Last year, I tried to predict what the starting lineups would look like for the 2027 All-Star Game. Now that we know the rosters for this year's game, I thought it might be fun to try to predict the starters for the 2028 game, now five years away. (Can you believe 2028 is five years away? Time is a flat circle, people.) There will be some crossover with last year’s list, but a lot has also changed in the last year. What will an ASG lineup look like in five years? Let’s take a guess.
Players are listed with their current age and team, though of course the team could change between now and 2028.
Catcher: Adley Rutschman, Orioles (age 25)
It has been nearly a decade since the Orioles extended one of their prospects through arbitration to avoid them leaving in free agency. It sure feels like they’ll try to switch that up with Rutschman who, for what it’s worth, will still be a year short of free agency in 2028. Even accounting for the unpredictability of a catcher’s career, this might be the safest call on this board.
First Base: Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Blue Jays (age 24)
Unlike Rutschman, Vlad Jr. (who is actually younger than the Orioles’ catcher) will have reached free agency long before 2028. It’s tough to imagine the Blue Jays letting him go, but if he’s still in the American League, it’s tough to see anyone else in this spot. If he leaves, though, could top A’s prospect Tyler Soderstrom end up here?
Second Base: Jace Jung, Tigers (age 22)
This is pretty ambitious for the little brother of 2023 AL All-Star starter Josh Jung of the Rangers. But Jace is a Top 100 Prospect and the best second base prospect in the American League, at a position that’s a little thin on young players. Plus, look at that swing.
Shortstop: Wander Franco, Rays (age 22)
Franco was the pick last year, and that was before he turned into an AL MVP candidate for the best team in baseball this year. He’s also still so young, he’s almost certain to start a game or two before 2028.
Third Base: Rafael Devers, Red Sox (age 26)
With his contract extension in hand, we know Devers will still be in Boston by 2028, and he will have just entered his 30s. Other possibilities here include Josh Jung, maybe the Orioles’ Jordan Westburg and, for that matter … José Ramírez (who will only be 35 then).
Outfield: Riley Greene, Tigers (age 22); Julio Rodríguez, Mariners (age 22); Mike Trout, Angels (age 31)
J-Rod’s a lock here, and color us optimistic on Greene, even if it puts us in the weird position of having two Tigers on the 2028 All-Star Game roster. (Buy your Tigers stock now!) That third spot comes down to whether you believe in Trout or Aaron Judge still being healthy in 2028.
Trout’s only a few months older than Judge, and they’ve both struggled with injuries. It’s really a coin flip, though it’s possible one (or both) of them are designated hitters by then. There was also a temptation to sneak Juan Soto over here, depending on where he signs in two years.
Designated Hitter: Yordan Alvarez, Astros (age 26)
There are many candidates here, from Judge/Trout to, potentially, Shohei Ohtani, depending on where he signs this offseason. But Alvarez will almost certainly be primarily a DH by 2028, and he will definitely be hitting, so he’s the pick.
Starting Pitcher: Shane McClanahan, Rays (age 26)
It’s so difficult to predict how young pitchers are going to turn out, as evidenced by the fact that our pick here last year, Alek Manoah, was sent down to the Minors after a very tough start to this season. So we’ll just admit we’re guessing here.
Catcher: Francisco Alvarez, Mets (age 21)
He still has some work to do behind the plate, but give him five years and he should be even more of an asset defensively. We certainly know the bat plays, and will for a long time.
First Base: Jordan Walker, Cardinals (age 21)
This might seem like a strange pick, considering Walker has yet to play a game at first base in the Majors. But it’s a logical position for someone with his frame, and by 2028, Paul Goldschmidt (presumably) will be long gone from St. Louis. Here’s betting he ends up here.
Second Base: Miguel Vargas, Dodgers (age 23)
He hasn’t exactly torn the cover off the ball in his first three months at Chavez Ravine, but he has surely shown enough to generate a lot of excitement for what he’ll look like over the next half-decade.
Shortstop: Elly De La Cruz, Reds (age 21)
Is he going to end up at shortstop? That’s up for debate, but what isn’t is the fact that he’s as thrilling a baseball talent as we’ve seen in quite a while. Wherever he ends up, he’s going to be at the center of baseball conversations for many years to come.
Third Base: Austin Riley, Braves (age 26)
He hasn’t quite kept up his blistering pace from last year, but he’s still the best young player at this position, at least until Ke’Bryan Hayes starts hitting the ball a little harder.
Designated Hitter: Shohei Ohtani, Angels (age 28)
I’m taking some artistic license here … but don’t act like you’d be surprised if he’s in the NL by then, given all the Dodgers (and Mets) rumors that have surrounded this impending free agent.
Starting Pitcher: Zac Gallen, D-backs (age 27)
This is a complete guess, obviously, but he’s one pitcher under 30 you feel like can be classified as a superstar right now.