The Major League Baseball All-Star game is still over a month away but it’s never too early to see where the Red Sox roster stands.
In the first two months on this young season, the Red Sox players are making their cases for why many should make the trip to San Diego.
Even though the team leads the league in total offense, there are some doubters who still don’t think this team is legitimate.
Forget the doubters. Who needs them?
There are some players on the Red Sox who are close to sure locks to make the team in July. Players such as David Ortiz and Xander Bogaerts come too mind. Ortiz is currently posting a .337 batting average and a 1.126 OPS while Bogaerts holds a .347 average and .909 OPS. These numbers alone make them All-Stars.
What about the not so certain ones? Otherwise known as sleepers.
There are five players that come to mind and each of them has a case for why they should be rocking the All-Star jersey this summer.
1. Jackie Bradley Jr.
Before everyone freaks out on me for calling JBJ a sleeper hear me out. Everywhere other than Boston he’s seen as a sleeper. I mean did any of us even foresee the production he was going to have? Most likely not.
Jackie Bradley has already had a season to remember. He’s batting .341, which is currently third in the majors to go along with a 1.018 OPS, also ranking third. His 34 RBI puts him in a tie for third amongst all major league outfielders.
The number speak for themselves and he should be an All-Star this season. However, we all know in baseball that popularity tends to take over when the voting commences.
2. Steven Wright
Here’s a guy who should make the team but probably won’t because he isn’t known outside of Boston. Wright’s record isn’t flashy, currently 4-4, however his individual numbers alone qualify him to be an All-Star.
In nine starts he holds a 2.52 ERA, which is sixth in the American League. His ERA is better than Cole Hamels, Dallas Keuchel, Sonny Gray and even teammate David Price.
Wright’s 1.10 WHIP also ranks among the best in the AL. I can’t forget to mention he’s pitched two complete games, which is second best in the majors. He only trails San Francisco Giants’ Johnny Cueto, Los Angeles Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw and Chicago White Sox Chris Sale, who are all tied with three.
3. Dustin Pedroia
We all love Dustin but him making this years All-Star team would be a huge sleeper. The only reason is because Jose Altuve, of the Houston Astros, and Robinson Cano, of the Seattle Mariners, are having sensational seasons.
Let’s make a case for him though.
You can argue that Pedroia is the most important player to the Red Sox than any other player is too their teams. As Pedroia goes, the Red Sox go. This season Pedroia has a .306 average, which ranks third amongst AL second baseman and he’s slugging (.470), which is good for fifth. And let’s not forget his stellar glove that brings to the diamond every day.
4. Rick Porcello
I never thought I would be making a case for Rick Porcello to be a potential All-Star, especially after last season. However, this year has been solid.
In nine starts Porcello is 7-2 with a 3.47 ERA. His seven wins puts him in a tie for second amongst all AL pitchers. His 1.09 WHIP and .228 BAA ranks him towards the better half of the AL.
Will he make the All-Star team? Probably not, but he is the definition of a sleeper.
5. Junichi Tazawa
Is there currently a relief pitcher that’s more reliable than Taz?
Year after year I feel this guy is snubbed at an All-Star appearance but could this be the year he makes it as an AL relief pitcher representative?
There’s no reason he shouldn’t at least be considered. In 20 appearances he has 18.2 innings pitched with a 1.45 ERA, 24 strikeouts and a 0.86 WHIP. His stats are better than the majority of the closers.
It’s a long shot but he is making his case.
If Red Sox Nation had it their way the entire Red Sox team would be All-Stars, but we all know that is impossible.
The remainder of the season’s first half will be fun to watch as we’ll see which other candidates enter the All-Star discussion. I do as Red Sox Nation one favor though, can we please vote the knuckle-baller into the game?