Now that baseball is back in full swing, we started thinking about the future. And there’s nothing more fun than projecting where today’s baseball stars will be playing three years from now, and predicting who the best players in each league will be. So here goes. The 2016 All-Star teams.
CF—Mike Trout—Los Angeles
The game’s brightest superstar is the leading vote-getter.
The newest wave of young shortstops hasn’t overtaken Reyes just yet.
With Baltimore the likely host of the 2016 game, Jones will receive the loudest ovation.
The old vet is still punishing pitchers.
3B—Evan Longoria—Tampa Bay
Longoria wins the closest vote in years, edging Robinson Cano who has just made the switch to third base.
Prince edges King Albert who is showing serious signs of decline.
C—Sal Perez—Kansas City
Defensively and offensively, the best catcher in the AL.
It's taken a while, but Jackson makes his first All-Star start.
Yes, Profar really is that good.
SP—David Price—Tampa Bay
The leap here is that Price is still pitching for the Rays in 2016. The assumption is that he and Longoria help usher in a new stadium that year.
Managers always seem to pick an old vet as a lifetime achievement award.
The rising star will soon be a perennial All-Star.
1B—Albert Pujols—Los Angeles
Still a machine, just not quite as efficient.
The Astros must have a representative and Altuve cost Elvis Andrus a spot.
The lone Red Sox is deserving in his own right.
3B—Robinson Cano—New York
He’s still getting used to third defensively, but his bat never takes a day off.
Although Cleveland has toyed with moving him to second, he can still pick it at short and is surprisingly the lone Indian.
Manny Machado and Alcides Escobar were shunned in favor of the second-year player.
OF—Wil Myers—Tampa Bay
Myers has given Tampa Bay fans — all 23,000 of them — a reason to cheer for three and half years now.
OF—Bubba Starling—Kansas City
Even after a stellar rookie season, Starling occasionally appears overmatched.
Twins fans most favorite player since Kirby Puckett.
No longer sees much time in the outfield, but one of the most feared hitters in the league.
OF—Alex Gordon—Kansas City
Fans in K.C. believe teammate Billy Butler was a better choice.
OF—Mason Williams—New York
The youngster has taken New York by storm.
The Rangers’ ace led the AL in wins in 2015.
King Felix cruising toward 200 career wins.
Anderson is one of the few players who missed the old stadium in Oakland. The new park is not nearly as pitcher-friendly.
He doesn’t hit triple digits in the ninth inning any longer, but hitters still ask for a day off when he pitches.
After two years of struggling with injuries, Sale is back in ace form.
Baltimore fans would love to see Bundy start the game.
The Brazilian is quickly becoming an ace in Chicago.
Best closer in the AL.
P—Taylor Guerrieri—Tampa Bay
Devastating curveball keeps hitters off balance.
P—David Robertson—New York
He’s very good, but he’s also following the legendary Mo Rivera. Not an enviable situation.
Introducing the leading vote getter in the NL, second only to Mike Trout of the Angels.
The anchor of the Pirates lineup will have finally led the club to a winning record by 2016.
Another batting title and MVP trophy would be good guesses for the face of the Reds.
Still one of the premier hitters in the NL.
C—Buster Posey—San Francisco
The only question will be how many MVPs Posey will have by the 2016 game.
Okay, so the chances of Stanton still residing in Miami in 2016 are slim, but he’ll be a good option for the manager’s choice for DH anyway.
3B—David Wright—New York
Anthony Rendon’s numbers will overshadow Wright’s, but the fans will vote for the New York veteran one more season to give him the start.
With few choices at the position, the veteran wins the fans vote.
With no real stars at the position, fans have begun to fall in love with Segura in Milwaukee.
No manager can resist calling on Strasburg to start the game now that there are no innings limit for the kid.
C—Yadier Molina—St. Louis
The Cardinals backstop makes his final appearance in an All-Star Game.
Without Posey in the league, Montero may have an All-Star start or two by then.
The rising star in Colorado moves from third to first for 2016.
His power and average will steadily rise every season for the next several years.
1B—Allen Craig—St. Louis
The hitting machine can’t seem to stay healthy enough to become the premier first baseman in the NL.
Moved off of short by Javier Baez, Castro will struggle at third before finding a home at second.
Ryan Zimmerman was moved to first base to accommodate Rendon who quickly becomes the best third baseman in the league.
Controversy: The NL manager shuns Andrelton Simmons of the Braves in favor of Cozart. (Obviously Tony La Russa has not returned.)
OF—Jedd Gyorko—San Diego
Youngster Christian Yelich of Miami may have a better argument, but the Padres must be represented.
Justin upstages his brother in Atlanta.
The veteran Rockie is still putting up big numbers at Coors Field.
Two-thirds of the Braves outfield will be represented.
OF—Oscar Tavares—St. Louis
The brightest rising star in the NL makes the team, but doesn’t get in the game.
P—Matt Cain—San Francisco
Cain is the unquestioned leader of the best staff in the NL.
P—Madison Bumgarner—San Francisco
The lefty is part of one of the best 1-2 punches in baseball.
P—Clayton Kershaw—Los Angeles
Now completely over a hip injury, Kershaw remains a Cy Young candidate.
Many fans would argue that Skaggs has better numbers than Strasburg and deserved to start. But his time will come.
P—Adam Wainwright—St. Louis
There are maybe four or five pitchers that deserve this spot, but the manager’s choice is the veteran from St. Louis.
P—Shelby Miller—St. Louis
The new ace of the Cardinals.
The Phillies have turned into an old, mediocre team, but Hamels is still nasty.
P—Zack Wheeler—New York
Fruits of the Mets rebuilding project are fully mature.
Still the best closer in the league. His career may rival Mariano Rivera’s without the postseason glory, of course.
We see him as an All-Star whether starting or finishing.
He piles up saves and his resume looks good at All-Star time.