Every year, the MLB All-Star Game showcases the best the big leagues have to offer. Fans gather around for the yearly festivities to not only enjoy the show, but also to root for their favorite players on the rosters. Several household names are finding their ways to the break. But several lesser-known names are presenting their cases for a spot in the lineup.
Here is a very early look at some unfamiliar faces looking to get into Washington D.C. as a 2018 All-Star. Whether it is a rookie off to a hot start or a veteran finding a big break, these are the ones to watch out for as July 17 approaches.
All-Star Game: American League
There are several players looking to get on the AL roster for this year’s All-Star Game. One that should not be overlooked is Seattle Mariners right fielder Mitch Haniger.
This season, Haniger currently boasts 10 home runs and 32 RBIs, along with a .288 batting average. Though he has yet to go yard in the month of May, the 27-year-old presents a sound case for a spot on the AL lineup.
Another player from the AL West turning heads this year is Jed Lowrie. The 34-year-old Oakland A has cashed in 36 RBIs and nine home runs. He also holds a .329 batting average, the best of his career. Lowrie has no doubt found his big break in 2018. But to gain a spot on the list, he will need to keep swinging.
He may be a 29-year-old rookie, but Hector Velazquez is turning into one of this season’s most ferocious pitchers. He currently stands undefeated on the mound, in addition to a 2.10 ERA. Though he is currently on the disabled list, Velazquez will no doubt continue to light it up for the Boston Red Sox.
Nicholas Castellanos of the Detroit Tigers is another name to keep a lookout for. He is posting career bests in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. Castellanos also leads the Tigers in RBIs over future Hall of Famer Miguel Cabrera.
All-Star Game: National League
Though many players are deserving of recognition, the NL roster can only fit so many players. The first player making his case to return this season is A.J. Pollock of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Pollock has not enjoyed the All-Star perks since 2015, which is his only selection. But he is definitely a strong candidate for a roster slot in 2018. Pollock has belted 11 home runs and 33 RBIs, plus a respectable .293 batting average. Pollock will need to step it up if he wants to get votes for the roster.
Aaron Nola of the Philadelphia Phillies could be a favorite for the NL Cy Young Award. That is definitely a sound enough argument for an All-Star Game appearance as well. He boasts a 6-1 record in his nine starts. He also holds a 1.99 ERA, the fourth best in the NL. As Philly looks to take over the NL East, Nola will also look to continue dominating.
Colin Moran of the Pittsburgh Pirates is another player looking for his first All-Star selection. Moran currently leads all NL rookies in batting average and on-base percentage. He may not be a known home run hitter, but underestimating him in the batter’s box will cost one dearly. Not to mention he has also tallied 21 RBIs this season.
Moran and the Pittsburgh Pirates look to keep bringing the pain as they look to take hold of the NL Central.
Keep in mind, these are only a handful of names looking to hit the field in the All-Star Game in Washington D.C. Not to mention that the game does not start for another two whole months. Surely, there will be more players making a case at a slot on the roster.
Unfortunately, space on the lineup is limited. Until that day comes, we will look forward to those stepping up and presenting their cases to be on this year’s All-Star team. Until that day comes, play ball!
Featured image from federal baseball and USA TODAY Sports
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