An early look at how the Blue Jays could be represented at the 2023 All-Star Game

Tampa Bay Rays v Toronto Blue Jays
Tampa Bay Rays v Toronto Blue Jays / Cole Burston/GettyImages
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Shortstop – Bo Bichette

After becoming a first-time All-Star back in 2021, Bo Bichette was snubbed last year, failing to make the All-Star game after a slow start to the 2022 season. This year, however, should be quite obvious, as Bichette is back again posting crazy, impressive numbers right from the start of the season. He currently leads all AL shortstops in hits (76), home runs (11), RBI (37), batting average (.335), on-base percentage (.373), slugging percentage (.537) and OPS (.910), with all of his main competition quite a bit behind in most categories.

Perennial All-Star candidate Carlos Correa of the Minnesota Twins has been struggling this year, leaving Bichette’s primary challenger as Wander Franco of the Tampa Bay Rays. Franco has been hot of late, and leads AL shortstops in doubles (15) and stolen bases (18), and is second only to Bichette in several other categories. However, with Bichette's production not expected to be letting up any time soon, he should be able to maintain his distance away from Franco or even pull away from him. So unless Bichette has a horrendous, unforgetable June, it's his spot to lose.

Pitchers – Kevin Gausman and Chris Bassitt

Both Kevin Gausman and Chris Bassitt have only been to the All-Star Game once in their careers back in 2021, representing the San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics, respectively. Both pitchers have provided strong performances for the Jays so far in 2023, putting each of them in a prime spot to make this year’s event. Among qualified pitchers, Gausman is currently ranked in the top 3 in the AL in strikeouts (89), quality starts (8), and SO/9 ratio (11.72). Bassitt, surprisingly, has been pretty solid himself, ranking in the top 10 in the AL in wins, innings pitched, quality starts and opponents batting average, and has been key for the Jays this year in turning things around after a Jays’ loss.

However, both will be up against some strong AL competition as Shane McClanahan (leads in wins), Nathan Eovaldi, George Kirby (leads in BB/9, and K/BB), Shohei Ohtani (leads in strikeouts, SO/9 ratio and opponents batting average), Sonny Gray (leads in ERA), Framber Valdez (leads in innings pitched and quality starts), Luis Castillo, Joe Ryan, Gerrit Cole, Cristian Javier, and Zach Eflin, to name a few, have all gotten off to strong starts to the 2023 season as well. This doesn't even include relievers, such as Félix Bautista, Carlos Estévez, Jhoan Durán, and Alex Lange, who themselves are also having incredible seasons thus far in 2023. What it may come down to for all the candidates will be their performances in the upcoming month of June, which will determine who are the main contenders and who may be the pretenders for the Midsummer Classic.