The actual All-Star teams have already been announced and fans have had plenty of time to dissect each selection. For those of us who feel passionately about fantasy baseball, here are the players who would populate the All-Star lineups if first-half fantasy production was the sole criteria.
Catcher, Salvador Perez: In a battle of power vs. speed, Perez will battle Isiah Kiner-Falefa for the top AL fantasy catcher all season. Perez currently has 20 long balls, to go against Kiner-Falefa’s 15 steals.
First baseman, Vladimir Guerrero Jr.: We all saw it eventually coming, but those who took a chance on Guerrero breaking out this season have been rewarded in a big way. The slugger will be a first-round fantasy pick in 2022.
Second baseman, Marcus Semien: Semien not only bounced back from a disappointing 2020 season but is playing better than he did in his 2019 breakout campaign. He could lead the Majors in runs scored by keeping his leadoff spot in a productive Blue Jays lineup.
Third baseman, Rafael Devers: You knew this article would contain at least one member of Boston’s exceptional offense. Devers (21 HR, 71 RBI), Xander Bogaerts and J.D. Martinez give the Red Sox arguably the best 3-5 grouping of any MLB lineup.
Shortstop, Bo Bichette: The third Blue Jays hitter on the AL squad, Bichette is hitting .295 and is on pace for roughly 30 homers and 20 steals. Keeping those paces will lead the youngster to the first round of 2022 drafts.
Outfield, Whit Merrifield: Merrifield is doing exactly what his managers hoped for – holding his own at the plate (.743 OPS) and leading the Majors with 24 steals.
Outfield, Cedric Mullins: One of 2021’s breakout performers, Mullins has gone from the waiver wire to the All-Star team. The leadoff man has shown no signs of slowing down, producing a 1.111 OPS since the beginning of June.
Outfield, Adolis Garcia: Completely unknown to fantasy mangers on Opening Day, Garcia earned a regular role in April and thrived in May (11 HR, 5 SB). He has cooled off since June 1 and may be more of a contributor than an All-Star the rest of the way.
Designated Hitter, Shohei Ohtani: Ohtani is without a doubt the biggest story in baseball this year. This once-in-a-lifetime talent leads the Majors with 32 homers and ranks third in RBI. His offensive game is so good, that Ohtani’s pitching skills have become an afterthought in fantasy circles.
Starting Pitcher, Carlos Rodon: In the midst of providing one of the best storylines of 2021, Rodon has narrowly edged out teammate Lance Lynn to this point in the season. There is some concern regarding innings totals for this oft-injured pitcher in the second half, and his fantasy value may be peaking right now.
Closer, Liam Hendriks: It was easy to predict that old-school manager Tony La Russa would use his high-priced closer in a traditional way. Hendriks should be on the short list of favorites to lead the Majors in saves.
Catcher, Buster Posey: Posey is simultaneously one of the most famous and surprising names in this article. After struggling through 2018-19 (.715 OPS) and sitting out 2020, the 34-year-old has put his career back on track in a big way (12 HR, .328 BA).
First baseman, Freddie Freeman: Freeman is not having one of his best seasons (.270 average, .846 OPS) but remains the most productive option in a weak NL first base group. I expect the 31-year-old to be better in the second half.
Second baseman, Ozzie Albies: Albies is exactly the type of player that fantasy managers should draft in the initial rounds – ascending, with a five-category skill set. He has an outside chance to produce a 30-30 season this year.
Third baseman, Manny Machado: Machado recovered from a slow start by posting a 1.014 OPS since the beginning of June. He should produce yet another 30-homer season and also benefits from San Diego’s strategy of running the bases aggressively.
Shortstop, Fernando Tatis Jr.: Remember when we are panicking over Tatis’ shoulder? Three months later, he ranks second in the Majors in homers (28) and steals (20). Kudos to those who traded for the Padres superstar when his value was low.
Outfielder, Ronald Acuna Jr.: The No. 1 overall pick in many 2021 drafts, Acuna is living up the hype of being a run-scoring machine who posts elite homer and steals totals.
Outfielder, Nick Castellanos: Castellanos has been helped by a MLB-leading .394 BABIP but has also shown strong batted-ball tendencies en route to hitting .334 with 17 homers. He should continue to shine in the Reds productive lineup.
Outfielder, Jesse Winker: Winker has continued the progress he made during his abbreviated 2020 breakout season. However, his struggles against lefties (.526 OPS) could keep the outfielder from staying on this list until the end of September.
Starting Pitcher, Jacob deGrom: The easiest selection for this article, deGrom is having a season for the ages (1.08 ERA, 0.54 WHIP). He should cruise to another Cy Young award and will compete for NL MVP. The right-hander will be the No. 1 pick in some 2022 drafts.
Closer: Josh Hader: Hader has been predictably awesome, converting 21 save chances while also picking up a trio of wins and posting amazing ratios (0.78 ERA, 0.72 WHIP).