Many Players Have Been Lighting it up With the All Star Game Around the Corner

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Nathan Jackman, Contributing Writing

As we near the halfway point of the MLB season, the stakes become higher, with less than a month before the All-Star Game.  The midsummer classic will be held in Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles after it got rescheduled in 2020 due to COVID-19.  As with many years, there are a lot of familiar faces in contention to make the All-Star Team.  One player who has had a great year is right fielder Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees.  Judge is hitting an impressive .303 batting average and is having the best start to the year in his career, slugging an astounding 19 home runs.  The Yankees also have breakout star pitcher Nestor Cortes, who has had a similarly fantastic start to the season.  Cortes has started with a 1.50 ERA and a 5-1 record.   

“The nastiest man alive,” said freshman Dylan Saunders when asked his thoughts on his breakout year.  

It is not just the Yankees who have All-Star caliber players—their crosstown rivals, the New York Mets, do as well.  One Met who has seen success this season is first baseman Pete Alonso.  Alonso hit 12 home runs through the first two months of the season, the most he has hit in his career.  The one issue Alonso has struggled with this season is his defense, which has taken a turn for the worse.    

“I think Alonso has shown his stuff this year.  After back-to-back home run derbies I think he really deserves to make the All-Star team this year.  Although he has struggled with playing first, I think he should be accepted nonetheless,” said freshman Jacob Spence.  

One player this year who has proved himself both on and off the field is Los Angeles Angels’ third baseman Taylor Ward, who has had an incredible breakout season.  Ward has been spectacular, with a .359 batting average, a drastic improvement compared to his previous performance.  The Angels star has also hit ten home runs this season, putting himself on the top of the list to make the All-Star Team this year. 

“Ward has been great this season and has proven himself to be one of the best players in the league right now.  This seems a lot like Shohei Ohtani’s breakout season last year,” said freshman Jake Chakrian. 

The Angels’ crosstown rivals, the Dodgers, have seen success this season in a hotly contested division, and have many great players who could be on the All-Star Team this July.  One player who is off to an amazing start is starting pitcher Walker Buehlerm, who has a 3.22 ERA with a 6-1 win-loss.  This fantastic start to the season has been an enormous help to the Dodgers, who are now in an enviable spot to make the playoffs.  On the offensive side, right fielder Mookie Betts has had a great season, with a staggering 16 home runs and a .310 batting average.  Betts has taken the league by storm with his incredible performance this season.  

The San Francisco Giants, another key contender in the National League, are yet another team to have a fantastic start to the year with many players in line to make the All-Star Team.  The most notable player who has started strong for the Giants is outfielder Joc Pederson.  Pederson has hit a mind-boggling 12 home runs to start the year, putting him high among the ranks to join the All-Star team this season. 

There is still time before the All-Star Game, giving players time to improve, or hurt, their chances at an All-Star spot.