There have been many quirky aspects to this 2020 season, and one of the more unfortunate ones is there is no All-Star game — therefore, no All-Stars. That’s a bummer for several players, but especially the guys amid career-years that might never have another opportunity to receive an All-Star nomination.
We may only be around 50 games into this shortened campaign, but many players would already be locked into the All-Star game if this were a typical season. Others would still have some impressing to do before the final decisions were made. With that in mind, I’ll be breaking this up into two sections — the locks and the hopefuls.
If Freddie Freeman continues to hit like he has been since the calendar turned to August and does not win the MVP award, I will be livid. Fernando Tatis had a scorching start, but Freeman has been the best player in baseball for the majority of this shortened campaign, and it hasn’t been very close. As far as All-Stars go, he would undoubtedly receive the nod as the NL’s starting first baseman.
Ronald Acuña, Jr.
Acuña hasn’t produced the MVP numbers that many were expecting. A lot of that has to do with injuries, but he is still one of the best outfielders in the National League. The 22-year-old has the highest OBP (.409) and OPS (.991) of his career to go along with his eleven homers and six stolen bases in just 36 games.
Freddie Freeman may be the team’s MVP, but Ozuna is a close second. He is second on the team in home runs with 14 to go along with 44 RBIs and a 1.012 OPS.
Before his injury, Fried was the frontrunner for the NL Cy Young award. Missing a start in this shortened season could severely affect that, but if he comes back strong in his final 2-3 outings, he will have a fantastic chance at winning the award. Either way, Fried would have made his first All-Star game and potentially been the starter.
As far as relievers go, you’ll be hard-pressed to find one that has been as valuable to their team than Greene has been to the Braves. The former closer has consistently thrived in high-leverage situations, leading to a 1.14 ERA in 23.2 innings.
A.J. Minter, Chris Martin, Mark Melancon, and Darren O’Day
Numbers-wise, all four of these players would be deserving of an All-Star nod in 2020. However, none of them have pitched more than 18.2 innings, and I have a difficult time believing five Braves relievers would make the All-Star Game. If I had to pick three (which is still a ridiculous amount), it would be Greene, Martin, and Minter. However, the fact that we are even having this conversation just shows how unbelievable the Braves bullpen has been. There may be relief cores with better stats, but none of them have been asked to put the team on their back like Atlanta’s. This whole unit deserves a trip to the All-Star Game.
If the voting ended today, Duvall should be an All-Star. He carries an OPS of .917 and is tied for the league-lead in home runs with 15. However, given how streaky he can be, who knows if this is sustainable.
Like Duvall, if the voting ended today, Swanson should be an All-Star. His improvements offensively have been fantastic, but he has been equally — if not more — impressive with the glove. Swanson only has one error in 48 games, leading to the third-highest bWAR on the team (2.2, behind only Freddie Freeman and Max Fried).
Given how few good offensive catchers there are, d’Arnaud would have to be in the conversation. The fact that he has only played in 35 games might work against him. However, d’Arnaud’s hitting .318 with seven homers — good for an .899 OPS.