Which White Sox players are in the running for an All-Star appearance?

It’s May 17, the All-Star Game is slightly under two months away. It is far too early to seriously ask this question (featured in the headline, for reference). However, are we ever seriously asking this question? Besides, the ballots are out, the very worst votes are already being submitted and there’s no stopping them. Some loyal soul is voting Braves at every position and submitting that ballot with pride as we speak. It’s time to catch up.

Chris Sale

He will make it. He’s off to the most superficially excellent start of this career (first in the AL wins, second in ERA, first in innings), his peers have either aged (Felix Hernandez, Justin Verlander), fled the league (Max Scherzer), or gotten off to slow starts they will be hard-pressed to catch up to him after (David Price, Corey Kluber and Dallas Keuchel). The question is not whether he makes it, but whether he starts, whether he is steaming toward a Cy Young. Things are going alright for him, all factors considered.

All-Star chances: 90 percent (Stuff happens).

Jose Quintana

The benefits of a barren AL pitching field are doubly important for Quintana, who is trying to push his way from ‘virtually anonymous’ to All-Star relatively swiftly. Let’s go out on a limb and say that if Quintana is still leading the AL in ERA by the All-Star Break, he’ll find his way in. But assuming he’s not getting rapidly better in perpetuity, he should regress to the mid-2.00s by the break. That Josh Donaldson quote from three weeks back suggests he’s not quite revered around the league yet, and while he’s deserving, the Sox staying out ahead in the AL Central could play a big role in the plaudits he earns for his role in their success.

All-Star chances: 60 percent (Deserves to be there but lacks intangibles)

David Robertson

He is the closer on a good team. He is currently third in the AL in saves behind only Steve Cishek and Shawn Tolleson, the latter of whom has an ERA over 7.00. While the strikeout numbers are down a bit from his absolute peak, Robertson maintains a 1.23 ERA (which could spike on any given day) and a sterling career reputation. They allow way too many of these guys to go anyway.

Robertson’s attack method is at least bizarre enough that putting him on a national stage would be worth the viewing, rather than sending every team’s generic hard throwing fastball/slider righty who’s off to a hot start.

All-Star chances: 40 percent (Bonus to those who can guess what starter he bumps out)

Nate Jones

Jones has been good, but this is mostly to test whether this year’s team has really gone reliever crazy or if the Sox are on pace for 110 wins by July.

All-Star chances: Five percent

Jose Abreu

First base is typically not the position where a long offensive slump can still allow for an All-Star game appearances. Abreu made the team in his undeniable rookie season but is hardly a mainstay, and it would take a herculean hot streak to overtake Eric Hosmer, Chris Davis, Byung-Ho Park, or someone who really does have name brand recognition, like Miguel Cabrera. He’s capable, but it’s been too long to have faith such a burst is coming.

All-Star chances: Let’s say eight percent just to be different.

Brett Lawrie

What a strangely loaded position. Jose Altuve needs to be the All-Star starter, even though this creates a world where Robinson Cano is a bench addition. Meanwhile, Ian Kinsler‘s bat refuses to age and Logan Forsythe was murdering the ball before his shoulder acted up. Lawrie is closer to the tier of Jason Kipnis and Dustin Pedroia, and neither of those guys have a .381 BABIP or the 11th-highest strikeout rate among all qualified hitters. Lawrie only recently ceded the lead for best overall batting line on the White Sox, plays a difficult defensive position and he has no chance. None.

All-Star chances: One percent. Obviously there’s always a chance.

Todd Frazier

This is a similar situation. Frazier has been nails for the Sox, stabilizing their infield defense, fortifying the middle of their order by clubbing a league-leading 12 home runs, hitting an absurd .417/.423/1.000 in 26 plate appearances in “late and close” situations, and somehow managing a 128 OPS+ despite a .206 BABIP so far. That said, he is not Manny Machado, the reigning AL MVP still plays third base and did not fall off a cliff, and Nick Castellanos and Travis Shaw both have OPS’ over .940 so far.

Maybe being near the top of the league in homers and RBI could vault Frazier, and he did win the Home Run Derby last season, but making the All-Star game for undercooked reasons is becoming a less and less reliable path.

All-Star chances: 15 percent. Does being re-invited to the Home Run Derby count? If so, 50 percent.

Adam Eaton

Yesterday, I said Eaton should make the All-Star Game, but there are a lot of AL outfielders having better offensive years. Even wRC+, which gives the most credit to his on-base skills, has him no better than 10th in the league. There’s a significant gap after Eaton (.396) and Mike Trout (.406) in the on-base percentage, but Jackie Bradley Jr. is probably a more skilled outfielder, only 20 points behind in OBP and is second in the AL in slugging. Even if you’re not a JBJ believer, that’s a gap that might take a bit of time to even out. Josh Reddick is having a very similar offensive year (.316/.386/.449) as Eaton, but has been a revered corner outfield defender for years, not just a few weeks.

So there’s a bit of narrative to Eaton’s bid. You have to buy into his nutty early defensive results a bit, and the idea of him being the best position player on a surprising division leader still needs to be carrying water in a month. Then again, these teams will carry as many as eight outfielders at times, and there are injury replacements to think about.

All-Star chances: 60 percent.

Melky Cabrera

For the most part, Melky is a slightly worse Eaton at the plate in the 31-year-old body of a passable, if not poor, corner outfielder. He has the highest BB/K ratio in the American League, but if he gets in, it’s because the White Sox are 10 games up at the break and their whole roster is getting voted in Royals-style.

All-Star chances: 14 percent.

Avisail Garcia

There is a two percent chance that everything you understood about baseball pre-2016 is wrong and has always been wrong and will always be wrong.

All-Star chances: Two percent.

Lead Image Credit: Anthony Gruppuso // USA Today Sports Images

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