In 2022, reliever Jorge Lopez represented the Baltimore Orioles in MLB's All-Star game, tossing 2/3 of an inning while allowing zero baserunners. It was the fifth consecutive year the Orioles had just one representative (going back to 2017; there was no All-Star game in 2020). Before that, the Orioles sent Manny Machado, Matt Wieters, Mark Trumbo, Brad Brach, and Zack Britton to the Midsummer Classic in 2016, which was the team's most (5) since 1997.
For the first time since 2016, the Orioles could be poised to send multiple stars to the All-Star game. These are the Baltimore Orioles most likely to be All-Stars in 2023.
Adley Rutschman is primed to make his first All Star appearance for the Baltimore Orioles.
Finishing 2nd in Rookie of the Year voting and 12th in MVP voting, Adley Rutschman didn't make enough of an impact before the break to earn an All-Star nod last season. By July 17th, he was hitting just .222/.302/.420 with 5 HR in 46 games. In the next 67 games, Rutschman hit .275/.399/.462, ending the season with a .806 OPS, 128 OPS+, and 13 home runs.
Rutschman has already put himself in consideration for the best catcher in baseball. His 5.3 fWAR was the second highest at the position and led all American League catchers. Steamer projects Rutschman to repeat in 2023 with a 5.6 fWAR, which would be 5th among all players. An elite defender with a great bat, Rutschman would have to miss significant time, or significantly regress, to miss the 2023 All-Star game.
Félix Bautista could be one of the AL's top closers.
Replacing 2022 All-Star Jorge Lopez as the team's closer after the trade deadline, Félix Bautista could have the best chance to be the team's All-Star for a few reasons. First, the position is more represented than any hitting position. About six relievers per league make the All-Star team, so Bautista just has to be one of the six best relievers (maybe better, as reliever is also a popular pick for teams with no one else to represent). Second, Bautista may already be one of the best closers in the American League.
The 2022 AL All-Star team featured Emmanuel Clase, Liam Hendriks, Clay Holmes, Jorge Lopez, Jordan Romano, and Gregory Soto. This can be summarized as two of the best closers in baseball, two relievers who underperformed in the second half, a top-tier closer for the past three seasons, and a reliever who was traded to a National League team. There is plenty of room for Bautista to join the roster.
There are plenty of other strong relievers in the American League - Andres Munoz, John Schreiber, and Erik Swanson are a few notable relievers who could be first-time All-Stars in 2023. But in the second half of 2022, among relievers still in the AL, Bautista finished 4th in K/9 (13.7) and 4th in Saves (13). A full season of Bautista in the closer role could lead to 30+ saves and 13.0+ K/9 with a sub-3.00 ERA and FIP, which should earn him an All-Star nod.
Cedric Mullins is seeking to become a two-time All Star.
In 2021, Cedric Mullins broke out after struggling to stay in the majors in the previous seasons, hitting .291/.360/.518 with 30 home runs, 30 steals, and a 137 OPS+ while earning an All-Star selection, a Silver Slugger award, and ninth place in AL MVP voting. While he took a big step back in 2022, there's still a chance that the 28-year-old could reclaim some of the 30/30 magic.
Mullins still stole 34 bags last season, the third most in all of baseball. It came at the cost of 10 failed attempts, but perhaps with the expanded bases in 2023, Mullins could set a career high in steals. He also played excellent defense in 2022, finishing with 9 OAA and 5 DRS at a premium position.
After starting out slow with a .699 OPS to end June, he posted a .743 OPS for the rest of the season. Especially notable about his hitting is that he's a much better hitter without the shift than with it - a .643 OPS against the shift compared to a .901 OPS without the shift. While it's hard to say just how much of an impact the shift changes will have on players in 2023, these is reason to believe Mullins could have an offensive turnaround in 2023, once again becoming one of the best outfielders in the AL, worthy of an All-Star selection.
Gunnar Henderson is one of several Baltimore Orioles poised for a big season.
Currently ranked as the #2 prospect in baseball by MLB Pipeline, Henderson already looked pretty comfortable in his 34-game stint in 2022. He hit .259/.348/.440 with 4 home runs and a 123 OPS+. He had a 12.1 BB% and a 25.8 K%, which was lower than his AAA K% rate. If he can play like this in 2023, he'll be one of the top hitters in the lineup, but not necessarily an All-Star.
Henderson is an average defender at third, but he has a strong arm. He's strong in general, as his 53.7% hard hit rate shows. Should he stay at third, he could have a bright future at the position, which could help him reach the All-Star game. With his hard hit rate, Henderson should have a high slugging percentage in 2023. He hit too many ground balls in the majors, which is something he needs to clean up. More fly balls and line drives and Henderson is an extra base hit machine.
Here are some of his projected stats for 2023, according to Steamer: 139 G, .253/.344/.442, 125 wRC+, 21 HR, 4.1 fWAR. If he hits these projections, he'd be 4th in the American League in fWAR among third basemen. To be an All-Star in his rookie season, Gunnar will have to outperform his 2022 season and his 2023 projections. Regardless of whether it happens in 2023, Gunnar should have a few All-Star games in his future.
Which Baltimore Orioles will be All-Stars in 2023?
Simply put, I expect Adley Rutschman to be an All-Star. Sure, there are still good catchers in the AL - Alejandro Kirk, Jonah Heim, and Cal Raleigh, among others. But with Sean Murphy moving to the NL, it's even more likely that Rutschman could even start the All-Star game.
I'd also predict Félix Bautista to be an All-Star. His rookie season was very promising, and if the Orioles are an improved team in 2023, Bautista will rack up saves while recording a high strikeout rate. His path to the All-Star game is a bit harder simply due to the talent he's competing against, but I'd predict Bautista as one of the six best closers in the AL.
While it would not be surprising to see either in the All-Star game in 2023, Cedric Mullins and Gunnar Henderson will have a tougher time. For Mullins, he needs to continue his excellent defense and baserunning and return to his 2021 hitting form. Henderson will have a tough time as third base is a stacked position, especially in the AL. Both have the talent to make the roster, but only under the right circumstances are they likely to be selected to the 2023 All-Star game.