The 2021 MLB All-Star Game will be full of talented players, despite some of them opting not to play.
The American League in particular has very talented hitters, led by MVP candidate Shohei Ohtani (who will start the game and hit leadoff).
After Ohtani, though, several players are capable and willing to make a strong impression all around the world with their play.
But these two under-the-radar contributors earned their All-Star berths with a lot of sweat, and they are good enough to decide the game in favor of the junior circuit.
2. Marcus Semien, 2B, Toronto Blue Jays
Semien has been the catalyst of one of the American League’s top offenses in 2021: the Toronto Blue Jays.
He has been Toronto’s leadoff hitter all year, but tonight, in the All-Star Game, he will bat sixth and will have the opportunity to do some damage, driving in runs.
Semien is perfectly capable of doing so.
For the year, he is hitting .277/.345/.528 with 22 home runs and 10 stolen bases.
— Around The Diamond (@_AroundDiamond) April 3, 2021
For the year, he has a very good .873 OPS, a sign that he can get on base and has some slug to his game.
Semien is on pace to easily surpass 100 runs scored, as he has 67 through the first half.
He also has 56 RBI and 21 doubles.
He is unlikely to play the entire game, as it usually happens in All-Star Games.
However, he will surely have two or three plate appearances to make an impression.
He is also very good defensively, and capable of playing second and shortstop.
He is surely one to watch for the Midsummer Classic.
1. Cedric Mullins, OF, Baltimore Orioles
When Baltimore Orioles outfielder Cedric Mullins started the MLB season on fire, many people thought he would cool off eventually.
That hasn’t been the case, however: far from it, actually.
At the All-Star break, Mullins is actually one of the best hitters in the AL, with a .314 average and a .921 OPS.
Overall, he is batting .314/.380/.541 with 16 home runs, 23 doubles, and three triples.
In another disastrous season for the Orioles, he has been one of the few bright spots.
His first-half performance earned him an All-Star spot, and due to Mike Trout’s absence due to injury, he will be among the AL starters.
Mullins will bat ninth and play center field, but make no mistake: there is more than just one way for him to impact the game.
Good morning everyone.
Cedric Mullins officially becomes an all-star tonight. pic.twitter.com/a8oVbuP4wY
— Jordan Mountkatzle (@NaturallyKatz11) July 13, 2021
He has the speed, the hitting ability, and the power to be a candidate for MVP honors in the Midsummer Classic if given enough chances.
Consider that he has more hits than Guerrero, with 106, in the season so far.
He is also second in the AL with his 16 steals.
Mullins is definitely a player to watch in the 2021 MLB All-Star Game.