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All-Star Game

Breaking down the MLB All-Star Game rosters for both leagues

A look at how the sausage is made for the midsummer classic

New York Mets v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Full MLB All-Star Game rosters were announced Sunday, nine days before the first Bmidsummer classic at Dodger Stadium since 1980.

Four Dodgers were named to the National League All-Star team. Mookie Betts and Trea Turner were voted as starters by fans, and they were joined by pitchers Tony Gonsolin and Clayton Kershaw.

Because there is so much focus on who didn’t make it for the Dodgers — namely, catcher Will Smith and first baseman Freddie Freeman — it’s important to look at the process of how rosters are selected in the first place.

Each league is allowed 32 players on its All-Star roster, with 20 position players, and 12 pitchers. Every MLB team must be represented on an All-Star roster, which is important in how the sausage is made.

This year, and going forward, the commissioner can add special selections for legendary players, which this year went to Albert Pujols of the Cardinals and Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers. Those 33rd players are extra, but also active for their teams.

The process for roster selection in each league happens in this order:

  • Fans vote for nine (9) position player starters
  • Players vote for nine (9) position players, one at each position and three outfielders
  • Players vote for five (5) starting pitchers, and three (3) relievers
  • That leaves four (4) pitchers and two (2) position players for the MLB office to pick

All-Star managers have no say anymore in roster selection. It’s solely up to the MLB offices to pick those final spots to round out the roster, but the rule that every MLB team must be represented often drives many of those final selections.

For instance, let’s look at the National League All-Stars, and how they were picked.

NL All-Star pitchers

Position Player Team How selected
Position Player Team How selected
SP Sandy Alcántara Marlins players
SP Corbin Burnes Brewers players
SP Joe Musgrove Padres players
SP Max Fried Braves players
SP Tony Gonsolin Dodgers players
SP Clayton Kershaw Dodgers MLB
SP Luis Castillo Reds MLB
RP Josh Hader Brewers players
RP Edwin Díaz Mets players
RP Ryan Helsley Cardinals players
RP David Bednar Pirates MLB
RP Joe Mantiply D-backs MLB

NL All-Star position players

Position Player Team How selected
Position Player Team How selected
C starter Willson Contreras Cubs fans
1B starter Paul Goldschmidt Cardinals fans
2B starter Jazz Chisolm Jr. Marlins fans
3B starter Manny Machado Padres fans
SS starter Trea Turner Dodgers fans
OF starter Ronald Acuña Jr. Braves fans
OF starter Mookie Betts Dodgers fans
OF starter Joc Pederson Giants fans
DH starter William Contreras* Braves players
C Travis d'Arnaud Braves players
1B Pete Alonso Mets players
2B Jeff McNeil Mets players
3B Nolan Arenado Cardinals players
SS Dansby Swanson Braves players
OF Kyle Schwarber Phillies players
OF Starling Marte Mets players
OF Ian Happ Cubs players
OF Juan Soto Nationals MLB
1B C.J. Cron Rockies MLB
DH Albert Pujols Cardinals special
DH Bryce Harper* Phillies fans
*Bryce Harper elected to start at DH by fans; player selection William Contreras will replace Harper in lineup

After fans and players selected their 26 All-Stars, only 10 National League teams were represented. Needing to pick four pitchers and two position players to round out the NL roster, the Rockies, Diamondbacks, Reds, Pirates, and Nationals had to account for at least five of those six slots.

Juan Soto and C.J. Cron took the final two position player spots, with Luis Castillo plus relievers David Bednar and Joe Mantiply claiming three pitcher spots.

On the only remaining roster spot that the commissioner’s office could have picked from any team, Clayton Kershaw got the nod.

There was a similar scenario in the American League.

AL All-Star position players

Position Player Team How selected
Position Player Team How selected
C starter Alejandro Kirk Blue Jays fans
1B starter Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Blue Jays fans
2B starter Jose Altuve Astros fans
3B starter Rafael Devers Red Sox fans
SS starter Tim Anderson White Sox fans
OF starter Aaron Judge Yankees fans
OF starter Mike Trout Angels fans
OF starter Giancarlo Stanton Yankees fans
DH starter Shohei Ohtani Angels fans
C Jose Trevino Yankees players
1B Luis Arraez Twins players
2B Andrés Giménez Guardians players
3B José Ramirez Guardians players
SS Xander Bogaerts Red Sox players
OF Byron Buxton Twins players
OF Kyle Tucker Astros players
OF George Springer Blue Jays players
DH Yordan Alvarez Astros players
OF Andrew Benintendi Royals MLB
IF Julio Rodríguez Mariners MLB
DH Miguel Cabrera Tigers special

AL All-Star pitchers

Position Player Team How selected
Position Player Team How selected
SP Shane McClanahan Rays players
SP Justin Verlander Astros players
SP Alek Manoah Blue Jays players
SP Nestor Cortes Yankees players
SP Gerrit Cole Yankees players
SP Shohei Ohtani Angels MLB
SP Paul Blackburn A's MLB
SP Martín Pérez Rangers MLB
SP Framber Valdez Astros MLB
RP Clay Homes Yankees players
RP Emmanuel Clase Guardians players
RP Jorde López Orioles players
RP Geregory Soto Tigers MLB

After fan and player voting in the American League, five teams were unaccounted for with only six spots to be picked by the commissioner.

Those final spots went to outfielders Andrew Benintendi (Royals) and Julio Rodíguez (Mariners), plus pitchers Paul Blackburn (A’s), Martín Pérez (Rangers), and Gregory Soto (Tigers).

The other MLB pick was Shohei Ohtani as a pitcher. But since he was also voted to start at designated hitter by the fans, MLB allowed itself another pick on the AL roster, selecting Astros pitcher Framber Valdez.

One important thing to remember that in the week-plus between now and the All-Star Game, a handful of players will likely drop out, either due to injury or, in the case of some pitchers, unavailability depending on when they pitch this coming week.

Bryce Harper is on the injured list after thumb surgery and won’t play for the National League for instance. William Contreras, the player selection at DH, takes Harper’s spot in the NL starting lineup, but Harper’s All-Star roster spot still needs to be filled. MLB said his roster replacement would be announced in the coming days.