There will be no All-Star Game in 2020, but that doesn’t mean we couldn’t fill out a couple of lineups.
Now that the trade deadline is behind us and we’re into September, it’s time to name the 2020 All-Star teams. MLB is not doing that in this bizarre sprint of a season, so we at Sports Illustrated assumed the authority of naming the definitive All-Star Game rosters for each league. These rosters include the nine starting hitters, one starting pitcher and one reliever.
Catcher: Pedro Severino, Baltimore Orioles
If Severino, who is currently slashing .310/.384/.520, can finish the season at or above .300/.400/.500, he will be the first 3-4-5 Orioles catcher since Chris Hollies hit .310/.416/.585 in 1993 and only the fourth to do so in franchise history. Severino’s on-base percentage has dipped recently, from .413 last week, but even if he cannot get that back above .400, his season has been All-Star worthy nonetheless.
First Baseman: Luke Voit, New York Yankees
We can’t forget about Old Man José Abreu when talking about how good the young White Sox are this year, but the honor to start at first base for the AL in our All-Star game goes to Luke Voit. While most of the fearsome Yankees hitters have spent time on the injured list, Voit has been a mainstay in their lineup, slashing .295/.352/.670, and he’s tied for the major league lead with 13 homers.
Second Baseman: DJ LeMahieu, New York Yankees
Before landing on the injured list on Aug. 16, LeMahieu was hitting .411 with a 174 OPS+ and 1.0 bWAR in 19 games, proving his strong first year with the Yankees was no fluke.
Shortstop: Tim Anderson, Chicago White Sox
Bring on the bat flips! Anderson, who won the 2019 AL batting title, is hitting .333 with six homers and a .951 OPS. He has the highest batting average among shortstops with at least 100 plate appearances, and, batting leadoff, he is igniting the exciting White Sox lineup.
Third Baseman: Anthony Rendon, Los Angeles Angels
Although the Angels have been a major disappointment this year, Rendon’s strong first season in Anaheim proves they were right to sign him this past offseason. He leads all MLB third basemen with a .433 on-base percentage and fWAR (1.9).
Outfielders: Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels; Kyle Lewis, Seattle Mariners; Teoscar Hernández, Toronto Blue Jays
Mike Trout is not having a Mike Trout year, but. even when he’s not at his best, he’s still one of the best. No outfielder has more home runs than Trout’s 13.
Lewis has the highest batting average (.328) and the second-highest on-base percentage (.418) among qualified AL outfielders.
Hernández trails only Trout among AL outfielders with 12 home runs and a .626 slugging percentage.
Designated Hitter: Nelson Cruz, Minnesota Twins
Cruz is slashing .326/.420/.667 with 13 home runs and 29 RBI. He’s 40 years old.
Starting Pitcher: Shane Bieber, Cleveland Indians
Shane Bieber is the best pitcher in baseball. The reigning All-Star Game MVP leads the majors in wins (6), innings (52 2/3), ERA (1.20) and strikeouts (84). In eight starts, he has allowed seven earned runs.
Relief Pitcher: Liam Hendriks, Oakland Athletics
Liam Hendriks is tied for the major league lead with 10 saves this season. He has a 1.10 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 16 1/3 innings for the first-place A’s.
Catcher: J.T. Realmuto, Philadelphia Phillies
Realmuto, a free agent after this season, is proving again why he’s the best catcher in baseball. The 29-year-old leads all catchers with nine home runs, a .535 slugging percentage and a 1.3 fWAR.
First Baseman: Paul Goldschmidt, St. Louis Cardinals
Goldschmidt has been much better in Year 2 with the Cardinals. He started hot and continued to mash even after the team’s 16 days without games due to a COVID-19 outbreak. In 28 games, he leads all first basemen in fWAR (1.5) and is slashing .337/.478/.517.
Second Baseman: Robinson Canó, New York Mets
After a disappointing first season with the Mets, Canó looks more like the smooth-swinging second baseman New Yorkers remember from his time with the Yankees. In 28 games, he’s slashing .375/.408/.667, seven homers and 18 RBI.
Shortstop: Fernando Tatís Jr., San Diego Padres
Tatís is the most exciting player in baseball, and, at just 21 years old, he’s nowhere close to his peak yet. He leads all MLB players with a 2.6 fWAR, is tied for the MLB lead in homers and is undoubtedly the best player on what should be the first Padres’ playoff team since 2006.
Third Baseman: Manny Machado, San Diego Padres
Like Goldschmidt, Machado has been much better in Year 2 with his new team. He has the most home runs (11) as well as the highest slugging percentage (.600) and OPS (.976) among MLB third basemen.
Outfielders: Juan Soto, Washington Nationals; Mookie Betts, Los Angeles Dodgers; Mike Yastrzemski, San Francisco Giants
Soto’s strong third season in the show is one of the only bright spots for the Nationals this year, as the defending champs look nothing like the team that won it all in 2019. After missing the start of the truncated season, Soto, 21, is hitting .344/.438/.750 with 11 home runs and 25 RBI in just 26 games.
Betts has been everything the Dodgers hoped for in his first year in Los Angeles. His 2.1 fWAR ranks third in MLB. The best player on the best team in baseball deserves to start the All-Star Game.
In his second big-league season, Yastrzemski, 30, is living up to his Hall of Fame pedigree. He trails only Tatís for the most fWAR (2.1) in MLB and is slashing .298/.411/.603.
Designated Hitter: Jesse Winker, Cincinnati Reds
A brutal defender, Winker has settled into his role as the Reds’ DH and is in the middle of a breakout 2020 season. He’s slashing .314/.419/.657 with 10 home runs and 17 RBI.
Starting Pitcher: Yu Darvish, Chicago Cubs
Now healthy, Darvish is as good as he’s ever been. He’s 6-1 with a NL-best 1.47 ERA, a 1.00 WHIP and 52 strikeouts in 43 innings. He’s one of the main reasons why the resurgent Cubs are in first place in the NL Central.
Relief Pitcher: Kenley Jansen, Los Angeles Dodgers
Jansen, the closer on baseball’s best team, is having another strong season. He leads MLB with 10 saves, and he has a 1.20 ERA and 22 strikeouts in 15 innings.
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