Following a very exciting and strong first half of the season, the Red Sox are undoubtedly in a position to make some noise in the playoffs. Of course, the Sox wouldn’t be in the position they are currently in without some all-star caliber performances. With the all-star rosters being announced later today, I am going to highlight some of the Red Sox deserving of playing at Citi Field on July 16th.
Dustin Pedroia: Pedroia is undoubtedly the heart and soul of the best team in the American League and is putting together one of his best seasons to date. Offensively, he has been a solidifying presence in the middle of the order and has been the team’s most consistent and reliable performer throughout the entire season (he has hit .323/.404/.445 thus far). Defensively, Pedroia has been his typical lockdown-defender self, already posting 11 defensive runs saved and committing just one error on the year. Pedroia probably will not be able to surpass Robinson Cano‘s voting lead on the starting job, but in my opinion, he is more deserving than the Bronx second baseman. Look for Pedey to make the his fourth all-star team as a reserve.
David Ortiz: While Pedroia has been the team’s MVP thus far, Ortiz has been the team’s best offensive contributor. Papi has continued his career resurgence hitting a robust .321/.409/.615 through 68 games in addition to his team leading 17 home runs and 61 runs batted in. At the time of the last voting update, Ortiz had a 2 million plus vote advantage over the Rangers’ Lance Berkman. In other words, it appears like there will be at least one Red Sox all-star starter this year. If selected, it would Ortiz’s ninth all-star game appearance.
Clay Buchholz: On a per rate basis, few have been as strong as Buchholz. His 1.71 ERA would be the best in baseball had he had the innings to qualify. Of course, that very lack of innings would be the only thing keeping him off the team as his rate numbers definitely support his case. If Buchholz were to be selected, it would be his second all-star selection.
Jacoby Ellsbury: After a slow start to the season, Ellsbury has turned it on to become the top of the order threat he had become known for. While he hasn’t hit for the same power in his 2011 breakout campaign (just two home runs and a .414 SLG in 2013), Ellsbury is hitting for contact (.302 AVG), reaching base (.365 OBP), and wreaking havoc on the bases (league-leading 34 SBs). Add in his stellar defense, and Ellsbury has a strong case to make his second all-star game this year.
Jose Iglesias: While I have said plenty about Iglesias in the past, there is no denying the Cuban’s incredible contributions for the Red Sox this season. In just 43 games, Iglesias ranks as the Red Sox fifth most valuable player going by Fangraphs’ WAR in addition to providing important versatility for a team that has dealt with numerous injuries and disappointments in the infield. Even though he isn’t a sure thing to make the team due to his small sample size, hitting .410 with gold-glove caliber defense is going to be hard to overlook. Furthermore, with a weak crop of American League shortstops, Iggy could further benefit and make his first all-star team.
Daniel Nava: Owner of one of the best stories in the game, Nava has only added to that with his stellar play this season. Nava has hit .287/.374/.441 with 10 home runs and 49 RBIs while providing plenty of clutch hits and memorable moments (re: GW HR in first game at Fenway following the bombings). Nava might not be the most flashy as he gets a lot of his value from walks and gap power, but Nava still has a solid case to be a first time all-star based on his offensive contributions this year.