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9 MLB players who should be first-time All-Stars at Dodger Stadium

Martin Perez is 6-2 with a 2.22 ERA through 15 starts.

At some point, everybody’s a first-time All-Star.

Oh, this year’s rendition of Major League Baseball’s in-season jewel event at Dodger Stadium will feature no shortage of old standbys, from Aaron Judge to Freddie Freeman to Justin Verlander. The hometown Dodgers should have plenty of representation, beginning with current outfield votes leader Mookie Betts. Yet while the network-friendly faces are key to any big game, it’s the new blood that can often invigorate it.

With that, USA TODAY Sports examines nine players who deserve a plane ticket to LAX (well, no one really deserves that fate) and a star turn in front of the baseball-watching public:

The Department of Obvious checks in to get this guy out of the way. Seems impossible that Alvarez, now in his fourth season, has yet to make an All-Star team, but he’ll qualify in style this year with a 1.081 OPS and .667 slugging percentage, which along with his 206 adjusted OPS leads the major leagues. AL MVP is Aaron Judge’s to lose, but here’s your honoree in the somewhat mortal category.

Martin Perez is 6-2 with a 2.22 ERA through 15 starts.

Martin Perez, SP, Rangers

Texas’ inspiring climb from ghastly to mediocre has been driven not by their half-billion dollar middle infield of Corey Seager and Marcus Semien but rather by pitching. Perez, 31, has been dominant, going 6-0 in his last 13 starts (the Rangers have won 11 of them) with a 1.79 ERA and just two homers allowed in 85 1/3 innings. Appropriate he goes as a Ranger after spending the first seven seasons of his career in Arlington.

Andres Gimenez was part of Cleveland's return in the Jan. 2021 trade that send Francisco Lindor to the Mets.

Andres Gimenez was part of Cleveland’s return in the Jan. 2021 trade that send Francisco Lindor to the Mets.

Andres Gimenez, 2B, Guardians

We’re not out here saying that Cleveland “won” the Francisco Lindor trade, just saying that Gimenez has been worth 3.0 WAR this season while Lindor is at 1.9. Oh, and Amed Rosario, packaged alongside Gimenez, is at 1.7 while regaining league average hitter form. But Gimenez, 23, has…

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