Astros and Nationals combine for 10 selections on inaugural All-MLB teams

Jack BaerWriter
Yahoo Sports

Recognizing that All-Star selections are a somewhat flawed way to identify the best players of a season season given that they only reflect first-half performances, MLB has come forward with two sets of All-MLB teams to recognize the true best of 2019.

Per MLB, a fan vote accounted for half of the decision-making, while a panel of experts handled the other half. There were no set numbers of nominees for each team or position, or an attempt to split the teams up by league. It is simply meant to recognize the best players at each position.

Unsurprisingly, it is the two teams that played in the World Series this year that lead the league in selections between the first and second teams. The Houston Astros beat out all teams with six total players (two first-team, four second-team), while the Washington Nationals contingent is smaller but more top-heavy at four (three first-team, one second-team).

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And, of course, there’s Mike Trout. Get ready to see him on this list many times going forward.

The 2019 All-MLB First Team

C: J.T. Realmuto, Phillies

1B: Pete Alonso, Mets

2B: DJ LeMahieu, Yankees

3B: Anthony Rendon, Nationals

SS: Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox

OF: Mike Trout, Angels

OF: Cody Bellinger, Dodgers

OF: Christian Yelich, Brewers

DH: Nelson Cruz, Twins

SP: Gerrit Cole, Astros

SP: Justin Verlander, Astros

SP: Jacob deGrom, Mets

SP: Max Scherzer, Nationals

SP: Stephen Strasburg, Nationals

RP: Kirby Yates, Padres

RP: Josh Hader, Brewers

Not many shockers here, especially if you were watching the starting pitching of the World Series. The two MVPs in Trout and Bellinger are here, as is Yelich — who some thought to be a deserving MVP as well — to round out one of the game’s most stacked positions.

Amazingly, Bellinger is the youngest player on this list at only 24 years old.

The Astros and Nationals account for four of the five starting pitchers, with Cole and Verlander leading the pack just like they did in the American League Cy Young race. deGrom is a more than worthy representative for the rest of the league.

Anthony Rendon's postseason run earned him a World Series ring, a likely bonkers payday and the nod in one of the most competitive All-MLB races. (Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Anthony Rendon's postseason run earned him a World Series ring, a likely bonkers payday and the nod in one of the most competitive All-MLB races. (Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Scherzer and Strasburg both made it here despite either not finishing second in the National League Cy Young voting, but, given that Cy Young votes are tallied before the postseason and how they shoved during the Nationals’ championship run, it makes sense they’d be considered among the top 5 for pitchers. The Nats will certainly be paying them like they are.

Also of note is Pete Alonso being named first-team as a rookie, a perfectly understandable distinction given his MLB-leading and rookie-record 53 homers in 2019.

The 2019 All-MLB Second Team

C: Yasmani Grandal, Brewers

1B: Freddie Freeman, Braves

2B: Jose Altuve, Astros

3B: Alex Bregman, Astros

SS: Marcus Semien, A's

OF: Ronald Acuña Jr., Braves

OF: Juan Soto, Nationals

OF: Mookie Betts, Red Sox

DH: Yordan Alvarez, Astros

SP: Zack Greinke, D-backs/Astros

SP: Hyun-Jin Ryu, Dodgers

SP: Jack Flaherty, Cardinals

SP: Charlie Morton, Rays

SP: Mike Soroka, Braves

RP: Aroldis Chapman, Yankees

RP: Liam Hendriks, A's

Here is where you see the backbone of the lineup the Astros rode to the World Series, as well as some young names who are only at the beginning their careers. Players like Soto, Acuña, Alvarez and Soroka — respectively 20, 21, 22 and 22 years old during the season — might just be getting started.

There’s also the matter of Flaherty, who wasn’t even in the zip code of All-Star territory in the first half with a 4.64 ERA 18 starts. His 0.91 ERA in 15 starts after the break rocketed him here and the Cardinals into the playoffs.

Bregman here is a bit of surprise given that he was second in AL MVP voting, but wasn’t even the top of position. But again, the Nationals’ postseason performance seems to be quite the booster, and in this case put Rendon in the top spot.

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