Breaking news regarding the Los Angeles Dodgers’ All-Star Game hopefuls: it’s all of them. Nearly every single Dodger merits All-Star consideration.
Except Garrett Cleavinger. Sorry, dude.
All kidding aside, the Dodgers have rebounded from a roller-coaster first month-and-a-half of the season to emerge with the second-best record in baseball, thanks to contributions from an exceptional offense, sterling staff and basically the entire 26-man unit.
While it maybe would’ve been nice for a few of these guys to save their first All-Star nods for 2022 when the game will be at Dodger Stadium, we see no need to delay rewarding them just for sentimental value. They’ve earned it — and one may be approaching a crossroads in his Dodgers future anyway.
As the year rounds past the midway point of the half-season (not a real metric), it’s officially time to think about finishing strong going into the break, when we should be able to celebrate several of our stars at the Midsummer Classic in Colorado.
Some Dodgers who’ll be attending the game will be the guys who’ve gone already — it’s old hat for Clayton Kershaw, though it’s very impressive he’s seemingly earned consideration yet again.
Some Dodgers could be making their second appearances at the event, establishing themselves as regulars for the next generation — looking at you, Walker Buehler and Max Muncy!
This trio, though, should finally be making their first trip, and they represent three players in three very different positions.
One is a young star at a position with a dearth of All-Star options who could easily go on a run for the next decade. One is a player who may have thought he was hitting a wall prior to the 2020 postseason, but whose future has been entirely recalibrated. And one is a Dodger stalwart a few months away from free agency having his best year ever in the uniform.
Hopefully, the committee reads this list.
These 3 Dodgers have earned their first All-Star appearances in 2021.
3. Chris Taylor
Surely you noticed how good, reliable and versatile Chris Taylor is at some point prior to this season.
If not, though, he’s making it very clear what he can provide on a night in, night out basis, and just might be the Dodgers’ first-half MVP. He’s going to have a difficult time getting over the All-Star hurdle that prefers big names and bigger power profiles, but gosh darn it, we’re going to advocate for him anyway until we can’t advocate for him anymore.
At least put the man on the “Final Vote” ballot! Do they even still do that?
Thus far in 2021, Taylor is mashing lefties, but hitting everyone, though his slugging numbers are down against righties.
His overall line of .285/.411/.486 with 1.3 WAR accrued might not stand out among other outfielders in the race, but it’s certainly impressive enough to merit consideration on a blind resumé.
Also, doesn’t the All-Star Game love narratives? And doesn’t the player who’s been the engine driving the supposed best team in the league’s success deserve to be honored for doing so?
If the Dodgers Team MVP can’t make the All-Star roster, then what is this world coming to? If Taylor leaves this offseason, it might be a rude awakening as to just how important he’s been all along.