Surprise! A look at 10 of the most unlikely 2024 All-Stars

July 10th, 2024

For superstars like Aaron Judge, Shohei Ohtani and Bryce Harper, selection as an All-Star is virtually a yearly honor. But each year, there are some All-Stars whom we never saw coming, players who have surprised the baseball world with their performances and earned unlikely spots on the American League or National League rosters for the Midsummer Classic.

This year is no exception, especially since there are 34 first-time All-Stars headed to Globe Life Field for Tuesday's MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard. Here’s a look at 10 unlikely All-Stars in 2024.

, Padres -- NL starting outfielder

If you told the astute baseball observer 12 years ago that Profar would be an All-Star someday, it wouldn’t have come as a surprise -- after making his MLB debut at age 19 in 2012, he was MLB Pipeline's No. 1 prospect heading into 2013. But for the first 10 seasons of his big league career, that didn’t materialize. Due to injury and underperformance, he entered the ’24 campaign with a career slash line of .239/.322/.383. The 31-year-old Profar has been a revelation for the Padres since -- after launching his 14th homer of the season on Sunday, he’s slashing .315/.408/.498. With his first All-Star selection coming in his 11th season, Profar is one of 18 players in AL/NL history to earn his first All-Star selection in his 11th season or later.

, Phillies -- NL starting third baseman

No, it’s not Manny Machado. It’s not Nolan Arenado. It’s not Austin Riley. The starter at the hot corner for the NL in this year’s All-Star Game is Bohm, who is enjoying a breakout season at the plate that has helped the Phillies surge to the best record in baseball. Bohm, who turns 28 on Aug. 3, is slashing .296/.346/.487 with 11 home runs and 70 RBIs. You’d certainly expect the other two starting infielders from the Phils to be there -- Harper and Trea Turner are veterans of the Midsummer Classic. But Bohm is definitely a surprise as the starter at third for the Senior Circuit.

, Guardians -- AL reserve designated hitter

Fry was born about 15 miles northeast of Globe Life Field in Irving, Texas, and now he’s going to enter that ballpark as an All-Star. The 28-year-old, who was a seventh-round Draft pick by the Brewers in 2018, seemingly came out of nowhere to become one of the key players driving Cleveland’s surprising first half as manager Stephen Vogt’s crew sits comfortably atop the AL Central. Following a rookie year in which he posted a .735 OPS in 58 games, Fry owns a .920 OPS with eight homers in 226 plate appearances this season.

, Red Sox -- AL pitcher

The Red Sox have enjoyed some surprising success in their starting rotation this year, led by Houck and Kutter Crawford. While Crawford has been good, Houck has been great -- the 28-year-old right-hander, who entered the season with a career 3.86 ERA, has a 2.68 ERA in 2024, along with a 4.61 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He has already thrown a career-high 111 innings, so it’ll be interesting to see how he fares in the second half. But he has earned a well-deserved All-Star nod, one that few saw coming.

, Royals -- AL pitcher

Lugo has been spinning his curveball, along with his many other offerings in a diverse arsenal, effectively at the Major League level since 2016. But until now, the right-hander hadn’t been an All-Star. With an MLB-best 2.21 ERA over an MLB-high 122 innings, however, Lugo's ninth big league season has been the charm. Along with Cole Ragans, Brady Singer and Michael Wacha, Lugo has helped make Kansas City’s starting rotation formidable as the Royals look to build on a solid first half and make a postseason push.

, Braves -- NL pitcher

López is a nine-year MLB veteran who has been deployed in the starting rotation and from the bullpen. Entering the 2024 season after signing with Atlanta, the right-hander had made only one start over the previous two years. But the Braves converted him to a full-time starter, and all he has done is post a 1.71 ERA (which would lead the Majors if he had enough innings to qualify) over 16 starts after six scoreless frames against the Phillies on Sunday. Prior to his success this season, López had a career 4.32 ERA.

, Phillies -- NL pitcher

The ninth overall Draft pick by the Blue Jays in 2014, Hoffman was dealt to the Rockies in July 2015 in the six-player trade that sent Troy Tulowitzki to Toronto. Hoffman struggled over five seasons in the mile-high altitude of Denver before being traded to the Reds prior to the ’21 campaign. He started to straighten things out in Cincinnati, and when he got to Philadelphia in ’23 after being released by the Twins, he transformed into one of the best relievers in baseball. This year, he has been lights out, with a 1.21 ERA over 38 relief appearances for Philadelphia.

, Rockies -- NL reserve third baseman

McMahon established himself as one of the best defensive third basemen in baseball over the past few years, but his offense was never All-Star caliber, which is what the Rockies saw in him when signing him to a six-year, $70 million contract extension in 2022. In ’24, the offense has caught up. McMahon leads all NL third basemen with a .347 on-base percentage, he’s second in homers (14, tied with Jeimer Candelario) and batting average (.272), and he's third in slugging percentage (.454). Entering this season, it looked as though Nolan Jones and Ezequiel Tovar were the Rockies most likely to be named All-Stars soon, but it’s McMahon who is headed to Arlington with his first selection.

, Padres -- NL reserve outfielder

Merrill was a top-20 prospect in baseball per MLB Pipeline before making his big league debut with San Diego this season, ranked behind a pair of heralded Jacksons -- Holliday and Chourio. But of this Jackson trio, Merrill is the lone All-Star in 2024 thanks to a .774 OPS with 12 home runs and 10 steals to go along with strong defense in center field. The 27th overall pick in the '21 Draft joins four other Padres, including fellow surprise All-Star Profar, in Arlington for the Midsummer Classic. And the 21-year-old made history in the process, becoming the youngest player in Padres history to be named an All-Star, as well as the first rookie.

, Giants -- NL reserve outfielder

Every year from 2018-21, Ramos was ranked on MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 Prospects list. But his potential didn’t materialize over his first several stints in the Majors with the Giants. From 2022-23, he posted a .470 OPS in 82 Major League plate appearances. But this season has been drastically different, with Ramos finally performing like the player the Giants had hoped he would be. The 24-year-old outfielder has an .887 OPS with 12 homers, all the while putting together an impressive quality-of-contact profile at the plate. Success in the Majors didn’t come immediately for the 19th overall selection in the 2017 Draft, but it’s here now, and Ramos is an All-Star.