The ballot for the next month's MLB All-Star Game came out on Friday, which means it's time to start thinking about the roster -- and your vote. The MLB All-Star Game is amazing for many reasons, but high on the list of them is the fact that not everyone who
The ballot for the next month's MLB All-Star Game came out on Friday, which means it's time to start thinking about the roster -- and your vote. The MLB All-Star Game is amazing for many reasons, but high on the list of them is the fact that not everyone who has ever played in an All-Star Game could be considered a "star." Lance Carter was an All-Star. Cesar Izturis was an All-Star. Robert Fick was an All-Star. My favorite is still Bryan LaHair, a journeyman who once had a red-hot April (1.251 OPS!) and served as the lone representative for a 97-loss Cubs team in 2012. LaHair can say he was an All-Star, even though he played a total of 195 games in the Majors -- none of which came after his All-Star season.
People like LaHair make me feel for those players who have put together long, productive MLB careers but never, for whatever reason, reached an All-Star Game. Maybe they were good but not great, maybe they were slow starters, maybe there were too many stars at their position -- but every team has a guy you think would have made an All-Star team by now, but never has. Thus, we look at the player on every team who has put together the best MLB career but never actually reached an All-Star Game. Bryan LaHair made an All-Star Game, and these guys never did. Maybe you can vote for them.
AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST
Blue Jays: Kendrys Morales (2006-18)
Morales certainly would have made an All-Star Game, and probably more, had his infamous leg-breaking after a walk-off grand slam not happened back in 2010. He missed all of '11 and has not been the same since. He finished fifth in the AL MVP voting back in '09.
Orioles: Colby Rasmus (2009-18)
There was a time that Rasmus was one of the top prospects in baseball. But when the Cardinals traded him in 2011 and then went on to win a World Series, he was never quite able to put it together. Rasmus quit baseball last season but returned this year, only to get off to a nightmare start with the Orioles. He's recovering from an injury now and may return to Double-A next week. Rasmus hit more than 23 homers three different times in his career.
Rays: Kevin Kiermaier (2013-18)
An advanced-metrics darling, Kiermaier's right thumb injury in April eliminates any chance he had of being the Rays' representative this season.
Red Sox: Rick Porcello (2009-18)
So here's something you don't see every day: A guy who has won a Cy Young without ever making an All-Star Game. He currently has seven wins and an ERA a run lower than he did in 2017. But it's tougher to make the ASG on a crowded Red Sox roster than it might be for another team.
Yankees: Didi Gregorius (2012-18)
You also have Neil Walker to choose from here, but we'll go with the guy who got off to a start so blistering that despite barely getting a hit over the next month, he is still having a terrific season.
Indians: Carlos Carrasco (2009-18)
Rajai Davis would have been an acceptable pick here, but Carrasco has already received Cy Young votes twice and led the AL in wins last season.
Royals: Jason Hammel (2006-18)
Fun fact: Hammel is currently 14th among active pitchers in games started. He has somehow started more games than Adam Wainwright, David Price and Giovany Gonzalez.
Tigers: Leonys Martin (2011-18)
Martin has never had an above-average offensive season in the Majors for four different teams over eight seasons.
Twins: Logan Morrison (2010-18)
Remember when Morrison was considered a controversial Twitter personality? We've come a long way.
White Sox: Nate Jones (2012-18)
Jones needs one of those years where the manager decides the Final Vote will just be between five random relievers.
Angels: Andrelton Simmons (2012-18)
Simmons is one of the best players in baseball, right now, and will almost certainly make his first All-Star Game this season. At least he better.
Astros: Josh Reddick (2009-18)
Reddick has been a quietly effective player for a whole decade. Now that he's playing for a World Series champion, we're all finally noticing.
Athletics: Khris Davis (2013-18)
Davis has already hit 40 homers for two consecutive seasons. Now that he's back from injury, he could do the same thing again in 2018.
Mariners: Denard Span (2008-18)
The Mariners are now Span's fifth team. He has proven himself useful, if never spectacular, at every stop.
Rangers: Shin-Soo Choo (2005-18)
Choo's walk-off homer over Memorial Day weekend gave him the most homers of any player born in Asia. He has been a lot better for a lot longer than you think.
NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST
Braves: Nick Markakis (2006-18)
Whether he ends up with 3,000 hits, Markakis almost certainly has put together the longest, most excellent career of any active player who has never made an All-Star Game. Is this finally the year? This might be his last, best chance.
Marlins: J.T. Realmuto (2014-18)
Realmuto might have been the last man standing in Miami, but he's also having the best year of his career and might be one of the best catchers in baseball.
Mets: Juan Lagares (2013-18)
Lagares might never make an All-Star Game, but he does feel like someone who will be a defensive replacement in the outfield for another 10 years, at least.
Nationals: Anthony Rendon (2013-18)
It sure feels like Rendon should have been on an All-Star team by now, probably even twice.
Phillies: Carlos Santana (2010-18)
Santana has a lifetime .364 OBP and plays a terrific first base. He might be one of the most underappreciated players in the game, though not by the Phillies.
Brewers: Christian Yelich (2013-18)
Only in baseball would playing in Milwaukee give you a more high-profile opportunity to showcase your talent than in Miami.
Cardinals: Tommy Pham (2014-18)
Pham has been one of the 25 best players in baseball for two straight years now, and his journey to the Majors has been as circuitous as anybody in the sport. There are few ASG nods that would have been more earned.
Cubs: Javier Baez (2014-18)
Lots of guys to choose from here -- Kyle Schwarber, Albert Almora Jr., Willson Contreras -- but in a pinch, we'll go with the defensive superstar who's knocking the cover off the ball this season.
Pirates: Francisco Cervelli (2008-18)
Cervelli was once thought to be solely backup-catcher material, but he has shown a consistent ability to get on base in the Majors -- particularly compared to others at his position.
Reds: Scooter Gennett (2013-18)
He's hitting even better than he did last season, and he hasn't even had his yearly four-homer game yet.
D-backs: Jorge De La Rosa (2004-18)
De La Rosa was once, seemingly not that long ago, the Rockies' top pitcher. He's now 37 and has been in the big leagues for 14 years. Time is a flat circle.
Dodgers: Rich Hill (2005-18)
It looks like the moment has passed, which is a shame. At one point, Hill's story would have been all the All-Star Game announcers would have talked about the entire telecast.
Giants: Austin Jackson (2010-18)
The former Yankees prospect is now yet another of the senior citizens on the Giants' roster ... just the only one who was never quite enough of a star to make an ASG.
Padres: Craig Stammen (2009-18)
Definitely the toughest team to come up with an entry for on this list, we'll go with the wily vet who, after missing the entire 2016 season, is having the best year of his career.
Rockies: Adam Ottavino (2010-18)
Sticking with the veteran reliever theme, Ottavino has been the best pitcher in a terrific Colorado bullpen.
Will Leitch is a columnist for MLB.com.