Which 2023 Seattle Mariners Players Should Be All-Stars?

The 2023 MLB All-Star Game will be held in Seattle this year, jam-packed with all the best players from either League. Seattle fans will surely make this an unforgettable weekend, from the Home Run Derby and the Celebrity Softball Game to the All-Star Game. The last time that Seattle hosted the All-Star game was in 2001, and all Mariners fans know how the 2001 season ended for the home team. Since Seattle is the hosting team, let’s review who may be the representative for Seattle this year. 

As a reminder, the fan vote is open in two phases. The first phase ending on June 22nd will determine the top two vote-getters for each position. From there, whoever has the most votes in that position will be. The commissioner’s office selects pitchers. 

Fan Favorite – Julio Rodriguez

To the average fan of the Seattle Mariners, they all know who Julio Rodriguez is. From his rocky start in his rookie season to now flirting with a 30 home run in 30 stolen base season, Rodriguez is an extremely promising outfielder with shades of Ken Griffey Jr. As it stands right now, Julio Rodriguez has received the ninth most votes amongst AL outfielders. Granted, he’s in the same League as Aaron Judge and Mike Trout, so the odds of him making it in on fan vote are slim. However, as I mentioned, Julio is on Pace to have 30 home runs and stolen bases. The only time the Mariners had a 30-30 player was Alex Rodriguez in 1998, when he had 42 home runs and 46 stolen bases. That is some Elite company! Regarding his Statcast, he’s in the top 8% of the League in exit velocity and the top 7% in the League and hard-hit percentage. I’ll eagerly watch the rest of Julio’s year to see if he can get to that magical 30-30 number. 

Dark Horse – Matt Brash

Matt Brash was called up to be a starter for the Mariners last year. He struggled with his command being one of the worst in walk rate, walking 33 batters in 50 innings the previous year. While his strikeout stuff was there, Brash struggled to keep his fireball under control. Going into this season, the Mariners noted this and moved him to the bullpen. Now, he leads all relievers in appearances (33). To go with that, he’s struck out 52 batters in 26.2 innings pitched. The walks have slowed, landing him around the middle of the pack for a walk rate. He has one of the best curveballs in the League, noted in the top 4% of all curve balls for spin rate, and he’s missing bats left and right, nesting in the top 3% for whiff percentage. While he’s not the best reliever on the team, his fastball-slider and curveball mix with the fantastic amount of movement his pictures have players mesmerized and fooled.

All-Star Selection – Paul Sewald

Paul Sewald is the most slept-on reliever in the League. Year after year, Sewald has been consistent, locking down the 9th inning for the Mariners since the end of the 2021 season. What’s excellent about Sewald is that his fastball averages 92 mph, three mph low the Major League average for fastballs. Typically, this would force a player out of the League nowadays, but his fastball-slider mix causes players to guess wrong every time. If you look at a Statcast page, he’s in the top 10% for every category, minus fastball velocity and chase rate. He’s 12 for 13 on Save opportunities this year with a 0.95 WHIP. Even with that slow fastball, opponents are batting .177 in 27.1 innings pitched. 

The Mariners have great talent this year, Headlined by the three players above. Regardless of who’s picked, I know Seattle and its fans will have fun hosting the 2023 All-Star game and its festivities.