We will get our first update on All-Star voting on Monday, which means it’s time to start getting serious. Every team will end up having at least one All-Star selection. But the voting is the only thing you and I have any personal say in. It’s the one we have to get right.
With that in mind, let’s look at the player from each team who fans of that team should absolutely make sure to vote for. Some of them are the best player on the team; certainly, they have to be deserving of an All-Star spot to be on here. But on the whole, it’s the one who’s maybe the best representative of this team … and maybe the one, positionally, who has the best chance of winning.
Here’s your home-team-fan voting guide.
AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST
Blue Jays: Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 1B
He, along with that other Junior whose dad was a 1990s star (more on him later), is going to be the most in-demand attraction at the ASG this year.
Orioles: Cedric Mullins, OF
Trey Mancini is the emotional pick, and he’s having a nice year, but Mullins has been truly incredible this year, ranking among the league leaders in hits, batting average and OPS.
Rays: Randy Arozarena, OF
Turns out he’s not Babe Ruth, but Arozarena is still an excellent player, and by far the most nationally recognizable player on this roster. If you want to go purely on 2021 performance, Joey Wendle is the choice, but Arozarena is the one with a chance to win the fan vote.
Red Sox: Xander Bogaerts, SS
The longtime Red Sox shortstop -- he really has been here a while! -- may be having the best year of his career at the exact right time.
Yankees: Aaron Judge, OF
The Yankees might not be where they want to be, but Aaron Judge has reliably remained Aaron Judge.
AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRAL
Cleveland: José Ramírez, 3B
Remember a couple of years ago, when Ramírez appeared to fall off out of nowhere? That turned out to be a total blip: He’s a star again. There may not be a more clear-cut choice in this exercise.
Royals: Salvador Perez, C
There’s no greater advertisement for the Royals' approach of rewarding their stars and fan favorites than Salvador Perez, who is, somehow, still the star of this team.
Tigers: Akil Baddoo, OF
There aren’t a ton of lineup options for the Tigers, but Baddoo, while having cooled off after that first fortnight, is still a positive contributor for this club. And he is probably the most recognizable non-Miggy face in the lineup.
Twins: Byron Buxton, OF
Buxton missed a little more than a month with a strained right hip, but will his return be enough to save the Twins’ season?
White Sox: Yoán Moncada, 3B
You can go with the reigning AL MVP in José Abreu if you want, but Moncada has been jaw-droppingly good this year. And he’s also a terrific singer: Guy’s got charisma!
AMERICAN LEAGUE WEST
A’s: Matt Olson, 1B
He might not be able to beat out Vlad Jr. for the starting spot at first base, but it’s about time people started paying attention to how Olson has been hitting the ball for a few years now.
Angels: Shohei Ohtani, DH
Mike Trout won’t be back in time, and you want to see Shohei anyway.
Astros: Carlos Correa, SS
Correa hasn’t become the superstar Astros fans once hoped he would be, but he’s approaching that status this year -- just in time to hit free agency.
Mariners: Mitch Haniger, OF
He has made an All-Star Game before, back in 2018, but it’s fair to say a lot has happened since then.
Rangers: Adolis García, OF
The most surprising story of the Rangers’ season, and one of the few positive ones.
NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST
Braves: Ronald Acuña Jr., OF
The Braves haven’t had the season they wanted so far, but Acuña sure has from an individual perspective.
Marlins: Jazz Chisholm Jr., 2B
Second base is going to be a fascinating vote in the NL, but Chisholm is the guy who would give it the most pizzazz and joy.
Mets: Francisco Lindor, SS
Even with that batting average hovering around .200, Lindor actually leads the Mets in bWAR right now. Based on star power, Pete Alonso is another good choice.
Nationals: Juan Soto, OF
Even in a “down” year, he’s an electrifying watch.
Phillies: Bryce Harper, OF
Eventually you’re going to be ticking off Harper’s credentials, noting that he’s played in "X" number of All-Star Games. You’re going to want that "X" to be as high of a number as possible.
NATIONAL LEAGUE CENTRAL
Brewers: Christian Yelich, OF
The Brewers' anonymity has increased exactly as Yelich has struggled; they need him, and his profile, back.
Cardinals: Nolan Arenado, 3B
I thought about going with Tommy Edman here, because he’s likely in a tight race at second base, but Arenado is the new face of this franchise. It’s OK to go with Yadier Molina, too.
Cubs: Kris Bryant, 3B
Whether he’s staying or not, it’d be nice to see him in that Cubs jersey again on the All-Star stage.
Pirates: Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B
Still the face of the team, as long as he remembers to touch first base!
Reds: Nick Castellanos, OF
The snarling, cocky face of a team that’s a little better, particularly when it comes to the lineup, than you think. Jesse Winker’s performance is also worthy of consideration, but Castellanos is the more famous name, which makes him more likely to win a vote.
NATIONAL LEAGUE WEST
D-backs: Ketel Marte, OF
His explosion a couple of years ago is clearly not a fluke … and hey, maybe you show him off to trade suitors.
Dodgers: Mookie Betts, OF
You always want to see Betts in an All-Star Game. Always.
Giants: Buster Posey, C
Two years ago, you wondered what in the world the Giants were going to do with Posey for the rest of his contract. Now, he’s having a career year for a first-place team and reinvigorating that Hall of Fame case. Another All-Star selection would continue to make the case that much stronger.
Padres: Fernando Tatis Jr., SS
Forget just being at the game: He should be on the cover of the program.
Rockies: Trevor Story, SS
Yeah, it’s a down year so far, but this is still the Rockie everyone will be talking about come July.