The season is roughly halfway over for most teams, so now is a good chance at what should have been the all-star teams from each of the respective leagues. Members of the Last Word on Sports baseball staff voted on what these hypothetical 2020 All-Star squads would look like. So here are the results for the American League.
2020 All-Star Selections: American League
Behind the plate, receiving 55% of the vote is Baltimore Orioles catcher Pedro Severino. Severino is currently hitting .318 with five home runs and 20 RBI. This would have been the 27-year-old’s first All-Star nomination of his six-season career. With a .413 on-base percentage, Severino is finding a way to get on base in nearly half of his plate appearances. Catchers are never guaranteed to be offensive powerhouses, so Severino being a solid hitter is definitely All-Star worthy. Also receiving votes at catcher were the Seattle Mariners Austin Nola, New York Yankees Gary Sanchez, Houston Astros Martin Maldonado, Kansas City Royals Salvador Perez, and Chicago White Sox Yasmani Grandal.
One of four unanimous decisions, White Sox first basemen Jose Abreu would have been earning the fourth All-Star nomination of his career. Abreu is batting .318 this season with an AL-leading 12 home runs. He also leads all of MLB in RBI with 30. Abreu has also picked up more total bases than any AL player this season with 84. Abreu did not start off the season tearing up the league but is currently on a ten-game hitting streak in which he has hit nine of his 12 home runs.
Another unanimous decision, Tampa Bay Rays Brandon Lowe would have been a 2020 All-Star. Lowe was also named to the All-Star team last season. The second baseman is leading the AL in OPS with a 1.044 from his .389 on-base percentage and .676 slugging percentage. Lowe is hitting .292 this year with ten home runs and 27 RBI. Lowe is also helping his team to top the AL East this season by contributing 1.7 wins above replacement.
Picking up 36% of the vote, White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson would have been joining the 2020 American League All-Star team. Anderson would have been appearing in the first All-Star game of his career. Anderson is hitting .337 this season with six home runs and ten RBI. He also has an OPS of .997 so far this season. Like Lowe, Anderson is helping lead his team to good results. With 1.4 wins above replacement, Anderson and the White Sox are in a three-way tie in the American League Central entering play Saturday. Also receiving votes at shortstop were Boston Red Sox Xander Bogaerts (27%), Los Angeles Angels David Fletcher (18%), Cleveland Indians Francisco Lindor (9%), and the Rays Willy Adames (9%).
With a whopping 82% of the vote, Anthony Rendon of the Los Angeles Angels is the third baseman for the Last Word on Baseball 2020 All-Star team. This would have been Rendon’s second consecutive All-Star appearance. Rendon is sitting at a .307 batting average for his first season with the Angels. He’s hit six home run with 17 RBI. Rendon has accumulated 1.7 wins above replacement this season, but that is not helping the Angels too much, as they sit at the bottom of the American League West. The other third baseman to receive votes was Rendon’s division rival, Oakland Athletic Matt Chapman (18%).
The first selection from the outfield is another member of the Los Angeles Angels. Mike Trout would have been making his ninth All-Star appearance, as he picked up 73% of the vote. Trout is hitting .265 with 11 home runs and 26 RBI this year. He definitely is not playing like the Trout fans are used to. The 29-year-old has only earned 0.5 wins above replacement this season. Nonetheless, it is still Mike Trout and he is still playing well enough to earn an All-Star nomination.
Joining Trout in the outfield is a fellow player in the AL West. Seattle Mariners outfielder Kyle Lewis picked up 64% of the vote to become a 2020 All-Star. Lewis would have been just the 39th American League position player to make the All-Star game in their rookie season. Lewis currently holds the highest batting average (.347), on-base percentage (.437), and the most runs scored (27) in all of the American League. He has also hit seven home runs and racked up 20 RBI on this rookie campaign. Lewis’s 1.7 wins above replacement has helped the Mariners to a third-place spot in the AL West.
The final member of the outfield is another young superstar in the making. White Sox left fielder Eloy Jimenez earned 45% of the vote and the final starting spot in the Last Word on Baseball 2020 All-Star squad for the American League. Jimenez is batting .322 this season with ten home runs and 24 RBI. Jimenez has been a big part of the White Sox battle to make the playoffs for the first time since 2008.
Other players receiving votes in the American League outfield included: Toronto Blue Jays’ Teoscar Hernandez (36%), Baltimore Orioles’ Anthony Santander (18%), White Sox rookie Luis Robert (18%), Oakland Athletics’ Robbie Grossman (18%), New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge (9%), Blue Jays’ Randal Grichuk (9%), and Kansas City Royals’ Whit Merrifield (9%).
The third of four unanimous selection goes to the starter for the American League. Cleveland Indians Shane Bieber 2020 All-Star nomination would have been the second of his three-year career. Bieber was the clear choice for the starting role. He boasts a perfect 6-0 record in seven starts. He also leads the league in ERA (1.35), strikeouts (75), ERA+ (341), fielding independent pitching (1.70), and K/9 (14.5). This has been far and away the best season of Bieber’s young career. This comes after his All-Star Game MVP and a fourth-place finish in Cy Young voting last season.
In the bullpen is Bieber’s teammate. James Karinchak accumulated 55% of the vote to become a 2020 All-Star. The reliever would have been just the 24th American League pitcher to make the All-Star game as a rookie. In 16.2 innings of relief effort, Karinchak has only allowed one earned run, equating to an ERA of 0.54. He has also racked up 31 strikeouts to just six walks. Other relievers receiving votes included: the Rays Jalen Beeks and Nick Anderson, the White Sox Ross Detwiler, the Angels Ty Buttrey, and the Yankees Zack Britton.
The final pitcher to be nominated was the closer. With 73% of the votes, Oakland Athletic Liam Hendriks received the nod. The nomination would have been just the second of his ten-year career. Hendriks leads the Major Leagues in games finished and saves, with 14 and ten respectively. He has only allowed two runs across 16.1 innings pitched for a 1.10 ERA. With just one blown save, Hendriks has been a reliable piece for Oakland as they lead the American League with the best record. Other closers receiving votes included the Rays Nick Anderson, the Indians Brad Hand, and the Royals Trevor Rosenthal.
The final spot on the team and the final unanimous selection goes to the designated hitter. Minnesota Twin Nelson Cruz would have been earning the seventh All-Star nod of his career. Cruz is hitting .315 with 11 home runs and 27 RBI. Cruz’s OPS is above 1.000, sitting at 1.050. He also leads the American League in intentional walks, with three this season. Cruz has racked up 1.3 wins above replacement purely from hitting the ball this season.
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