Atlanta Braves first-time All-Star candidates

MLB: APR 24 Marlins at Braves

Last year, the Braves sent eight players to the All-Star Game in Seattle, including four first-timers.

Ronald Acuna Jr., Matt Olson, Ozzie Albies, Orlando Arcia, Austin Riley, Sean Murphy, Spencer Strider, and Bryce Elder earned bids. If you’re counting, the entire Atlanta infield made it.

This season, there might not be as many familiar faces at Globe Life Field. Acuna and Strider are lost for the season while Olson and Riley will need to bounce back in a big way over the next month.

Albies, Murphy, Arcia, and Elder are also unlikely to make it again. That doesn’t mean there aren’t Braves deserving of the honor. Max Fried and Chris Sale are off to impressive starts and will be in the conversation for the Cy Young if they continue at this rate.

There are also a few candidates that could make their first All-Star team this season, beginning with one of the best acquisitions of the entire offseason.

Reynaldo Lopez

Lopez inked a three-year, $30 million deal this offseason and to say the experiment to turn him into a starter has worked out wouldn’t be doing it justice. Lopez owns a 1.73 ERA across 10 starts spanning 57.1 innings. It’s one of the best marks in the league, and Lopez could very well be named an All-Star for the first time as a member of the Braves.

Michael Harris II

Despite winning the Rookie of the Year award and finishing last season with a .293 batting average, .808 OPS, and Gold Glove-caliber defense in center field, Mike Harris hasn’t done enough to get invited to the dance. Part of that has to do with his early season struggles last year; Harris came on late in 2023, and this season is beginning similarly.

Harris boasts a .679 OPS. His average and power are down a tick, and he hasn’t been as dominant in center field as he has in the past. The Stockbridge native is chasing less and improving at the plate recently, so a strong month could result in his first bid.

Jesse Chavez

The story of Jesse Chavez is that of a Disney movie. In every other club’s uniform, he’s a below-average pitcher; however, he turns into Mariano Rivera with the Braves. The 40-year-old began Spring Training with the White Sox but was eventually let go and Alex Anthopoulos was there waiting for him.

Now, he owns a 1.46 ERA over 24.2 innings. Last season, there was a legitimate case for Chavez to get a bid to the All-Star game; he boasted a 1.56 ERA over 34.2 innings but eventually went down with an injury that cost him most of the rest of the season. It’s extremely hard for relievers to get voted in, but both of these Braves arms deserve recognition.

Dylan Lee

After a down 2023 campaign due to injuries, Dylan Lee is back. Over 26.1 innings, he has an absurd 1.71 ERA and 242 ERA+ (142% above league average). Recovering from shoulder injuries is tricky, but Lee hasn’t missed a beat.

Both of these guys deserve a tip of the cap for their contributions over the years. Lee boasted a 2.13 ERA in 50.2 innings in 2022 before that injury derailed his 2023 season. In his last two seasons in Atlanta, Chavez owns a 1.52 ERA over 59.1 innings.

David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire


Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: