Had there been a 2020 All-Star Game, Juan Soto and Trea Turner almost certainly would've found their way to Dodger Stadium to join the rest of baseball's best for a couple of days. But with no Midsummer Classic during a 60-game season that didn't even begin until late July, Soto and Turner are left to be honored in a different fashion for their standout performances this season: Soto was named tonight as a 2020 All-MLB first-team outfielder, while Turner was recognized as one of three finalists at shortstop.
Soto, who led the majors in on-base percentage, slugging percentage and OPS during the shortened season, was a first-team selection, joining Mike Trout and Mookie Betts in being deemed the sport's three best outfielders in 2020.
Turner, who led all MLB shortstops in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and OPS, finished third in voting behind first-team choice Fernando Tatis Jr. and runner-up Corey Seager.
Major League Baseball created this honor in 2019, seeking a way to recognize players' full-season performances, given All-Star picks only take into account first-half performance. So in a year with no All-Star Game, the All-MLB Team stands as the only comprehensive judgment of a player against those from the same position.
Soto was a no-brainer choice to make the starting outfield, even with the overwhelming depth of talent at the position. The now 22-year-old slugger was a beast at the plate in 2020 despite missing 13 games (eight due to what he believes was a false positive test for COVID-19, five due to a sore elbow).
Soto won the National League batting title with a .351 average and led the majors in on-base percentage (.490), slugging percentage (.695) and OPS (1.185). Only Ronald AcuÃ±a Jr. bested his home run rate (one per 11.8 at-bats).
For what it's worth, Soto has yet to be named to an All-Star team despite twice finishing in the top 10 in MVP voting and finishing runner-up for Rookie of the Year in another season.
Turner, likewise, still seeks his first All-Star selection, but he'll settle for this recognition after putting together the best season of his career (albeit in only 60 games). The 27-year-old hit .335 with 12 homers, 41 RBIs, a league-leading 78 hits, .394 on-base percentage, .588 slugging percentage and .982 OPS.
All of that was good enough to earn Turner a seventh-place finish in MVP balloting, though he lost the Silver Slugger Award for NL shortstops to Tatis.