The Case: Heim wasn’t an All-Star in 2022, but he had a legitimate case. Ultimately, voters chose former Ranger Jose Trevino for the back-up catcher spot instead. Heim outperformed Trevino offensively during the first half with a slash line of .262/.313/.467 compared to Trevino’s .252/.299/.415. Trevino made a stronger impact on the defensive side (specifically with his pitch framing) and was awarded the Platinum Glove after the 2022 season. As good as Trevino’s season was, no American League catcher has appeared in consecutive All-Star games since Salvador Perez in 2016 and 2017. Should we root for Heim to get snubbed again in 2023 so he can make the team in 2024?
The Case: Lowe recently won his first Silver Slugger and was one of the best hitters in the entire league through the last four months of the season. It remains to be seen whether his 2022 performance was a splash in the pan or a true sign of what’s to come. If Lowe begins the 2023 season in the same way that he finished 2022, he’ll be a near lock for a spot on the team.
Jon Gray hasn’t appeared in an All Star game through the first eight years of his career, but he would have a good chance of putting together a strong case as long as he could stay healthy. Gray went on the 10-day IL twice during April last year. He struggled through five starts in May, but found his groove in June. Through 11 starts between June 1st and July 27th, Gray won seven games and posted an ERA of 2.65. He limited opposing hitters to a .204 average and had a strikeout-to-walk ratio of four to one. Perhaps Gray would have received All-Star consideration in 2022 if he had stayed healthy and put together a successful string of starts like this before the teams were finalized.