans are used to seeing them. Overall Bichette is hitting .266 with 10 home runs, 31 RBI, and a .771 OPS. It should also be noted that Bichette has worked hard on his defence, and will almost certainly cut down on last year’s 24 errors.
Who are the players standing in their way? At the first base position, Jose Abreu, Anthony Rizzo, and Jared Walsh are former All-Stars who are in line to be selected again. Luis Arraez, Ji-Man Choi, and Ty France are emerging players at first base who could be Midsummer Classic participants for the first time.
At shortstop, Tim Anderson and Xander Bogaerts are likely Bichette’s stiffest competition. J.P. Crawford and Jeremy Pena, who could make the team as a rookie, also have strong cases to be included.
There will be some really good players who don’t make the cut, but something tells me Guerrero Jr. and Bichette won’t be among them. They’re both popular players, have the benefit of having an All-Star appearance and really good seasons under their belt, and will have the support of an entire nation.