MLB Power Rankings: Which player should each team be sending to the All-Star Game in Texas?

Bryce Harper, Steven Kwan and Gunnar Henderson lead the top three teams in our latest power rankings

As we approach the midway point of the season — a handful of teams have already crossed the 81-game threshold — we’re also nearing the All-Star break. For this week’s power rankings, let’s take a closer look at who on each team is most deserving of an invite to Arlington, Texas, for next month’s festivities.

While MLB recently announced its first major update regarding fan voting for each position, this overview is not concerned with those results or positional considerations for each league but, rather, is a look strictly at which players have performed the most like All-Stars in the first half relative to their teammates.

It’s hard to believe, but Bryce Harper has yet to represent the Phillies at an All-Star Game … in person, at least. He was voted in as the starting DH in 2022 but did not attend the festivities after fracturing his thumb at the end of June, so this year is primed to be his long-awaited Midsummer Classic debut for Philadelphia, considering the monster season he is having as the every-day first baseman. The only question is how many of his teammates on the pitching staff will be joining him in Texas; I have a feeling he’ll have plenty of company, led by ace Zack Wheeler.

It’s safe to assume José Ramírez will be making his sixth career All-Star Game, but might we see Steven Kwan’s first? Even with him missing a month due to injury, it’s tough to argue with what the left fielder has accomplished in his still-sizable sample of playing time. He’s making more contact than almost any other hitter in baseball, and he has started elevating the ball frequently enough to unlock serious gains in the SLG% department. In just 50 games played, he has already set a career high in home runs, with seven. He’s a deserving All-Star, and his teammate Josh Naylor (20 HR) has a compelling case to make his first trip as well.

It’s funny to think that the unanimous AL Rookie of the Year, Gunnar Henderson, wasn’t an All-Star a year ago, and that’s probably the last time we’ll be able to say that about him for a while. He and Adley Rutschman are the two titanic pillars around which this organization will be built for the next few years at least, and the duo should become fixtures at All-Star festivities for a whole lot longer than that.

We know Aaron Judge and Juan Soto are absolute locks — though it’s worth noting that Soto hasn’t exactly been raking since his recent elbow injury scare — but I’m fascinated to see how many, if any, of New York’s starting pitchers end up making the team. At his best, rookie righty Luis Gil has looked every part of an All-Star, but he also is walking more batters than any other starter in baseball and just had a real clunker against Baltimore. Carlos Rodón, Nestor Cortés Jr. and Marcus Stroman boast strong ERAs but middling peripherals. It would be strange to have none of them make it, considering how massively important they’ve been to New York’s excellent first half, but it’s definitely on the table.

Did you know: Tyler Glasnow has never made an All-Star team! It’s about time that changes, considering the magnitude of his talent, which has been on full display in his first year in Dodger Blue. The extra good news for MLB’s strikeout leader is that he surely won’t be alone in his maiden voyage to the All-Star game; the Dodgers should be sending multiple teammates to Texas with him, so he’ll have friends to show him the ropes in his first go-around.

Marcell Ozuna is almost certainly headed to his first All-Star game since 2017, but it’s not like we haven’t seen him performing at a high level in recent seasons; the dude hit 40 homers last year. Chris Sale’s absence from the All-Star game doesn’t extend quite as far back as Ozuna’s — he made it in 2018 with Boston — but it has been longer since we’ve seen him performing at an elite level, which makes his expected inclusion in this year’s game all the more exciting. Heading into this year, no one was quite sure what version of the lanky lefty, who turned 35 in March, the Braves were trading for — or how healthy he’d be. But Atlanta’s confidence in his exceptional talent and durability seems to have been wholly warranted, as Sale is pitching like he’s 10 years younger and back in the Cy Young conversations with which he was once oh-so-familiar.

The surprisingly impactful Milwaukee offense boasts intriguing options here. Youngsters in the infield Joey Ortiz and Brice Turang have elevated their offensive games to complement their stellar defensive skills. Christian Yelich isn’t quite slugging like he used to, but he’s hitting well over .300 for the first time since his MVP peak. Willy Adames still plays a mean shortstop and has 13 homers. But I still have to go with William Contreras, who has established himself as one of the best all-around catchers in baseball and can impact the game on both sides of the ball in a way his other teammates can’t. That he has caught more innings than any other big-league backstop and managed to be a well-above-average hitter is ridiculously impressive.

You can’t go wrong with Rafael Devers, but it seems like Red Sox fans are much more passionate about the inclusion of outfielder Jarren Duran, and I can’t say I blame them. It’s not that Devers or breakout ace Tanner Houck aren’t deserving, because they certainly are, but Duran is now top-10 in MLB in both Baseball-Reference and FanGraphs WAR due to his strong bat (.843 OPS), excellent baserunning and notably improved defense in the outfield. I’ll admit I was skeptical of his mini-breakout a year ago, but Duran has gotten only better in 2024 and deserves to be an All-Star.

Chris Sale, Steven Kwan, Carlos Correa and Zack Wheeler have been among the best players on some of baseball's best teams. (Gregory Hodge/Yahoo Sports)

I have no problem with Royce Lewis potentially making the team despite having played in less than a month’s worth of games — he has been that good. But I’m also enamored by a resurgent Carlos Correa, who apparently just needed to get fully healthy after all that was ailing him in 2023 to get back to his best self. Visions of Lewis and Correa forming one of the best left sides of the infield in the sport are finally coming to fruition.

It was a virtual certainty that at least one of Seattle’s ultra-talented starting pitchers would be performing like an All-Star come July, but it was somewhat difficult to predict which one it would be. After Luis Castillo and George Kirby represented the Mariners' rotation a year ago, expect Logan Gilbert to get the invite this time, the first of his career. He is leading the AL in innings pitched and WHIP, and his ever-evolving arsenal is as effective as it has ever been.

This will be the first of many, many All-Star games for Bobby Witt Jr., and I’d imagine it will be extra special considering the venue: Witt played his high school ball just a short drive north of Globe Life Field at Colleyville Heritage High, while his dad spent 11 seasons with the Rangers over the course of his 16-year career as a big-league pitcher.

We all knew Jurickson Profar would be an All-Star someday … we just didn’t think it would take more than a decade for the former consensus top prospect to finally actualize his potential. But this season, Profar has been simply spectacular by every measure, and alongside rookie standout Jackson Merrill, he has elevated the Padres’ outfield to one of the best in the league. With recent news of Fernando Tatis Jr.'s quad injury that will keep him out past the All-Star break, it’s possible that the San Diego spotlight will be entirely on Profar (and perhaps also closer Robert Suarez) next month.

What a stud Sonny Gray is, pitching like exactly the frontline ace St. Louis paid for this winter. While a more loaded field might make it tough for him to repeat his top-two Cy Young finish from a year ago, he has looked arguably better than ever in his age-34 season and has been a monumental part of St. Louis slowly starting to find some separation in the NL wild-card mess.

Recent shin injury aside, Kyle Tucker is incredibly deserving of his third straight All-Star nod. He has added more power and more patience to what was already one of the more stable high-end offensive profiles in the league, making him one of the most dangerous hitters for any opponent to deal with, much like his teammate Yordan Alvarez. I’d also love to see 30-year-old Ronel Blanco get the invite, considering the degree to which he has stepped up amidst Houston’s rash of injuries in the rotation; only Tanner Houck and Ranger Suárez have lower ERAs among qualified starters.

Strictly statistically, the most compelling All-Star candidates on the defending World Series champions are … Josh Smith and Kirby Yates?! Smith hit .185 as a bench player last regular season before appearing only as a pinch-runner on three occasions during Texas’ run to the title, yet here he is with the highest OPS on this star-studded team (.869) by a comfortable margin, and not in a tiny sample, either (268 PA). He has been massively important in Josh Jung’s absence. Meanwhile, Yates, who turned 37 just before Opening Day, has been one of baseball’s best relievers (0.99 ERA) in his first year as a Ranger. He has been an All-Star before, and a dominant closer is more likely to get an All-Star invite than a former utilityman who has come out of nowhere, but I lean toward Smith here.

While you can make a strong argument for several of New York’s veteran hitters, I’ve really appreciated what Luis Severino has been able to do since switching boroughs. I’d argue he’s an even stronger choice for NL Comeback Player of the Year than the current favorite, Chris Sale, considering just how bad Severino was in his final year in the Bronx, and he’s coming off a particularly vintage performance over the weekend at Wrigley. An All-Star in 2018 and 2019, a return to the Midsummer Classic this season after the tumultuous and injury-laden past half-decade would surely be extra sweet for Severino.

Ketel Marte is currently leading the fan voting among NL second basemen, and that is very much deserved. With a career high in both hard-hit percentage and average exit velocity, the 30-year-old switch-hitter has been absolutely scorching the ball, especially when batting right-handed; in 119 plate appearances against southpaws, Marte is hitting .315/.378/.694 with 11 home runs. Amidst an otherwise blah encore for the defending NL champion Snakes, Marte’s star-level production has been a treat to watch.

On a roster littered with underperformance across the board, Isaac Paredes stands out as one of the more obvious All-Star selections among teams likely to have only one representative. Last year, Paredes was one of a handful of hot-hitting Rays position players who were snubbed from the All-Star Game despite gaudy stats. This season, Paredes, who has continued to master the art of the pulled fly ball, is the lone Tampa Bay candidate with a worthy All-Star résumé.

I’m quite confident CJ Abrams will be an All-Star in the not-so-distant future — maybe even this year, and I wouldn’t be mad about it — but Washington’s All-Star for me is one of its two young starters, Jake Irvin and MacKenzie Gore. While Gore is the sexier pick due to his more substantial name recognition and strikeout numbers, I lean Irvin right now considering how steady he has been over a larger sample of innings. The Nats are surprisingly flirting with .500 because of their vastly improved pitching; Irvin has been at the forefront of that progress and deserves to be rewarded in turn.

We can fairly safely rule out any of the hitters as likely invites, and the past few weeks have also made sorting through the All-Star options on the pitching staff a bit more challenging. Javier Assad and Shota Imanaga got off to such incredible starts but have started to regress fairly steeply as of late, while Justin Steele and Jameson Taillon have looked better and better as they’ve gotten further removed from their early season injuries. I’d still lean Imanaga right now, if I had to guess who’ll end up in Texas, but I wouldn’t rule out any of these four starters.

If you want to get hung up on his league-leading number of strikeouts, that’s on you — Elly De La Cruz is more than deserving of his first All-Star nod, and he embodies what it means to be a superstar in this league. In just more than a calendar year, he has completely transcended the small market in which he plays to become one of the league’s most popular players. And for the purposes of this exercise, he has been Cincinnati’s most productive hitter and hasn’t missed a game along the way. I’ll also add this: Don’t be surprised if Cincinnati’s underrated pitching staff gets an additional All-Star invite. Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo and reliever Fernando Cruz (41.3% strikeout rate!!!) are all solid candidates as well.

I’d love to reward Riley Greene for his continued emergence as one of the AL’s best young hitters, but his teammates atop the Tigers' rotation, Tarik Skubal and Jack Flaherty, are both making legitimate pushes for the AL Cy Young award, making them the more compelling All-Star candidates. Skubal is the pick right now, and I continue to be so impressed that he has somehow managed to live up to, if not even exceed, the seemingly out-of-control hype he was getting entering the year. He’s legit and might even start the game for the American League.

The boring answer here is Bryan Reynolds, who is once again providing well-above-average offensive production atop a lineup that continues to crave any semblance of consistency. But this season in Pittsburgh has unquestionably been about the ascendance of its young rotation. And while Mitch Keller has looked every bit the All-Star he was a year ago and Jared Jones has racked up the strikeouts as a rookie, Paul Skenes has absolutely invigorated the entire baseball world and has the numbers to back it up. I don’t particularly care if it’s half as many starts as some of the other starting pitcher candidates; as with Elly in Cincinnati, Skenes is the epitome of an All-Star, and this year should mark his first of many appearances.

There are a lot of issues with the 2024 Blue Jays, hence their place in these rankings, but Vladimir Guerrero Jr., despite the flak he continues to get for failing to recapture his 2021 form, is not one of this team’s biggest problems. He’s still a very good hitter who is capable of wowing us with his swings, even if the statline reads more solid than superstar. On a team with very few — if any — other compelling candidates, Vladdy is still the most sensible choice to get the invite for what would be his fifth consecutive All-Star trip.

Here's how we're ranking all 30 MLB teams through nearly 13 weeks of play. (Taylar Sievert/Yahoo Sports)
Here's how we're ranking all 30 MLB teams through nearly 13 weeks of play. (Taylar Sievert/Yahoo Sports)

Would this recent hot streak from Heliot Ramos be enough for him to get the invite over ace Logan Webb if he keeps it up for another couple of weeks? I ask because it doesn’t feel like this deeply disappointing team is going to get multiple All-Stars, but I could be wrong. Webb, once again leading the NL in innings, would be my pick as of today.

Credit to Tyler Anderson for getting back on track in Year 2 in Anaheim. An ERA in the mid-2s would probably get him his second All-Star nod no matter how ugly the FIP. But allow me to show some love for Luis Rengifo, who is quietly hitting .311 with 20 steals while bouncing between second and third base when needed. He is perhaps one of the most underrated switch-hitters in baseball. I’d love to see him or second-year slugging catcher Logan O’Hoppe rewarded with an All-Star invite amidst another disappointing campaign in Anaheim.

I love the season JJ Bleday is having, and Brent Rooker is a viable candidate once again, but the answer here is Mason Miller, and I don’t think it’s all that close. Not only are his eye-popping stats worthy of an All-Star nod, but he is also exactly the kind of pitcher you want to see come into an All-Star Game and throw absolute cheese past some of the best hitters on the planet. We’ve seen it on multiple occasions this season, and I think we’d all be rooting for a similar sequence in an All-Star setting next month.

Tanner Scott, who quietly emerged as one of the best relievers in baseball last year, is the obvious pick here, as he has been not quite as good as his 2023 self but still a generally strong back-end arm. The real question here is: What if Scott gets traded before July 16? As a pending free agent this winter, he’s a near certainty to be dealt at some point next month. A deal before the All-Star Game could prompt a late replacement to satisfy the one-player-from-every-team guidelines, but it’s slim pickings on this desolate Miami roster. I think I’d go Jazz Chisholm Jr. right now, but let’s cross that road if/when we get there.

As much as I respect Cal Quantrill pitching tremendously competently in his first season at altitude, I have to give the nod to Ryan McMahon here. This is a guy who has been roughly the exact same player for the past five seasons, and now, at age-29, he has started hitting the ball markedly harder with great consistency, all while continuing to play an excellent third base. His breakout has been a much-needed consolation amidst the perplexing sophomore slump of Nolan Jones.

How incredibly cool would it be for Garrett Crochet to start the All-Star Game for the American League after being ridiculed as seemingly one of the more preposterous Opening Day starters in recent memory? While he has some stiff competition in Houck, Skubal and maybe a couple of others, it’s hard to say it wouldn’t be deserved if he were to get the ball, given the way he has been throwing it over the first few months. Usually, the numbers Erick Fedde (3.05 ERA in 94 1/3 IP) has put up would be more than good enough to earn the lone All-Star nod on the worst team in baseball, but Crochet might make it a bit difficult to squeeze him on the team as well.