Braves All-Star Candidates

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The Braves are 14-1 in their last 15 games, and currently sit 5.5 games back of the Mets in the division. They’ve completely turned it around in recent weeks as the team’s bats and pitching come together, albeit against lesser competition. Still, the Braves are beating the teams they’re supposed to. The club’s resurgence is a collective effort, and Atlanta has multiple All-Star candidates to show for it. In the past 21 years, Atlanta has sent multiple players to the All-Star game in 16 of those but has never sent more than four since 2011. Brian Snitker will manage the NL All-Star team and will surely be managing some of his own players. Here are some Braves hopefuls:

Ronald Acuna Jr.

Acuna probably hasn’t played enough games — 34 out of 63 games, at the time of writing — to make it, but his production certainly warrants an All-Star appearance. He’s hit .297/.400/.500 with six homers, eight doubles, and 16 RBIs in 128 at-bats. The two-time All-Star also has added 11 stolen bases. Those numbers should earn him a trip to LA, but only playing about half of the games will impact voters.

Dansby Swanson

Dansby Swanson has completely turned it around after having an abysmal start to the year. The former No. 1 overall pick has accumulated 2.5 WAR in what has to be the best stint of his career. He’s hit .291/.357/.470 with nine homers, 12 doubles, and 37 RBIs. If Swanson continues at this pace, he’ll undoubtedly garner MVP considerations. Still, at this point, Trea Turner or Tommy Edman (even though he’s a second baseman) will probably be the shortstop to represent the NL in LA.

Austin Riley

Riley had a similarly slow start, but just like Swanson, he’s caught fire. Despite his .255 batting average, Riley has mashed 18 homers to go along with 39 RBIs while playing fantastic defense at the hot corner. He might not be able to beat out Manny Machado, but Riley deserves the consideration.

Max Fried

Fried appears to be on the way to his first All-Star appearance while also vying for a potential Cy Young. He owns a 2.90 ERA with a 5.77 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 13 starts and 80.2 innings pitched. Opponents are hitting just .236 with a .600 OPS, the best of his career.

Kyle Wright

Wright has been the surprise piece of the Braves rotation this year and might even have an argument for the club’s best starter, posting a 2.57 ERA over 12 starts and 73.2 innings. The 26-year-old has emerged as a reliable arm in what has become one of the best pitching teams in the big leagues.

Sidenote: If Wright and Fried make the All-Star game, it’ll be the first time since 2002 that the Braves sent two starting pitchers to the game (Tom Glavine and John Smoltz).

AJ Minter

Minter has been absolutely dominant coming out of the bullpen. He’s pretty much locked down the 8th inning for the rest of the season with his dominant 1.01 ERA and 9.00 SO/W rate in 28 appearances.

Matt Olson

Olson leads the majors with 24 doubles while hitting .246 with an .789 OPS over his first 65 games as a Brave. The former A’s first baseman has also added eight homers and 31 RBIs but is met with some stiff competition for the All-Star game. Pete Alonso, Paul Goldschmidt, and Freddie Freeman all have numbers that are as good as, or better, than Olson’s.

William Contreras

Contreras probably won’t be voted in as a catcher but could possibly make it as a DH, despite playing more than two-thirds of his games as a catcher. Still, the brother of All-Star favorite Willson is a menace in the box. He’s hit .287/.368/.649 with nine homers, seven doubles, and 17 RBIs across 27 games and 89 at-bats. Regardless of whether the Braves’ backstops are voted in, their catching situation with Travis d’Arnaud and Contreras ranks among MLB’s best.

Don’t forget to vote for your favorite Brave!

Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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