Which Blue Jays should be All-Stars this season?
By Cam Lewis3 months ago
The Toronto Blue Jays have been well-represented at the All-Star Game over the past couple of years.
Bo Bichette, Teoscar Hernández, Marcus Semien, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. were named All-Stars in 2021 with Vladdy taking home the All-Star Game MVP Award following a 5-2 win by the American League at Coors Field in Colorado. Guerrero Jr. was again an All-Star in 2022, with teammates George Springer, Alejandro Kirk, Alek Manoah, Santiago Espinal, and Jordan Romano joining him at the Midsummer Classic at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.
What about this season? Which Blue Jays will we see head to Seattle to play in the 2023 All-Star Game?
Bo Bichette didn’t heat up until later in the season last year so he unsurprisingly didn’t make the American League All-Star roster. That hasn’t been the case this year, as Bichette has been Toronto’s best player through two months. He has the best batting average in the AL at .329 and he already has 12 home runs through 60 games.
Matt Chapman was the frontrunner for the AL MVP after the first month of play as he finished April with a whopping 1.152 OPS. He cooled off in May but Chapman has still put together an excellent season thus far with both the bat and the glove. He’s slashing a .281/.363/.489 line and leads the AL with 22 doubles. Chapman made his one and only All-Star appearance back in 2019 when he was with the Oakland A’s.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
Vladdy has been on the All-Star team in back-to-back years and it’s reasonable to assume he’ll be there again this summer. Like Chapman, Guerrero had a red-hot month of April and cooled off in May but is still putting together a strong season. He’s batting .289 and has an OPS of .822 with nine homers over 57 games. The question for Vladdy is whether he’ll be named starter at first base over the likes of Yandy Diaz and Anthony Rizzo.
Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Kevin Kiermaier signed a one-year, $9 million deal with the Blue Jays and nobody could have imagined things going this well. The Gold Glove defence in centre field was a given, but a rejuvenated Kiermaier has put together his best stretch at the plate in years. He’s batting .295, which is well above his single-season career-high of .276, and he leads the league with four triples. Kiermaier has never been an All-Star before in his career and that might change this year.
Kevin Gausman had an excellent debut season with the Blue Jays last year and he’s been even better so far this season. Gausman has a 2.76 ERA over his first 12 starts of the year and he leads the AL with 100 strikeouts. Being named an All-Star for the second time in his career seems like a no-brainer and Gausman could even wind up being the starting pitcher for the American League if he keeps this level up through June.
There will always be a handful of players who opt not to play in the Midsummer Classic because of a nagging injury and big names are often brought in as replacements. George Springer hasn’t been having his best season by any stretch but a hot month of June could see him named to the fifth All-Star team of his career. Brandon Belt is also quietly putting together some excellent results at the plate following a slow start and his bounce back from a career-threatening injury might be an All-Star-worthy story.
It’s difficult to predict which relievers will be named to the All-Star teams but the Blue Jays have a few candidates who have pitched well enough to earn consideration. Jordan Romano has become one of baseball’s top late-inning arms, Erik Swanson and Tim Mayza have put together strong results, and former top prospect Nate Pearson appears to be in the midst of a breakout season in Toronto’s bullpen.
Recent articles from Cam Lewis