Red Sox potential first time All-Stars
Projecting which players from the Boston Red Sox roster could be in line to make their first career All-Star appearance in 2016.
We are still months away from any meaningful baseball games being played, but it’s never too early to start thinking about who will be selected to the All-Star game.
The Boston Red Sox have nine players on their roster that have made at least one All-Star appearance in their careers, a few of whom should garner consideration again this season. Since Major League Baseball can’t make up its mind regarding whether the Mid-Summer Classic is a game for the fans or if it actually counts for something, the archaic rule that every team must be represented remains intact. Combine that with the always unreliable fan voting process and we are left with a perennial issue of some players making the All-Star team over their more qualified peers.
Altering the selection process is a fight for another day. For now we’re only concerned with which Red Sox players are expected to produce at a high enough level to be worthy of consideration.
Brock Holt was the lone representative for a struggling Red Sox team last year, selected by AL manager Ned Yost for his versatility off the bench. With the team expected to bounce back to contention this year, the expectation is that they will be good enough to warrant multiple All-Stars, which could be essential in order for one of their young players to follow in Holt’s footsteps as a first time selection.
One would hope that David Price will make the team, as you don’t pay a guy $31 million per year to be anything less than an All-Star. Craig Kimbrel has been one of the game’s best closers over the past handful of years, making four All-Star appearances in that span. With an improved Red Sox team behind him, the strikeout machine should lock down plenty of save opportunities to boost his candidacy.
Then there’s David Ortiz, a nine-time All-Star entering the final season of his epic career. If he receives the Derek Jeter treatment then he’ll likely be voted into the game as a tribute to his legacy regardless of how he performs. A slow start last year dropped him out of consideration, but he heated up after the break to finish with All-Star caliber numbers, showing that even at his age he’s still capable of producing at a level that deserves a spot on the roster.
That makes three Red Sox players that have a strong chance to make the team, with a number of other veterans that could enter the conversation with a bounce back season. That may limit the chances of seeing anyone from this team become a first time selection, but if the AL squad can find room for at least one more, there are a number of candidates that could be worthy choices.
Next: Xander Bogaerts