The Yankees have had a rich history with the MLB All-Star Game. The team has sent at least three players to the Midsummer Classic in 24 of the last 25 years, and at least one player has started in 22 of those years. Two Yankees have won the All-Star Game MVP Award, which has helped the American League win 18 of the last 25 contests.
The Yankees will likely continue the legacy by sending at least four players to Cleveland this year. With fan voting having opened on Tuesday, let's take a look at who has the best case to represent the Yankees...
Even with Aaron Judge, who has started the last two All-Star Games, likely missing this year's event due to injury, the Yankees still look poised to have a player in the starting lineup. No catcher has even come close to matching Sanchez's production this season, as the Yankees' backstop will likely make his first All-Star start in his second selection to the game.
Sanchez leads AL catchers in home runs, extra-base hits, RBI, SLG and OPS. While his defense is the only knock on his game, he's head and shoulders above the rest of the AL catchers in every key offensive category.
Pitcher wins don't matter as much as they used to, but it would be hard to see MLB denying German -- the MLB wins leader -- entry to the game. Even though German's nine wins top all pitchers, the rest of his stats are merely above-average. He's 13th among AL pitchers in WAR and 17th in strikeouts. Still, German's unexpected rise should make him likely to make the team this year.
Chapman has been one of the best relief pitchers in baseball this past decade, and he should make his sixth All-Star team this year. He's second in the AL in saves and fourth among closers in strikeouts. There aren't many better options to close things out for the American League.
On the fence: Luke Voit, DJ LeMahieu, Gleyber Torres, Adam Ottavino and Masahiro Tanaka
The Yankees have a lot of candidates on the fence (such as the above four) who may need a little help from fan voting to beat their peers.
Although Voit has been arguably the team's best hitter this year, he faces some stiff competition at first base.
Hometown first baseman Carlos Santana could make the team on both merit and the team he plays for. Edwin Encarnacion is a former Indian and leads first basemen in home runs, and C.J. Cron has had a Voit-esque breakout for the Twins this year.
There may room for all of them if they split the DH reps, but Voit definitely deserves strong consideration.
LeMahieu has made two All-Star games before, and he has a good shot this year. He can play all over the diamond and is top-10 in the AL in hits and average. He won't start, but he's a good bench player for the squad.
Few positions are deeper in the AL than shortstop. That could make things difficult for Torres to crack the lineup. Hometown shortstop Francisco Lindor will likely start, and Tim Anderson, Jorge Polanco, Xander Bogaerts and Elvis Andrus have compelling cases. Torres has more home runs than any of them, but would only make the team as a second baseman, not a shortstop.
If Alex Cora is looking for more bullpen firepower, Ottavino would be a hard player to pass up. He has one of the best strikeout rates in the league and a minuscule .155 batting average against. There are closers ahead of him on the depth chart, but Ottavino has been an All-Star in every sense this season -- even as a setup man.
Tanaka always seems like an All-Star snub. He's only made one team in the past, but is a solid candidate again this year. He's top-15 among AL starters in WAR, innings pitched, strikeouts and ERA. There are flashier names, but Tanaka has been remarkably consistent this year.
Again, voting for the MLB All-Star Game opened earlier this week. If you want to send the Yankees to the Midsummer Classic, get out and vote here!