Each team’s most deserving All-Star

6:10 AM UTC

Read our story on the balloting format, which includes two phases of fan voting to determine the All-Star starters.

We’re just under six weeks away from the 94th MLB All-Star Game, which takes place at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, on July 16. With All-Star balloting officially opening on Wednesday, it’s a great time to survey the Major League landscape and see which player from each club is most deserving of selection to the Midsummer Classic.

While fan voting is only for position players, here’s a look at the player on each team — regardless of position — who appears to be best-positioned for a trip to Texas as an All-Star in 2024:

American League East

Blue Jays: OF Daulton VarshoPrevious All-Star appearances: None

Varsho is making his case as the best defensive outfielder in baseball and nearly everyone in a Blue Jays uniform — from players to coaches — is in on the campaign. Varsho entered Wednesday leading the Blue Jays in fWAR (2.0) and home runs (10), but when it comes to his glove, Varsho was tied for the MLB lead with 8 Outs Above Average (OAA) and tied for the lead among all MLB fielders, regardless of position, in Fielding Run Value. As a truly elite defender who is having a career year in terms of power numbers, Varsho is making a great case for making his All-Star debut. — Keegan Matheson

Orioles: SS Gunnar HendersonPrevious All-Star appearances: None

The 2023 AL Rookie of the Year had a slow start last season, his first full MLB campaign. That has not been the case in ‘24. The 22-year-old has 19 home runs, tied with Houston’s Kyle Tucker for second most in MLB behind only Yankees slugger Aaron Judge (21). Henderson also has a team-best .948 OPS through his first 60 games. He’s playing at a Gold Glove level at shortstop and is putting himself in position to win a second consecutive Silver Slugger Award. He will likely be an All-Star for the first time. — Jake Rill

Rays: 3B Isaac ParedesPrevious All-Star appearances: None

For various reasons, the Rays’ stars haven’t really performed like stars so far this season. The one exception is Paredes. He broke out with 31 homers and 98 RBIs in 2023, and he might be even better this year, making him Tampa Bay’s top All-Star candidate two months into the season. While so many Rays hitters have slumped and struggled, the 25-year-old pull-side slugger entered Wednesday leading the team with 2.2 fWAR, 10 homers, 34 RBIs and a .294/.381/.488 slash line, good for a 153 wRC+ that ranked 7th among qualified AL hitters. — Adam Berry

Red Sox: RHP Tanner HouckPrevious All-Star appearances: None

After winning the No. 5 spot in the starting rotation at the end of Spring Training, Houck swiftly turned into the ace of the Red Sox, highlighted by his Maddux” on April 17 against the Guardians. Houck has been stellar in nearly all of his 12 starts, giving up more than three earned runs just once while allowing two earned runs or less in nine outings. Houck’s control has been his biggest area of improvement, as evidenced by the fact he has 15 walks and 75 strikeouts in 78 innings. — Ian Browne

Yankees: CF Aaron JudgePrevious All-Star appearances: 2017, ’18, ’21, ’22, ’23

The Yankees have at least seven players who deserve to be in the Midsummer Classic, but none is more deserving than Judge. After a slow start, Judge made up for lost time. From May 1-June 5, Judge was 42-for-109 (.385) with 15 home runs and 36 RBIs. The Bronx Bombers are 25-7 during that span. Overall, Judge leads the Major Leagues in home runs (21), slugging (.667), OPS (.1090) and percentage of plate appearances with a barrel (16.1). Defensively, Judge has yet to commit an error since moving to center field with the acquisition of Juan Soto. — Bill Ladson

AL Central

Guardians: 3B José RamírezPrevious All-Star appearances: 2017, ‘18, ‘21, ‘22, ‘23

The Guardians have a handful of players who are more than deserving of a spot on this year’s All-Star Game roster, but it’s hard to beat the man who’s pacing the league in RBIs. Ramírez got off to a “slow start” this year and yet still owned 58 RBIs at the time the ballots opened. That was five more than any other player in the Majors had (Marcell Ozuna and Juan Soto each had 53). He’s hitting .272 with an .870 OPS (146 OPS+), 16 homers and 13 doubles while playing in all but one of Cleveland’s first 60 contests. — Mandy Bell

Royals: SS Bobby Witt Jr.Previous All-Star appearances: None

Witt has been the Royals’ best player this year on a team that includes Salvador Perez, who is hitting .315 (ranked third in the AL and just behind Witt’s .319). Witt, 23, signed a historic extension this offseason with the Royals and has actually gotten better from a year ago, when he finished seventh in AL MVP voting. The shortstop has a .319/.371/.565 slash line, 11 home runs, a 156 wRC+ and 4.0 fWAR, which ranked second in baseball behind Judge entering Wednesday. Witt is more than deserving of his first All-Star nod — and even better, he could be playing less than 30 minutes from his hometown in Colleyville, Texas, at the Midsummer Classic. — Anne Rogers

Tigers: LHP Tarik SkubalPrevious All-Star appearances: None

Not only has Skubal established himself as a clear-cut All-Star, he has a fairly strong case to start the game for the AL. He ranks among the AL’s top three in ERA, FIP, wins and WHIP, among other categories. Entering Wednesday, he was also among the top three in WAR. He’s also the first Tigers pitcher to post a sub-2.00 ERA over his first 12 starts in a season since Jack Morris in 1984. He gave fans in Arlington a sneak preview Monday with six innings of one-run ball and six strikeouts against the Rangers at Globe Life Field. — Jason Beck

Twins: C Ryan JeffersPrevious All-Star appearances: None

Salvador Perez and Adley Rutschman rightly get plenty of the catcher hype in the AL, but Jeffers has put himself squarely in that conversation, building on his breakout ‘23 with a stellar start to ‘24 — he is tied with Shea Langeliers for the MLB lead among qualified catchers in homers (12), and he entered Wednesday ranked second in wRC+ (143) to only Pérez. He’s a significant reason why the Twins weathered Royce Lewis’ two-month absence from the lineup and is surely establishing himself as a top offensive catcher in the league. — Do-Hyoung Park

White Sox: LHP Garrett CrochetPrevious All-Star appearances: None

It’s the left-hander’s first year in the starting rotation after parts of three seasons working out of the bullpen, but it would be difficult to tell from his impressive results. Crochet leads the Majors with an average of 12 strikeouts per 9 innings and is tied for third with 93 strikeouts. Those 93 strikeouts are the most by a White Sox pitcher in his first 13 career starts, breaking the mark of 88 set by Chris Sale in 2012. He had a 24-inning scoreless streak from May 4-27, and while the White Sox will watch his innings total, there has been no signs of the southpaw slowing down. — Scott Merkin

AL West

Angels: LHP Tyler AndersonPrevious All-Star appearances: 2022

Anderson has pitched like an ace this year, posting a 2.37 ERA through his first 12 starts. It’s been a nice bounce-back for Anderson, who struggled in his first season with the Angels last year, registering a 5.43 ERA in 141 innings. But he looks much more like he did with the Dodgers in 2022, when he was an All-Star and had a 2.57 ERA in 178 2/3 innings. — Rhett Bollinger

Astros: RF Kyle TuckerPrevious All-Star appearances: 2022, 2023

He may be overshadowed by a pair of New York giants — after all, what Aaron Judge and Juan Soto are doing in the Bronx is sensational — Tucker is having himself an MVP-caliber 2024 campaign so far. Following back-to-back All-Star seasons, Tucker is primed for a career year. The slugging right fielder is tied for second in MLB in home runs (19) and ranks second in walk rate (17.6%) and isolated power (.318). Entering Wednesday, he was fifth in wRC+ (176) and fifth in fWAR (3.3). The AL MVP trophy may very well end up in the hands of a Yankee, but we’re seeing Tucker, whom we have known to be a tremendous hitter, putting it all together in ’24. — Manny Randhawa

Athletics: RHP Mason MillerPrevious All-Star appearances: None

Brent Rooker was Oakland’s representative last year and has a strong case again as arguably the AL’s most productive designated hitter. But how could you have a showcase of the game’s stars without Miller? The flamethrowing closer leads all rookies with 12 saves while topping all Major League relievers with 52 strikeouts and has thrown 211 pitches of at least 100 mph or harder. In fact, he’s thrown the five fastest pitches in MLB this season, with his high-octane fastball topping out at 103.7 mph. — Martín Gallegos

Mariners: C Cal RaleighPrevious All-Star appearances: None

Raleigh might be the most underrated backstop in the Majors these days, having led the position in homers each of the past two seasons with a combined 57, while generating such little buzz at the national level — even despite being at the center of Seattle’s biggest highlight in decades. He’s already crushed a Seattle-high 11 this season, he switch-hits and he’s blossomed into one of the game’s best defensive catchers, too, pacing MLB with 17 runners caught stealing. And while this won’t show up on the ballot, he’s been instrumental in guiding a Mariners rotation that has been among the league’s best, too. — Daniel Kramer

Rangers: 2B Marcus SemienPrevious All-Star appearances: 2021, ’23

Semien, who started for the AL at second base last season, picked up right where he left off. He’s hitting .264 with a .767 OPS and entered Wednesday leading the Rangers in both bWAR (2.8) and fWAR (2.4). Following an eight-game skid in which he went just 4-for-33 with two doubles, three walks and eight strikeouts following a collision with Adolis García in right field, Semien has righted the ship with hits in all six games (9-for-21) since he was granted his first off day in two years. On top of that, he’s Texas’ best defender — entering Wednesday, he had 10 defensive runs saved (second in MLB) and 11 outs above average (first in MLB). — Kennedi Landry

National League East

Braves: DH Marcell OzunaPrevious All-Star appearances: 2016, ’17

Ozuna won’t win a popularity contest against Shohei Ohtani, but you can argue he is more deserving to be the NL’s starting DH. Ozuna leads the NL in homers, RBIs and slugging percentage. Ohtani leads the NL with a .988 OPS and Ozuna sits just behind him with a .986 mark. Choosing Ohtani might be the popular pick. But choosing Ozuna might end up being the right one. — Mark Bowman

Marlins: LHP Ryan WeathersPrevious All-Star appearances: None

Through the first two months of the season, Weathers has blossomed into the club’s most consistent starter while injuries mired the rotation. Though his stretch of five consecutive quality starts was snapped his last time out, he set a career high with 11 strikeouts. In May, the 24-year-old tossed the second-most innings, posted the third-lowest WHIP and the 13th-lowest ERA among Major League pitchers with at least 25 frames. — Christina De Nicola

Mets: LHP Sean ManaeaPrevious All-Star appearances: None

The Mets don’t have any obvious candidates, even though Pete Alonso could play his way into that category if he puts together a strong June. Until or unless Alonso does, why not give the nod to a veteran pitcher who’s never made an All-Star team? Manaea has been solid throughout the early season, striking out a batter per inning while making every one of his rotation turns to date. His numbers are strikingly similar to another Mets starter, Luis Severino, who has also helped stabilize the rotation. But Severino has made two prior All-Star teams. Tie goes to the first-timer. — Anthony DiComo

Nationals: RHP Kyle FinneganPrevious All-Star appearances: None

Finnegan (1.88 ERA, 0.96 WHIP) ranks fifth among all relievers with 16 saves. Opponents are batting .157 against him and he’s only allowed three home runs in 23 appearances. Finnegan’s streak of 11 no-hit innings this season (April 13-May 8) was the second-longest stretch in team history to only Max Scherzer’s 16 in 2015. Finnegan, 32, made his Major League debut when he was 28 years old and has become the anchor of the Nationals bullpen. — Jessica Camerato

Phillies: LHP Ranger SuárezPrevious All-Star appearances: None

The Phillies should have a number of All-Stars — including fellow first-time candidates Alec Bohm and Matt Strahm — but the most deserving is Suárez. He’s not only been the best pitcher in the NL this year, but he’s off to one of the most dominant starts in MLB history. Though he left his last start after taking a 106 mph comebacker off his pitching hand, he seems to have avoided any major injury. Suárez will head into his next start sitting at 9-1 with a 1.70 ERA, 79 strikeouts and a 0.80 WHIP over 74 innings. — Todd Zolecki

NL Central

Brewers: C William ContrerasPrevious All-Star appearances: 2022 (with Atlanta)

No surprise here. Contreras has been one of the best hitters in the Major Leagues this season, slashing .313/.382/.482 with eight home runs and 44 RBIs for the NL Central-leading Brewers. He has been a workhorse for Milwaukee, starting all 62 of its games (50 at catcher, 12 at designated hitter). The 26-year-old could become just the third Brewers catcher to start the Midsummer Classic, following Ted Simmons (1983) and Jonathan Lucroy (2014). — Tim Stebbins

Cardinals: RHP Ryan HelsleyPrevious All-Star appearances: 2022

Helsley missed 2 1/2 months of action in 2023 with forearm pain and the Cardinals were a shell of a team without him at the back end of their bullpen. Now that he’s healthy again, Helsley is back to pitching like the All-Star reliever that he was in 2022, when he saved a career-best 19 games. He’s already eclipsed that figure with an MLB-best 20 saves this season. The Cardinals wisely shifted strategy this season, asking Helsley to only get three outs, and that strategy has helped keep him healthy and make him available more often. He has posted a 2.33 ERA with 29 strikeouts in 27 innings pitched so far. — John Denton

Cubs: LHP Shota ImanagaPrevious All-Star appearances: None

Imanaga has been one of the great stories of the first half not only for the Cubs, but in baseball. The 30-year-old lefty signed with the North Siders after leading Nippon Professional Baseball in strikeouts last year, and he has proved to be a quick learner in the Majors. Through his first 11 starts, Imanaga has gone 5-1 with a 1.88 ERA and 65 strikeouts against 10 walks in 62 1/3 innings. His 0.84 ERA was the lowest since 1913 (when earned runs became an official stat in both leagues) through a player’s first nine career starts (excluding openers). — Jordan Bastian

Pirates: RHP Mitch KellerPrevious All-Star appearances: 2023

The strength of this Pirates team is their rotation, and while you can make a case for Bailey Falter or either of their two electric rookies (Paul Skenes and Jared Jones), Keller is the staff’s leader. A 7-3 record with a 3.42 ERA and 1.4 bWAR is more than worthy of consideration, and if he keeps this hot streak of five straight wins going, it’s going to be tough to deny him a second All-Star nod. — Alex Stumpf

Reds: SS Elly De La CruzPrevious All-Star appearances: None

Although De La Cruz’s overall offensive numbers don’t scream All-Star, his presence and ability to take over a moment could add instant electricity to the game. The 22-year-old is the MLB leader in stolen bases with 32, which is more than the total for five clubs. Overall, the switch-hitting De La Cruz is batting .241 with a .765 OPS and a team-leading 10 homers. — Mark Sheldon

NL West

D-backs: 2B Ketel MartePrevious All-Star appearances: 2019

Marte probably deserved to be on the All-Star team last year and it was a snub that definitely hurt him. D-backs legend Luis Gonzalez spoke with Marte after he was left off the team to tell him that he had the respect of his teammates and that leading the D-backs to the playoffs would mean even more. Marte won the NLCS MVP Award and has picked up where he left off last October in the early months of 2024. Marte has been the D-backs’ most consistent performer offensively while also playing outstanding defense. — Steve Gilbert

Dodgers: SS Mookie BettsPrevious All-Star appearances: 2016, ’17, ’18, ’19, ’21, ’22, ’23

As Dodgers manager Dave Roberts put it, expect there to be “a lot of disappointed shortstops that Betts took the position.” Because Betts — a six-time Gold Glove Award winner in right field — appears well on his way to being the NL’s All-Star starting shortstop in his first full season at the spot. He entered Wednesday leading all NL position players in both bWAR (3.5) and fWAR (3.2) — both of which had him a win ahead of any other NL shortstop. — Sarah Wexler

Giants: 1B LaMonte Wade Jr.Previous All-Star appearances: None

Wade is an on-base machine, with his .470 OBP ranking tops among all big leaguers (min. 160 plate appearances). He’s been the most consistent performer at the plate for a Giants team that has been hit hard by injuries, batting .333 with an .896 OPS in 52 games. Unfortunately, Wade is expected to miss about a month with a hamstring strain, which could make it less likely that this is the year he receives his first All-Star nod. — Sonja Chen

Padres: OF Jurickson ProfarPrevious All-Star appearances: None

The Padres traded their All-MLB-caliber left fielder to the Yankees and replaced him with a $1 million bargain-bin signing in February. Somehow, Profar has been a completely viable replacement for Soto. Per fWAR, Profar has been the best outfielder in the NL this season. He leads the league in on-base percentage and is second only to teammate Luis Arraez in batting average. What a story it’d be for the former Rangers top prospect to make his first career All-Star appearance in Texas, of all places. — AJ Cassavell

Rockies: C Elias DíazPrevious All-Star appearances: 2023

Oddly, considering the team’s struggling record, this is a tough choice because third baseman Ryan McMahon, second-year shortstop Ezequiel Tovar and second-year center fielder Brenton Doyle have quietly posted numbers that compare well to players at their positions. But Díaz, last year’s All-Star Game MVP, has spent much of the season in the top 10 in the NL in batting average, and defensively, he has hung at or near the top in throwing out would-be base stealers. — Thomas Harding