Rutschman, Bautista Headline List of First-Time All-Stars

This year's MLB All-Star Game features 28 first-time All-Stars, and the Baltimore Orioles lead the charge with four of them.

BOSTON, MA - MARCH 30: Adley Rutschman #35 of the Baltimore Orioles rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run in the first inning during the game between the Baltimore Orioles and the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on Thursday, March 30, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

The Midsummer Classic is less than a week away, and this year’s game will feature a myriad of fresh faces (28 to be exact). There are budding stars receiving their first All-Star bids, and most likely not their last. There are also veterans who have elevated their game to another level this season, which has finally allowed them to get an All-Star selection under their belt.

The Baltimore Orioles lead the charge with four players who will be making their first All-Star appearance this season. The Orioles have one of the best records in the American League, and it’s in large part due to their young talent progressing in an impactful way.

Let’s take a look at some new names who will be making their All-Star debut at T-Mobile Park on July 11.

All stats taken prior to play on July 6.

American League

Adley Rutschman – Catcher / Baltimore Orioles368 PA, .274/.375/.420, 123 wRC+

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A former first-overall pick in the 2019 MLB draft, Adley Rutschman has been one of the best catchers in the sport since his debut on May 21 of last season. Since that date, Rutschman has the second-highest fWAR amongst MLB catchers at 7.2.

In 2023, Rutschman has the second-best wRC+ amongst AL catchers, and his production is fueled by his 11 home runs and 36 RBIs. He is one of the most likable young players in the game, and he has already established himself as one of the best catchers in baseball and a franchise cornerstone of the future for Baltimore.

Félix Bautista – Relief Pitcher / Baltimore Orioles40 IP, 23 Saves, 1.13 ERA, 0.95 WHIP

In just his second big league season, Félix Bautista has quickly established himself as one of the best closers in baseball. He has the lowest ERA and FIP amongst AL relievers, and his success is driven by his overpowering pitch arsenal.

The combination of his wicked 4-seam fastball and devastating splitter has led to his 81 strikeouts, which leads all MLB relievers, and a whopping 18.23 K/9. Bautista is as good as they come at the back end of Baltimore’s bullpen.

Austin Hays – Outfielder / Baltimore Orioles301 PA, .312/.352/.491, 133 wRC+

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Austin Hays not only leads AL outfielders in batting average, but he also has 32 extra-base hits, including 22 doubles and eight home runs on the year. The 28-year-old has taken a step forward offensively in his sixth season with Baltimore, as he is putting up the best full-season numbers of his career. His 1.9 fWAR is already greater than his number from 2022, and he has been a key contributor to the Orioles’ impressive first half of the season.

Yennier Cano – Relief Pitcher / Baltimore Orioles41.2 IP, 19 Holds, 1.51 ERA, 0.89 WHIP

Yennier Cano was acquired in a package for Jorge López at the trade deadline last season, and he has been one of the best stories in baseball in 2023. After sporting an 11.50 ERA in 13 major league appearances in 2022, he now finds himself as one of the best setup relievers in baseball. He pitched 22.2 innings before surrendering his first run of the year this season.

Cano now holds the fourth-best ERA and second-best WHIP amongst AL relievers. He and Bautista might be the best one-two punch in any bullpen in baseball.

Jonah Heim – Catcher / Texas Rangers305 PA, .278/.331/.473, 121 wRC+

Jonah Heim has made monumental strides offensively while still remaining one of the best defensive catchers in the sport. He leads all catchers in the American League in fWAR (3.0), and he paces all AL catchers in several offensive categories, including RBIs (56), batting average, slugging percentage, OPS, and wRC+.

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Heim has evolved from being a defensive specialist to being one of the best all-around catchers in the game this season.

Josh Jung – Third Baseman / Texas Rangers358 PA, .271/.321/.482, 121 wRC+

The second-year third baseman has been a noticeable bright spot for the high-flying Rangers’ offense this season. Jung has been massively productive at the plate, launching 17 home runs, driving in 51 runs, and making some of the highest-quality contact in the game. He is also in the 93rd percentile in outs above average, proving to be a reliable glove at the hot corner and an impactful bat for one of the best lineups in baseball.

Luis Robert Jr. – Outfielder / Chicago White Sox353 PA, .276/.336/.580, 148 wRC+

Luis Robert Jr.’s ceiling as a player has been sky-high since his debut in 2020, but his inability to stay on the field in his young career has restricted him from reaching his potential. However, he’s healthy this season, and it’s led to him putting up some of the best offensive numbers in MLB.

Robert has 49 RBIs on the year, and he leads MLB outfielders with 25 homers and a stellar .304 ISO. Additionally, he paces AL outfielders in wOBA (.385) and fWAR (3.8). His electrifying bat has been on full display this season, and Robert has been the lone bright spot for the White Sox’s offense in 2023.

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Yandy Díaz – First Baseman / Tampa Bay Rays323 PA, .310/.396/.498, 157 wRC+

Yandy Díaz has elevated his game and become an impact bat for the Rays this season. He leads MLB first baseman in wRC+, and he has the highest fWAR amongst AL first basemen at 2.2. He also leads AL first baseman in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS, and wOBA.

Díaz has found a new power stoke while still maintaining his outstanding bat-to-ball skills and disciplined approach at the plate, making him one of the best first basemen in baseball this season.

Randy Arozarena – Outfielder / Tampa Bay Rays360 PA, .286/.394/.482, 152 wRC+

Randy Arozarena is notorious for consistently elevating his play on the biggest stage, yet we haven’t quite seen him translate that degree of success to a full regular season – until this year.

Whether it’s the result of Arozarena dialing it up to another level this season or him riding the momentum from his impressive performance in the World Baseball Classic, Arozarena is looking like the player that won AL Rookie of the Year in 2021. Already having racked up 16 bombs and 58 RBIs on the year, he has been one of the most elite run producers in baseball this season, and he is making some of the highest quality contact in MLB.

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Wander Franco – Shortstop / Tampa Bay Rays361 PA, .285/.343/.466, 127 wRC+

Wander Franco was arguably the biggest snub from the initial All-Star game roster release. With Aaron Judge still recovering from a toe sprain, Franco deservedly landed a spot on the All-Star roster as Judge’s replacement.

Franco is an ascending star whose ceiling appears yet to be defined, and this will surely be the first of many future All-Star selections. He leads all MLB shortstops in fWAR (3.9), and his elite hit tool, dynamic glove, and game-changing speed make him one of the most well-rounded shortstops the game has to offer.

Brent Rooker – Outfielder / Oakland Athletics286 PA, .240/.336/.467, 126 wRC+

Now on his fourth team in as many seasons, Brent Rooker has more hits (59), home runs (14), RBIs (42), and runs scored (30) this season than he did in his previous three seasons combined.

On a team where seemingly everything has gone wrong, Rooker has put it together at the plate and has found a way to be productive for the Oakland Athletics. The 28-year-old outfielder is showing his worth, and he has been a bright spot and a feel-good story for the A’s this season.

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Michael Lorenzen – Starting Pitcher / Detroit Tigers82 IP (2-6), 4.28 ERA, 1.17 WHIP

Michael Lorenzen has put together a productive season in his first year with the Tigers. The 31-year-old signed a one-year, $8.5 million contract with Detroit in the offseason, and there’s a chance he could be a desirable trade target at this year’s deadline. It will be a sparse market in terms of available pitchers, so Lorenzen could serve as a valuable back-end starter for a team looking to bolster its pitching depth down the stretch.

George Kirby – Staring Pitcher / Seattle Mariners101 IP (7-7), 3.21 ERA, 1.04 WHIP

George Kirby has put together an excellent first half for the Seattle Mariners. The second-year starter has the ninth-best ERA and the sixth-best FIP amongst AL starters, and he is one of the best in the sport at pummeling the strike zone. He has a 57.7% strike percentage, and it’s led to his impeccable walk rate of just 2.2%.

Kirby limits traffic on the basepaths, as illustrated by his 1.04 WHIP, which is the sixth-best amongst AL starters. Now, he gets the opportunity to pitch in front of his home fans in this year’s Midsummer Classic.

National League

Sean Murphy – Catcher / Atlanta Braves262 PA, .305/.397/.580, 160 wRC+

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Sean Murphy has elevated his play to new heights this season. Not only does he continue to be one of the best defensive catchers in the sport, but he has also taken an enormous leap forward offensively. He leads all MLB catchers (min 250 PA) in fWAR (3.6), wRC+ (160), and OPS (.977) to go with an impressive 15 homers and 50 RBIs on the year. Murphy has entered a new echelon this season and has been the best catcher in baseball in 2023.

Orlando Arcía – Shortstop / Atlanta Braves253 PA, .298/.348/.434, 111 wRC+

Orlando Arcía has been one of the best stories of the 2023 season, and he is in the midst of a career resurgence in Atlanta. Once a top prospect for the Milwaukee Brewers, he was never able to put it together at the plate. Yet, he has earned the starting shortstop role for one of the best teams in baseball, and Arcía is setting career highs offensively across the board. The 28-year-old finally earns his first All-Star bid of his eight-year career.

Spencer Strider – Starting Pitcher / Atlanta Braves98.1 IP (10-2), 3.66 ERA, 1.11 WHIP

Spencer Strider is an ascending star in Atlanta’s rotation. The former fourth-rounder out of the 2020 MLB draft has the most devastating fastball-slider combination in baseball. His 14.19 K/9 leads all MLB starters by a wide margin, and he is healthily pacing MLB in strikeouts with 155. He also holds the fourth-best FIP amongst NL starters.

Strider is continuing to refine his command of his pitch arsenal, and he has a ceiling that could make him the best pitcher in baseball.

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Bryce Elder – Starting Pitcher / Atlanta Braves102.2 IP (7-1), 2.45 ERA, 1.14 WHIP

Bryce Elder is another young talent taking his game to a new level in 2023. The 24-year-old is sporting the second-best ERA in baseball, thanks in large part to his wicked slider. The pitch has a run value of -13, which is amongst the best in MLB.

The Braves lost two of their best arms, Max Fried and Kyle Wright, early in the season, and Elder has not only helped fill the void in the rotation, but he has been an elite starter in the first half of 2023. After opening the season with Triple-A Gwinnett, Elder now finds himself as a key rotational piece for one of the best teams in baseball.

Corbin Carroll – Outfielder / Arizona Diamondbacks333 PA, .292/.367/.563, 147 wRC+

Corbin Carroll is a budding superstar in just his second season in the big leagues. The 22-year-old is one of the best young outfielders in the sport, and he has thrust himself into NL MVP conversations as we head into the All-Star break.

He has the fourth-best fWAR amongst MLB outfielders (3.7) while notching 18 homers, 46 RBIs, and 24 stolen bases. It feels as if this will be the first of many All-Star bids for Corbin Carroll.

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Lourdes Gurriel Jr. – Outfielder / Arizona Diamondbacks313 PA, .266/.316/.490, 114 wRC+

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks in the offseason after spending his first five seasons as a Toronto Blue Jay. The change appears to have been a good one for Gurriel, as he is posting some of his best offensive numbers since the shortened 2020 season.

He already has nearly as many extra-base hits this season (35) as he had all of last year, launching 14 homers to go with 19 doubles. In turn, Gurriel has more than doubled his isolated power number from 2022, and his 50 RBIs are the second-most on the Diamondbacks.

Zac Gallen – Starting Pitcher / Arizona Diamondbacks111.1 IP (10-3), 3.15 ERA, 1.08 WHIP

An NL Cy Young favorite heading into 2023, Zac Gallen has delivered on those expectations this season. He has the sixth-best ERA and third-best FIP amongst NL starters, and he has been one of the best in the sport at limiting traffic on the bases.

Gallen’s elite command of his fastball and secondary pitches fuels his success on the mound. He leads NL starters in fWAR (3.4), and he is the current favorite to win the NL Cy Young Award, according to BetMGM.

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Will Smith – Catcher / Los Angeles Dodgers278 PA, .272/.392/.482, 140 wRC+

Will Smith has consistently been one of the best offensive catchers in MLB since debuting back in 2019 with the Dodgers. He has a career wRC+ and OPS of 133 and .860, respectively, and he is in the midst of another spectacular season at the plate.

His 2.8 fWAR is the second-best among qualified MLB catchers, and he leads the position in wRC+ and OPS. He brings an outstanding approach to the plate, along with excellent contact and power skills. Smith is walking more than he is striking out, and he has launched 12 home runs to go along with his elite plate discipline. Will Smith remains a foundational piece for one of the best offenses in baseball.

Elias Díaz – Catcher / Colorado Rockies296 PA, .279/.331/.442, 94 wRC+

The nine-time veteran earned his first All-Star selection this season, and he’s been one of the Rockies’ best run producers in 2023. He leads Colorado in RBIs with 43, and he has already racked up 25 extra-base hits on the year, including 15 doubles and nine long balls.

Diaz has improved both his contact numbers and his power stroke this season, and it’s translated to him being a becoming bat in the heart of Colorado’s lineup.

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Jorge Soler – Designated Hitter / Miami Marlins353 PA, .252/.348/.526, 136 wRC+

The 2023 season has been an enormous bounce-back year for Jorge Soler. After being named World Series MVP with the Atlanta Braves in 2021, Soler signed a three-year, $36M deal with the Marlins in March of 2022. His first season in Miami was a major disappointment; he finished the year as a below-average hitter with an OPS under .700.

However, 2023 has been an entirely different story. Soler looks more like the hitter that was promised when he signed his contract, and he has been a major contributor for a Marlins team that is soaring past preseason expectations.

Soler has the highest wRC+ amongst NL designated hitters and has hit 22 bombs while driving in 49 runs. Sporting an OPS over .870, he has been one of the league’s best designated hitters in 2023 and is more than deserving of his first All-Star appearance.

Justin Steele – Starting Pitcher / Chicago Cubs91.1 IP (9-2), 2.56 ERA, 1.06 WHIP

Justin Steele has quietly become one of the league’s most feared left-handed pitchers. Now in his third season with the Cubs, Steele has the third-lowest ERA and FIP and the second-lowest WHIP amongst NL starters in 2023.

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He pounds the strike zone with an impressive fastball-slider combination, and it has generated some of the weakest contact in MLB. Steele excels at limiting baserunners, and he continues to improve with each successive season. It has been an outstanding first half of 2023 for Justin Steele.

Mitch Keller – Starting Pitcher / Pittsburgh Pirates110 IP (9-4), 3.52 ERA, 1.14 WHIP

Mitch Keller is one of several feel-good stories to come out of Pittsburgh this season. He has anchored down the top of the Pirates’ rotation, as he leads their starters in ERA, FIP, WHIP, and batting average against.

Keller gives the Pirates a chance to win every fifth day, and his consistent production has led to the Pirates being in the hunt for a division title as we approach the All-Star break.

Josiah Gray – Starting Pitcher / Washington Nationals100.1 IP (6-7), 3.41 ERA, 1.44 WHIP

Once a top prospect in the Dodgers’ system, Josiah Gray was dealt to the Nationals in the blockbuster deal that sent Max Scherzer and Trea Turner to Los Angeles at the 2021 trade deadline. Gray’s first season and a half in Washington was shaky, as he was still trying to find his footing as a big league starter.

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In 2023, however, Gray has put together a much more productive season on the mound. The 25-year-old has the ninth-best ERA amongst NL starters, and he has been a bright spot in a rather bleak Nationals rotation. Gray is still refining his diverse pitch arsenal, but he has made noticeable improvements in 2023, earning him the first All-Star bid of his young career.

Alexis Díaz – Relief Pitcher / Cincinnati Reds38 IP, 24 Saves, 2.13 ERA, 1.03 WHIP

Alexis Díaz is an immensely talented arm in the back end of Cincinnati’s bullpen. His devastating fastball-slider combination resembles that of his brother, Edwin, and it has led to him leading NL relievers in strikeouts with 58. His strikeout rate of 37.7% and impressive strikeouts per nine (13.74) are both the second-best marks in the National League.

The 26-year-old is in his second season with the Reds, and he is on a quick-ascending path to being one of the top relievers in the game.

Camilo Doval – Relief Pitcher / San Francisco Giants40 IP, 25 Saves, 2.70 ERA, 1.08 WHIP

Camilo Doval features a dominating pitch mix. It involves a sinker and cutter that touch triple-digits and a slider that falls off the table as the perfect complement to his fastballs. He leads the National League in saves, and he has the fifth-most strikeouts amongst NL relievers with 55.

Doval ranks in the top 10 in the National League in strikeout rate and strikeouts per nine innings, and he continues to show why he is one of the more talented young relievers in MLB this season.