My All-Star picks — MLB announced starters on Thursday night, with reserves and pitching staffs coming Sunday — are heavy on Rays, Rangers and Braves, and unencumbered by the rule requiring a player from every team.
So here goes, the really deserving All-Stars.
1B: Yandy Diaz, Rays. Keeps getting better.
2B: Marcus Semien, Rangers. Heart/soul of superb team.
SS: Bo Bichette, Jays. Perennial hit leader doing it again.
3B: Jose Ramirez, Guardians. Underpaid superstar.
C: Jonah Heim, Rangers. Emerging star.
OF: Randy Arozarena, Rays. Strike a pose, you deserve it.
OF: Luis Robert Jr., White Sox. One White Sox living up to potential.
OF: Aaron Judge, Yankees. Presence is missed (understatement of year.)
DH: Shohei Ohtani, Angels. Outdoing himself in all-time great season.
SP: Shane McClanahan, Rays. Two straight years he gets nod.
1B: Freddie Freeman, Dodgers. Game’s best pure hitter.
2B: Luis Arraez, Marlins. .400 pursuer.
SS: Dansby Swanson, Cubs. Star SS not having their best years.
3B: Elly De La Cruz, Reds. Energized historic franchise.
C: Sean Murphy, Braves. Underrated star.
OF: Ronald Acuna Jr, Braves. MVP leader.
OF: Corbin Carroll, Diamondbacks. MVP contender.
OF: Mookie Betts, Dodgers. He can play 2B and SS, too.
DH: Jorge Soler, Marlins. Good thing they didn’t agree to trade him back to Braves.
SP: Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers. Best pitcher of half century.
AL reserves: Yordan Alvarez, Wander Franco, Matt Chapman, Josh Jung, Salvador Perez, Adolis Garcia
AL pitchers: Framber Valdez, Sonny Gray, Gerrit Cole, Nathan Eovaldi, Luis Castillo, Jon Gray, Kevin Gausman, Tyler Wells, Emmanuel Clase, Eduardo Rodriguez, Felix Bautista, Carlos Estevez, Ryan Pressly.
NL reserves: Fernando Tatis Jr., J.D. Martinez, Ketel Marte, Matt Olson, Will Smith, Ozzie Albies, Nick Castellanos
NL pitchers: Bryce Elder, Marcus Stroman, Justin Steele, Zac Gallen, Logan Webb, Spencer Strider, Camilo Doval, Alexis Diaz, Josh Hader, Devin Williams, David Bednar, David Robertson, Eury Perez.