The 2017 season still seems to be in its nascent stages, yet voting for the All-Star game in Miami has already begun. Last year’s Yankees got off to a slow start but still sent three representatives to the All-Star game in Carlos Beltran, Andrew Miller, and Dellin Betances. While two of those players are gone now, the Yankees’ hot start has a whole host of players in contention for a spot on the team in Miami. Voting runs until June 29th, so a lot can change, but here’s how the Yankees’ strongest contributors stack up so far.
Aaron Judge, OF:
We all know what Judge has done, and he has shown little sign of slowing down from his incredible pace. He has become must-watch television and a favorite amongst even non-Yankees fans. Judge trails only Mike Trout among AL outfielders in fWAR and should be a shoo-in if he continues at anything close to his current level.
Dellin Betances, RP:
Betances is beginning to become a fixture of the All-Star game, having made the team in each of the past three seasons. His streak looks set to continue in 2017 as he has once again been dominant by striking out 22 batters in 12.1 innings and surrendering only one earned run.
Starlin Castro, 2B:
After an up an down campaign in 2016, Castro looks poised to return to the All-Star game for the first time since 2014. Starlin has come out of the gates flying, pacing AL second basemen with a .348 batting average and a 154 wRC+. Castro has strong competition in the form of Jose Altuve and Robinson Cano, but if he keeps up his current pace, it should be enough to earn a spot on the team.
On the Fence:
Brett Gardner, OF:
After a slow start, Gardner has gone on an absolute tear hitting .379 with 5 home runs so far in May. His hot streak has raised his wRC+ to 141, add in strong defense and base running and he has been one of the best outfielders in the American League. He currently sits 7th among AL outfielders in fWAR, but a continuation of his strong May would likely be enough to earn his second All-Star nod.
Matt Holliday, DH:
The veteran import has been exactly what Brian Cashman had hoped for: a strong right-handed presence in the middle of the Yankee lineup. Holliday has posted a 135 wRC+, operating primarily as a DH. Unfortunately, both Corey Dickerson and Nelson Cruz are off to scorching starts so it would be difficult to put Holiday ahead of them.
Aaron Hicks, OF:
Hicks has made great strides and actually ranks 4th in fWAR amongst AL outfielders in what is becoming a truly remarkable season. What’s holding him back is simply playing time and his lack of an established reputation. At this point, if you try to vote for the All-Star game, Hicks is not one of the listed options under outfielders and you can only vote for him as a write-in candidate. Hopefully he gets the recognition he deserves but it seems unlikely he’ll be voted in by the fans at this point.
Michael Pineda and Luis Severino, SP:
Both Pineda and Severino have exceeded expectations and have been largely excellent in the early going this season. At the same time their numbers don’t quite stack up to the American League’s elite starters like Chris Sale and Dallas Keuchel. Pineda and Severino rank 25th and 16th respectively in fWAR at this point, but a stretch of strong outings could put either in serious contention for a spot in Miami.
Adam Warren and Jonathan Holder, RP:
I wrote earlier about the success of Warren and Holder, but excellent as they have been, they are both still middle relievers. Pure middle relievers almost never make the All-Star game, and it seems unlikely either will break through, given the strong group of closers and late-inning relievers they will be competing against.