In January of 2014, BleacherReport predicted that 7 up-and-coming players would make the All-Star Game within 3 years. Those players were: Byron Buxton (OF), Oscar Taveras (OF), Xander Bogaerts (SS), Archie Bradley (RHP), Francisco Lindor (SS), Gregory Polanco (OF), and Austin Hedges (C). Tragically, Oscar Taveras passed away in a car accident in October of 2014. While each of the other players has received recognition on some level, none have yet reached the level of MLB All-Star. This year may be the year for one or more of these players, but the 2016 All-Star Game will mean the expiration of this prediction.
Much more recently (March 2016), BleacherReport wrote about, “The Biggest Emerging MLB Star at Every Position Entering 2016.” Once again, if they are right, then this could have implications for future All-Star Games, possibly even the 2016 game. This list includes: Kyle Schwarber (C), Eric Hosmer (1B), Logan Forsythe (2B), Corey Seager (SS), Maikel Franco (3B), Michael Conforto (LF), Mookie Betts (CF), George Springer (RF), Miguel Sano (DH), Noah Syndergaard (SP), and Cody Allen (RP). There is no overlap between their 2014 and 2016 lists, although, Miguel Sano made the 2014 shortlist of players who “just missed” their projection.
Earlier this month, Sports on Earth recognized the, “Best of the rest: Top non-All-Stars.” They’ve compiled a list of the best players from the last four years who have not had an All-Star appearance. Perhaps 2016 is the year for some of them? Their list includes: Yan Gomes (C), Brandon Belt (1B), Neil Walker (2B), Chase Headley (3B), Andrelton Simmons (SS), Starling Marte (LF), Austin Jackson (CF), Josh Reddick (RF), Jose Quintana (SP), Jake Arrieta (SP), Corey Kluber (SP), Doug Fister (SP), Anibal Sanchez (SP), and Kenley Jansen (CL).
On January 4th, MLB.com offered a projection of the MLB All-2016 team based on WAR. Buster Posey (C), Paul Goldschmidt /Joey Votto (1B), Jason Kipnis (2B), Brandon Crawford (SS), Josh Donaldson (3B), Yoenis Cespedes (LF), Mike Trout (CF), Bryce Harper (RF), Nelson Cruz (DH) and pitchers: Clayton Kershaw, Jake Arrieta, David Price, Max Scherzer and Chris Sale.
Before the season officially begins, we have plenty of candidates for this year’s game. Did we miss a prospective All-Star? Let us know on Twitter.