Not only has Major League Baseball welcomed wave after wave of young, exciting players in recent seasons, but science and technology advances -- combined with testing conventional thinking -- are allowing more veteran players to remake and improve themselves. What all that means is there could be some deserving players left off All-Star rosters, particularly those with lesser brand-name recognition.
With that in mind, ESPN Insider takes a look at 10 players who ought to be first-time All-Stars, a fascinating list of breakout stars and successful reclamation projects (statistics are through games on May 30).
Ozzie Albies, 2B, Braves
Perhaps we should have seen this coming. As Mike Petriello noted before the season, players who debut at 20 or younger and post a wRC+ (weighted runs created plus) of 110 or better over at least 240 plate appearances, as Albies did a year ago, tend to become excellent players, often Hall of Famers. Albies has only improved as a 21-year-old, slashing .273/.316/.529 with 14 home runs and a 127 wRC+. The Braves entered the season with the game's top position-prospect, Ronald Acuna, who has lived up to the hype following his call-up, and Albies might as valuable an asset. The Braves are loaded.