As we near our first Mid-Summer Classic in two years, the Houston Astros have some legit contenders for starters but also as reserves. Injuries will always play a role in selections, but even with certain players excelling over time, they could possibly look even more like All-Stars by the end of the season rather than now.
With the infield and outfield showing legit contenders, there is a couple dark horses among the pitching staff as well. The CTH staff took a stab at who they would add to the American League roster, if they got their way.
With there being some shoo-ins across the AL, here is who we think should make it from the Astros.
Andrew Gleinser, Contributor
Yuli Gurriel is in a class all his own thanks to his stellar play this season. He leads the AL in batting average, carrying a .323/.392/.536 line with 17 doubles and 47 RBI. If not for the insane season Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is having, Gurriel would probably be the starter. Still, he should make the team as a backup in what is shaping up to be a career year at age 37.
The Strong Cases
Jose Altuve may not be the starter with Marcus Semien having a strong year and with casual fans wrongly thinking he’s a cheater. But his .831 OPS is second among AL second basemen, trailing only Semien. His .288/.358/.473 line and his return to playing solid defense should be more than enough to earn him a spot as a reserve.
Carlos Correa will have a hard time surpassing Xander Bogaerts’ excellent campaign this far, but his recent hot streak gives him the inside track at a reserve spot as well. His .868 OPS is by far the second-best among AL shortstops, and he’s the leader in walks and tied for the lead in home runs at the position.
Alex Bregman and Zack Greinke are both having decent, but unspectacular years. Bregman’s OPS is fourth among AL third basemen, which is a crowded field. Greinke got knocked down a peg by his poor start against Boston, but there’s time for both of them to force their way into the conversation with a hot streak.
Michael Brantley and Luis Garcia don’t have enough plate appearances/innings to qualify for the league leaders. If they did, Brantley’s .337 average would by far be the best among AL left fielders, and Garcia’s 2.98 ERA would be sixth-best in the league. If they can stay healthy over the next month, and if Garcia remains in the rotation, they could both sneak their way onto the team.
Then there’s Ryan Pressly. He’s having a nice season as the team’s closer, and his numbers are really good. But there are a few AL relievers whose numbers are better, and a lot can change for a relief pitcher’s numbers between now and the All-Star game. Pressly has a chance, but it could be a really crowded field.