The Blue Jays have multiple intriguing All-Star candidates but none are the usual suspects

Toronto's potential 2024 All-Star candidates aren't who you might expect to see.
Tampa Bay Rays v Toronto Blue Jays
Tampa Bay Rays v Toronto Blue Jays / Mark Blinch/GettyImages

Year after year, the Toronto Blue Jays have maintained a steady presence in the MLB All-Star Game each July, but in 2024 the names more likely to be chosen aren't necessarily the ones you'd expect. Whereas Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, and Kevin Gausman have been mainstays as All-Star representatives for the great white north totalling 6 such nods over the last 3 seasons, their performances haven't really screamed the same prowess as other years.

Yimi García has once again pitched himself into the hearts of Blue Jays fans with yet another stunning season out of what has been a mediocre bullpen to begin the 2024 campaign. Yimi has sported a mind-boggling 0.47 ERA across 19 innings with a WHIP of 0.579 and four times as many strikeouts as walks across this stretch. He's certainly made himself a case to take over the closing role for the Blue Jays from a wobbly Jordan Romano. García has cemented himself as one of the top options in the back half of Toronto's bullpen and could easily find a spot on this year's American League All-Star team in Texas.

The Blue Jays' success in 2024 has come largely from depth options as opposed to their stars, but Jose Berrios has remained solid amongst a middling group of players. He's been one of the most reliable arms for Toronto so far, pitching at least 6 innings in 8 of his 10 starts to begin the year to go along with a very respectable 2.98 ERA. Aside from one blowup start against the Philadelphia Phillies in which he surrendered 8 earned runs, Berrios has been the epitome of reliability and consistency. His performance this season is more than welcome considering the bullpen's season-long struggles. This ability to work deep into games at such a high level of effectiveness allows the Blue Jays to relax every fifth day knowing they've got a good chance to win.

Yet another bright spot in Toronto's rotation comes from its only left-hander - Yusei Kikuchi, whose consistency this season has certainly surprised many. Kikuchi was an All-Star for the Seattle Mariners in 2021 but his numbers in this young 2024 season put all his previous years to shame. Yusei's dazzled to the tone of a 2.64 ERA across 58 innings with 61 strikeouts to just 13 walks, and if there's one man the Blue Jays want on the mound right now it's probably Kikuchi. The lefty turned in one of the best starts of his career on May 10 against the Minnesota Twins when he fired 8 innings of two-run ball while allowing only 4 hits against a strong offense. Yusei's made a great case already to make the Midsummer Classic representing Canada's team as one of the league's top arms.

Last but not least of the notable early All-Star candidates north of the border, catcher Danny Jansen has been liting baseballs on fire with his bat. Some of the home runs he's hit recently might be currently orbiting our planet as we speak. Jansen's never made an All-Star team yet in his relatively young career but it hasn't been due to a lack of production - Jansen's never played more than 105 games in a season as he's been severely limited because of injuries the last few years. Jano's 1.043 OPS on the year ranks him among the very best offensive catchers in the league and he's shown no signs of slowing down. Entering Tuesday evening's contest, Jansen had posted a .372/.404/1.125 slash line to start the month of May, putting him in the top 15 hitters in each of these metrics and as high as fifth league-wide in OPS. Put simply, Jansen can rake and he's been doing just that all season long. If Jano can put together the same type of numbers he's clearly capable of over a sizeable span heading into the All-Star break, he's a shoo-in for the All-Star team with a more than clear case for the starting catcher job.

As the All-Star game approaches in the coming months, the Toronto Blue Jays have found themselves wealthy with potential candidates for the honour of representing them in Texas this year. These candidates might not be who you'd expect from the start of the season but their contributions to this team are more than welcome to the organization. On a team that's had its fair share of struggles on both sides of the ball, these guys have stepped up when it was needed most and they deserve to reap the rewards.