Red Sox have four players who are finalists to start the All-Star Game
Major League Baseball announced the finalists to start the 2021 All-Star on Sunday. When looking at the Red Sox specifically, they have four fantastic players who have made the cut. The players who will be competing to start are Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers, J.D. Martinez and Alex Verdugo. Ultimately, they all deserve a spot in the All-Star Game after the great seasons that they are having.
Although this is the case, things become a bit difficult when determining which of these players should start. There are an abundance of spectacular players that these guys are going up against, as the AL is very competitive. Let’s take a deeper dive into which of the four are likely to start.
Starting off with Bogaerts, it is easy to see why he is in the running. He is showing this season that he is elite as they come. He is having a career season, as he is sporting a marvelous .330 batting average. He is tied for the American League lead for most doubles with 23, while also 13 home runs. These numbers show that he is having a masterful year at the plate.
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Bogaerts is up against Bo Bichette and Carlos Correa. Both are having solid seasons as well, but they just do not compare to how well Bogaerts is playing. While Bichette and Correa each have more home runs than Bogaerts, they are nowhere close to his batting average. Bogaerts is having the most complete season out of the three, so it is a no-brainer that he deserves to start.
Now, let’s look at Devers. The first thing to note about him is that he is having a great year hitting. This is especially the case when it comes to his power, as he has 19 home runs in 74 games. It seems that he is taking that next step in this area. He also is the player tied with Bogaerts in doubles, so he is finding multiple ways to be effective at the plate.
Devers is up against two very talented players in Alex Bregman and Yoán Moncada, though. They each are having solid seasons themselves, but just do not compare to Devers’ production. They each have far fewer home runs, while also producing lower batting averages. They both are batting .275 at this time, while Devers is at .283. Although this is close and could very well change, it is hard to believe that they will catch him in home runs. Thus, Devers surely deserves to start.
Martinez is turning it around this season significantly. Last year was a very tough year for the veteran, as he batted .213 and looked lost out there. It seemed like his contract was now a burden on the team, but he has since found his game again. He looks like the J.D. of the past, as he hitting well for both power and contact. This is made clear by his 15 home runs and .300 batting average.
Even with having such a great season, the likelihood of Martinez starting is very slim. He is up against the Shohei Ohtani, who is having a year of the ages. He not only has a monstrous 25 home runs, but also is pitching spectacularly, too. Thus, he will justifiably rack in the votes. In any other season, Martinez would have had a real shot at starting, but beating Ohtani is too large of a task.
Lastly, Red Sox fans should be thrilled seeing Verdugo in the running for a spot. He of course was the main piece who came back from the Mookie Betts deal. This season, he has been showing growth in his game. He not only is having success hitting second in the order, but has also been a joy to watch in the field, too. Verdugo’s future is looking very bright, as he is blossoming into a very balanced player.
Verdugo has a lot of competition at the outfield position, though. He is up against big names like Aaron Judge and Michael Brantley to name just a few. That is honestly just the tip of the iceberg. Furthermore, his chances are even lower if Mike Trout comes back from injury before the game. None of this is a knock on Verdugo’s season either. He’s been great, but there are too many other players who just may have him beat.
Whatever happens at the end of the day, Red Sox fans should be quite happy with these four. Their excellent play is why they are back as a real threat yet again.