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Max Rosenfeld

Ranking the “Surpisability” of all 24 First Time All-Stars

It’s the beauty of the Midsummer Classic- every team gets represented, and with that often comes some surprising names that make the All-Star roster. This year’s All-Star Game features 24 newbies, a testament to the fast and announced dominance of the game’s youth. So who are these 24 first time All-Stars and how do they rank in terms of how surprising it is to see them here?

24. Carlos Correa, Houston Astros

I was actually stunned to discover that Correa had never before made an All-Star team. As the first ever number one overall pick to win the Rookie of the Year, Correa continues to add to his impressive list of accomplishments by making the American League squad.

23. Gary Sanchez, New York Yankees

After his breakout season a year ago it was clear to see that Sanchez would be appearing in All-Star Games for many years to come. In just his first full MLB season Sanchez is already one of the sport’s best catchers.

22. Michael Fulmer, Detroit Tigers

Like Sanchez, Fulmer’s dominance in 2016 was simply a precursor for what was to come. Fulmer has been just as dominant this season, posting a 3.20 ERA in 16 starts as the Detroit’s only All-Star representative.

21. George Springer, Houston Astros

Springer is a key component of Houston’s exciting core that will take them into the break with the best record in the big leagues.

20. Lance McCullers, Houston Astros

If it’s starting to seem like there’s a lot of Astros on this list, that’s because there is. Houston will send five players to the All-Star Game, with McCullers very much earning his bid.

19. Justin Turner, Los Angeles Dodgers

Turner has long been one of the best hitters in the National League, another painful blow for Mets fans everywhere. Turner was thrust into the game as a Final Vote winner.

18. Yonder Alonso, Oakland Athletics

I mean the A’s had to send somebody, right? Alonso has always been a solid player, but 2017 has been his best season. He is slashing .280/.375/.568 to date.

17. Miguel Sano, Minnesota Twins

Sano has struggled with defensive issues in the past, but it’s been known that the offensive talent was always there. Sano is the main reason as to why the Twins have been able to continue their surprisingly hot start, giving the Indians something to sweat about as the second half approaches.

16. Jake Lamb, Arizona Diamondbacks

If you had been told that following the Fourth of July weekend the Diamondbacks would be all but assured a playoff berth, what would you think? Lamb has been a key contributor to Arizona’s success smacking 18 home runs to go along with his .281 average.

15. Ender Inciarte, Atlanta Braves

Same thing as Oakland- somebody had to make it to the All Star Game for the Braves, and with Freddie Freeman injured Inciarte became the obvious choice.

14. Jose Ramirez, Cleveland Indians

J-Ram is one of the most beloved players in the game. He’s a super utility man that’s found a home at third base and is one of Cleveland’s most dangerous hitters.

13. Michael Conforto, New York Mets

Who would have guessed that Conforto would be the lone representative for the Mets, especially after his abysmal 2016 season. Conforto has really been the only bright spot in an otherwise forgettable year in Queens.

12. Avisail Garcia, Chicago White Sox

As the break inches closer, Garcia’s 11 home runs are just 2 short of his career high.

11. Robbie Ray, Arizona Diamondbacks

It’s Ray, not Zack Greinke, who has actually been the most reliable starting pitcher for Arizona. Ray’s emergence has an elite arm is one of the main reasons the Diamondbacks have been so successful.

10. Luis Severino, New York Yankees

Severino’s potential is being approached in 2017, as the right hander has pitched to a 3.52 ERA in 16 starts.

9. Corey Dickerson, Tampa Bay Rays

So much for Dickerson’s past performance being credited to the thin Colorado air. It’d be easy to forget Dickerson if he wasn’t slashing .333/.363/.558 with 17 home runs and 41 RBI’s.

8. Alex Wood, Los Angeles Dodgers

Wood’s dominance comes as a huge sigh of relief for the Dodgers who may have finally found a worthy number two behind Clayton Kershaw.

7. Johnathan Schoop, Baltimore Orioles

Like others on this list, it’s surprising that Schoop was the only All-Star to come out of a team that also employs Manny Machado, Chris Davis, Adam Jones, and Zach Britton.

6. Aaron Judge, New York Yankees

For all of Judge’s success, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that he nearly did not make the Yankees’ Opening Day roster. That’s just how unexpected this type of season is for the new face of Major League Baseball.

5. Cody Bellinger, Los Angeles Dodgers

Despite not making his debut until April 25th, Bellinger is tied for the most home runs in the National League with 24. His performance has been just as incredible as Judge’s, and he plays on a better team.

4. Corey Knebel, Milwaukee Brewers

If you’re wondering who this is, don’t be ashamed. Knebel is quietly one of the best closers in the game with a 1.11 ERA.

3. Justin Smoak, Toronto Blue Jays

Not only has Smoak filled in nicely for the loss of Edwin Encarnacion, but he’s outperformed him. At 30 years old, he’s having a breakout season.

2. Jason Vargas, Kansas City Royals

Vargas has cooled off as of late but still remains one of the most interesting stories of the first half. Vargas currently owns a 2.62 ERA in 17 starts.

1. Zack Cozart, Cincinnati Reds

At age 31 Cozart is a first time All Star. He joins Joey Votto, who must now buy him a donkey, as the only Reds representatives.

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Max is a student at Saint Joseph's University where he is a Communication Studies major. He is a contributing writer for Baseknock MLB and the host of the Payoff Pitch Podcast, which airs every Tuesday morning.

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