As we approach the 2019 MLB All-Star Game, though, who from the Yankees is in the running to make the team?
The New York Yankees have had a bizarre season. Their roster has been sapped by injuries to the point where they’ve played most of the season without multiple All-Stars.
Even so, they’re still in first place in the American League East and are a serious contender for a World Series ring.
Who’s definitely in?
The Yankees sure-fire All-Star is Gary Sanchez, who has had a fantastic season. He should be starting the Midsummer Classic – especially since Salvador Perez, the catcher who has started the last five All-Star Games, is out for the season.
Sanchez’s power numbers are impressive as he’s batting .266 with a .992 OPS and 18 home runs. No other catcher in the American League has even hit double-digits, so he’s going to get in based on that alone. He’s also got a healthy WAR of 1.9.
Barring a disastrous month of June, he’s going to start for the American League.
Should get an invite, but not a certainty
Luke Voit is probably going to get into the All-Star game but he’s not a sure thing just yet. He’s batting .272 with 15 home runs and 39 RBI’s, which is solid. The 15 home runs are tied for the most at the position while he also leads in runs scored (40) and is fourth in batting average (.272).
But Carlos Santana is almost assured a spot – especially since his WAR is tops at the position – while Dan Vogelbach and C.J Cron can also make a case. Voit is probably the leader in the clubhouse right now but there’s still time for everyone to make their case.
The Yankees should have one pitcher in the All-Star Game and it should be Chapman. He’s probably going more on track record than strictly his 2019 numbers, but it’s not as if he’s having a bad season. He has a 1.52 ERA this season with a 0.93 WHIP while collecting 17 saves.
Is it a concern that his WAR of 1.0 doesn’t even land him in the Top 80 among American League pitchers? Of course. However, he’s been very effective and should get enough love to make it to the All-Star Game.
Just a bit outside…
Torres has had a solid season with 14 home runs and 31 RBI’s, but he’s definitely no lock to make the All-Star team. The challenge is there is plenty of talent at shortstop.
There’s Francisco Lindor, Carlos Correa, even guys like Xander Bogaerts and Adalberto Mondesi are in the mix. But Bogaerts and Jorge Polanco are likely in already. With game taking place in Cleveland, Lindor probably has a leg up on a third spot.
Beyond that, a lot of Torres’ success this season has come against one team: the Baltimore Orioles. 10 of his home runs and 13 of his RBI’s have come against the awful Baltimore Orioles. He’ll have to get hot in June to make this work.
Maybe next year
While it’s true that Tanaka is arguably the best starting pitcher on one of the best teams in the American League, he’s not going to the All-Star Game.
Yes, his WAR is a team-best 1.7 (among pitchers) but he’s just 3-5 on the season with a 3.42 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP. He’s also trending in the wrong direction, giving up exactly four earned runs in each of his last two starts.
The Yankees have lost eight of his last 12 starts. He’s not going to the All-Star Game.
It would be a lovely story but it’s simply not happening. Urshela, who the Yankees acquired last August in a move simply to replenish some farm-system depth, has been fantastic.
The season-ending injury to Miguel Andujar (and Troy Tulowitzki) has given him an opportunity and he’s run with it.
While he does have what seems to be Gold Glove-caliber defense and his batting average of .327 – had he had enough at-bats to qualify – would lead the position, the rest of his numbers don’t pop-out. He has just three home runs and 23 RBI’s.
Matt Chapman will be at the Midsummer Classic, Hunter Dozer is probably ahead of Urshela and Alex Bregman is definitely in. Urshela has a lot of work to do.
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