The Atlanta Braves' roster is loaded with high-end talent from top to bottom. Most of their lineup has guys at or near the top of the league at their respective positions, their rotation has a mix of experience levels that have all put together great seasons and great performances in their careers, and the bullpen may be the best one in the league on paper. It is a good time to be a Braves fan.
Generally speaking, the team's success has led to the Braves being very well represented in the All-Star Game in recent years. Having really good players in front of a rabid fanbase that will vote their brains out is a pretty good recipe to get a bunch of guys into the ASG. Ronald Acuna Jr., Austin Riley, Ozzie Albies, Travis d'Arnaud, William Contreras, Max Fried, Dansby Swanson, and Freddie Freeman have all been named All-Stars in recent years.
That is why it is somewhat surprising that there are still so many really good players on the Braves that have yet to make their first All-Star Game. Below are seven guys who certainly have the talent to make it in and, with a good start to the season, should have a good chance of getting their first All-Star nod.
Michael Harris II
The reigning NL Rookie of the Year definitely deserves to be at the top of the list as Harris just does so much on a baseball field. He hits for power, he can hit, he can and will run, and he is already one of the better defenders in the league in center field. The outfield vote for the ASG has a lot of competition already with Ronald Acuna Jr., Juan Soto, Mookie Betts, and others. However, with a good first half, my suspicion is that Harris gets selected at least as a reserve
The second place finisher in the NL Rookie of the Year race may actually have a better shot of getting an All-Star nod simply because there are so many slots for pitchers on the ASG roster. Strider has a lot of things going for him here as he has eye popping counting stats when he is on (he may be a heavy favorite to lead the NL in strikeouts this year), his stuff gets a lot of attention nationally, and he is popular amongst Braves fans. While the pitching side is often where bad teams get their token All-Stars, if Strider has a good first half...he may be a lock for his first All-Star game.
I was a bit surprised to find out that Sean Murphy hadn't made an All-Star roster yet, and then I remembered he played in Oakland, he hasn't been in the league all that long, he hasn't put up an eye popping offensive season, and he has been up against guys who have like Salvador Perez and Alejandro Kirk. Willson Contreras will probably be tough to knock out of the starting spot in the National League, but Murphy should get the bulk of the playing time behind the plate for the Braves and if he plays well, he has a really good chance at a reserve spot.
Getting a reliever in is tricky because, again, these are the spots where MLB likes to give teams with small markets and bad rosters an All-Star. You have to be at or very near the top of the best relievers in the league to have a realistic shot. However, Iglesias was that good after coming over from the Angels at the trade deadline. It is going to require the Braves to play well since saves are inexplicably still a stat that matters to those voting, but Raisel has the talent to do it.
As good as AJ Minter is, I fear he may be a long shot even though the odds are longer than they should be. All of the above reasons as to why it could be tough for Raisel apply to Minter and on top of that, it is likely that Iglesias is going to have the "closer" label edge over AJ. I would not be shocked if AJ was the better pitcher at the All-Star break than Iglesias, but he is going to have to be REALLY good to get in if he isn't getting the bulk of the save chances as unfair as that may be.
Probably the longest shot of the bunch, but also the one that the Braves are hoping for the most. Replacing Dansby Swanson is no small feat, but Vaughn is a talented guy on, presumably, a really good Braves team. He is going to have to show he can be a capable defender at short and impact the ball more consistently than he did during his rookie season, but if everything goes well then Braves fans will support him.
There were plenty of folks that saw Kyle Wright's win total from last year and were dumbfounded that he didn't get more Cy Young vote love. While I am firmly not in that camp, the guy did pitch well last year and now it sounds like a shoulder issue that has bothered him for the last couple of the years is now behind him and he is even healthier this year. Pitchers can have an easier time given the number of slots, but the Braves already have, in my estimation, at least two other guys in Fried and Strider that are going to be better than Wright so it could be tough. Far from impossible, though.