This week, Major League Baseball announced the starters for the 2021 All-Star Game. The game will be played in Colorado. Ordinarily, a game in Coors Field with some of the world’s best hitters would equate to plenty of fireworks. But the Mid-Summer Classic has been more of a showcase for the game’s dominant pitchers in recent years. The last 10 All-Star games have produced just 68 total runs. Hopefully, the thin air will open up this year’s edition a little bit. Anyway, I thought it would be fun to see how the real-life All-Stars compare to the fantasy All-Stars from the first half of the season. Don’t worry – my rest of season rankings along with some news and notes are at the bottom of the page for those looking to get to their barbecues early.
What?! Your league is not using Fantrax? Inconceivable! Check out everything Fantrax has to offer and I’m sure you’ll come around to our way of thinking.
2021 Fantasy Baseball All-Stars
American League – Salvador Perez, Kansas City
Every week I list Salvador Perez as a borderline top-100 player in my rest of season rankings. My logic is that I think he will slow down at some point, especially given the demands of the catcher position. And yet here he sits with 40 runs, 20 home runs, and 50 RBI on the Fourth of July. Perez is on pace to obliterate his career highs in those numbers and is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
National League – Willson Conteras, Chicago
Contreras is the pick based on our Player Rater. To be honest, I do not love this choice. The Player Rater is putting more stock into the four stolen bases Contreras has contributed than I would. I believe the fans got this one right with the selection of Buster Posey. The veteran backstop has rejuvenated his career in his age-34 season. He has also provided fantasy managers with the 12th-biggest batting average boost out of all hitters in baseball, per Baseball Monster.
American League – Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Toronto
I think it is safe to say that the Player Rater got this one right. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is a legitimate threat to the AL Triple Crown at just 22 years of age. Interestingly enough, Vladito is the sixth-highest rated hitter in baseball on the Player Rater, yet trails two of his Blue Jays teammates. That offense is scary good.
National League – Freddie Freeman, Atlanta
Freddie Freeman was a relatively easy choice at first base. It helps that he has raised his batting average in recent weeks. He was hitting below .230 as recently as June 11. Since then, he has gone 30-for-79 to raise his batting average to .267. Max Muncy was the runner-up here and could have threatened Freeman for the top spot had he not suffered a recent injury.
American League – Marcus Semien, Toronto
I cannot pretend to always have a ton of faith in humanity, but the fans’ selection of Marcus Semien over Jose Altuve gives me a little bit of hope for a brighter future. I was high on Semien coming into the year, and he has exceeded my optimistic expectations. He is currently fourth overall among hitters on our Player Rater and fifth according to Baseball Monster. Semien has a chance to best his 2019 campaign which saw him finish as a second-round fantasy value and third place in the American League MVP voting.
National League – Ozzie Albies, Atlanta
I am all for seeing players and teams who often go overlooked getting some shine. So I am very happy to see the fans vote Adam Frazier in here. For fantasy purposes, though, Ozzie Albies is far and away the superior selection. I would even prefer Jake Cronenworth and possibly a couple of others over Frazier from a pure fantasy perspective. Like Freeman, Albies has boosted his batting average quite a bit in recent weeks. He is also on pace to put up his first career 20-20 season and currently leads the National League in RBI.
American League – Rafael Devers, Boston
Rafael Devers got a well-deserved selection from the fans this year, and he is the preferred fantasy pick as well. He edged out perennial favorite Jose Ramirez for the AL honors at third base. Devers leads the Majors in runs batted in and has bounced back from what was a subpar 2020 season. Devers is still just 24 years old and likely has his best years ahead of him.
National League – Manny Machado, San Diego
It is totally reasonable that the fans would vote for former Rockie Nolan Arenado to start this game. However, from a fantasy standpoint, Arenado sits outside the top-three based on year-to-date production. Instead, Manny Machado gets the nod here. Machado has regressed a bit offensively from his torrid 2020 campaign, but he has still been solid. He has also chipped in nine stolen bases. That is no small feat, particularly at a corner infield spot.
American League – Bo Bichette, Toronto
Shortstop is loaded again this year, and Bo Bichette is leading the charge in the American League. Bichette leads the Major Leagues in runs scored and is one of eight hitters in all of baseball to provide a positive fantasy boost in all five Roto categories per Baseball Monster. Real-life All-Star starter Xander Bogaerts is also one of the eight, so it is hard to knock the fans too much for their selection of the Boston star shortstop.
National League – Fernando Tatis Jr., San Diego
Fernando Tatis Jr. is the number-one overall hitter in fantasy as we hit the halfway point in the 2021 season. He has overcome multiple nagging injuries to post a half-season for the ages. Tatis is top-six in all of baseball in runs scored, home runs, RBI, and stolen bases. He has also provided a top-20 boost in batting average. Other than that, he has not done much this season.
American League – Whit Merrifield, Kansas City; Adolis Garcia, Texas; Cedric Mullins, Baltimore
The outfield is the only position where the real-life voting results differed greatly from the fantasy choices. Merrifield leads all of baseball in stolen bases and has five more steals than the next highest player. That gives him a significant boost in fantasy value. Adolis Garcia is not even listed in our ADP data, while Cedric Mullins went outside the top 450 players. So it is pretty cool to see their names listed here. They have been among fantasy’s most valuable players all season long. I have had an irrational love of Teoscar Hernandez’s game for years, but even I was surprised to see him voted in by the fans. If he had not missed a quarter of the season, though, he might very well be a fantasy All-Star as well.
National League – Ronald Acuna Jr., Atlanta; Nick Castellanos, Cincinnati; Jesse Winker, Cincinnati
This trio was voted in by the fans, and they have also been the top three fantasy outfielders in the Senior Circuit. Acuna is one of the very few players in all of baseball who has legitimate 40-40 potential. Castellanos leads the National League in batting average after hitting .225 last season. He is also sixth in the NL in both runs scored and runs batted in. Winker is limping into the All-Star break a bit, both literally and figuratively. He has just two home runs in the last four weeks and is hitting under .200 in the last two weeks. However, he is still hitting .317 on the year and is fourth in the league in home runs. Winker also has a pair of three-homer games under his belt already this season.
American League – Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles
Call me crazy, but I think the fans made the right call here. Shohei Ohtani has a chance to hit 50 home runs this season while also stealing 20 bases. You can count the number of those seasons in Major League history on one hand. Oh yeah, and he pitches, and does so damn well. (At least when he can find the plate.) Ohtani is doing something that none of us have seen in our lifetimes. Only Babe Ruth has done what Ohtani is doing. Time will tell if Ohtani will be able to be effective as both a hitter and pitcher for the next decade. But for now, he is the sport’s biggest attraction.
National League – Trea Turner, Washington
Fernando Tatis has grabbed most of the spotlight over the season’s first half, and rightfully so. But Trea Turner is not far behind when it comes to fantasy production. He was Baseball Monster’s most valuable hitter last season and is third among National League hitters this year. No hitter in baseball offers a bigger combined boost in batting average and stolen bases than Turner. He had missed one combined game dating back to last season until he suffered a recent finger injury. Once Turner returns to the lineup, he will continue to put up huge fantasy numbers across the board.
Rest of Season Fantasy Baseball Rankings
Fantrax was one of the fastest-growing fantasy sites of 2020, and we’re not stopping now. With multi-team trades, designated commissioner/league managers, and drag/drop easy click methods, Fantrax is sure to excite the serious fantasy sports fan – sign up now for a free year at Fantrax.com.