Last night, the complete rosters for the American and National League All-Star teams were announced. As is customary, every team gets at least a single player who is awarded the honour of attending the Mid-Summer Classic. This year, the Blue Jays have four players headed to Los Angeles.
Of course, the fans had the chance to send their favourites to the game. Blue Jays fans and smart fans of MLB alike voted for both Alejandro Kirk and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to start at their respective positions. While those two men will be featured in the starting lineup, two other Blue Jays may get to feature in the game at Dodgers Stadium at some point in the contest.
Here is a list of the four members of the Toronto Blue Jays headed to the All-Star Game.
Alek Manoah has done everything but go through a sophomore slump. The tall right-hander is second on the team in bWAR (3), tied for first in games started (17), and has the lowest ERA (2.34) on the club. His ranks amongst AL starting pitchers are quality as well. He is featured in the top 10 in ERA, fWAR, innings pitched, and FIP. This has truly been a season to remember for the former first-round pick, and an All-Star appearance as a 24-year-old is no small feat.
The impact of this man simply cannot be understated. Not only has Alejandro Kirk been one of the best catchers in baseball, but he’s also been one of the best hitters in baseball. He’s among the league leaders in average, on-base percentage, and framing. Kirk has been a breakout revelation in baseball this season, and he deserves every second of his time as an All-Star.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr.:
Don’t let the “Ty France got robbed” narrative fool you, Vladdy is having a great season. While it isn’t quite the same spectacle as we’ve seen in 2021, the young first baseman is still having a well-above-average season. He ranks second on the team in OPS and OPS+, both behind the aforementioned Kirk. A look at the Fangraphs first base offensive leaderboards shows Guerrero Jr. is fourth in fWAR, second in homeruns, fifth in wRC+, and fifth in OBP. This offensive prowess is boosted by solid fielding as well, ranking fourth in OAA (outs above average) and seventh in UZR (ultimate zone rating). This all-around greatness from the 23-year-old first baseman makes him a deserving candidate to start this game.
Springer gets into the game as a reserve and is more than deserving of this honour. His 2.4 bWAR ranks third on the Blue Jays, and he’s having as good of a season as he’s ever had while maintaining his health for the most part. His 127 wRC+ ranks seventh among all American League outfielders while contributing solid counting numbers as well. His eight stolen bases, 17 homeruns, and 50 runs scored make for quite the leadoff hitter.