Bryce Harper hugs Aaron Judge during Monday’s Home Run Derby in Miami. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Baseball’s All-Star Game never stopped being fun, but Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper has an idea that he thinks could make the Midsummer Classic even more entertaining. It doesn’t involve him participating in the Home Run Derby every year or MLB reestablishing the rule that awarded home-field advantage in the World Series to the team from the league that won the All-Star Game from 2003 to 2016. In fact, Harper would be fine doing away with the American League vs. National League format.

“It’d be great if we saw, say, the two leading vote-getters, you’d get the list of players that got voted in by the fans and then you do a draft system and you draft both sides,” Harper said during Monday’s media availability. “So, I could be facing Max Scherzer today. I mean, nobody sees that. It would be a lot of fun to be able to do something like that, make it a little bit more competition that you’re facing somebody on your team, or something like that, where [Clayton] Kershaw is facing Justin Turner, or Chris Sale is facing Mookie Betts, something like that. That’d be a lot of fun.”

Other leagues have used a draft format to try to spice up their all-star games in recent years. The NHL had captains pick teams in 2011, 2012 and 2015, while the NFL abandoned the traditional NFC vs. AFC format and had former players draft teams for the Pro Bowl from 2014 to ’16.

This year, Harper led all National League players with more than 4.6 million votes, while Yankees rookie Aaron Judge led American League players with nearly 4.5 million votes. It’s too late for Harper and Judge to draft teams for this year’s game, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do it for them.

The Draft

Team Neil Greenberg/Aaron Judge
GM bio: Quit his 16-team rotisserie fantasy baseball dynasty league with a “very high” buy-in price when it became so competitive that owners started scouting high school players.
Draft strategy: Get the most value at every position.

Team Scott Allen/Bryce Harper
GM bio: 
Should probably quit his eight-team National League-only rotisserie fantasy baseball keeper league after not winning a title in 11 seasons.
Draft strategy: Have fun.

Team Greenberg/Judge won a coin flip to decide who got the first pick. The draft proceeded in a snake fashion until both teams had filled the following positions: C (1), 1B (1), 2B (1), 3B (1), SS (1), OF (5), 2B/SS (1), 1B/3B (1), UTIL/DH (1), SP (6), RP (3).


Team Greenberg: Chris Sale
Team Allen: Mookie Betts
Team Allen: Jose Altuve
Max Scherzer
Justin Turner
Clayton Kershaw
Giancarlo Stanton
George Springer
Buster Posey
Gary Sanchez
Charlie Blackmon
Jose Ramirez
Corey Kluber
Carlos Correa
Daniel Murphy
Paul Goldschmidt
Corey Seager
Ryan Zimmerman
Lance McCullers Jr.
Chris Archer
Josh Harrison
Kenley Jansen
Nolan Arenado
Corey Dickerson
Stephen Strasburg
Yu Darvish
Cody Bellinger
Michael Conforto
Jonathan Schoop
Andrew Miller
Craig Kimbrel
Joey Votto
Chris Devenski
Miguel Sano
Zack Greinke
Roberto Osuna
Alex Wood
Robbie Ray
Justin Smoak
Marcell Ozuna
Corey Knebel
Jason Vargas

Analysis: Team Greenberg features a lot of value and all of the Coreys. Team Allen has more fun, great hair and a better bullpen. To Harper’s point, there would be several intriguing one-on-one matchups if these two teams faced off. Not only would Harper get to play alongside teammates Zimmerman and Murphy, he would also potentially get to face Scherzer and Strasburg. Sale might pitch to Betts to lead off the game. Selecting Gary Sanchez that early in the draft should only add to the speculation about whether Harper is New York-bound after the 2018 season.

Team Allen
C: Gary Sanchez
1B: Ryan Zimmerman
2B: Jose Altuve
3B: Nolan Arenado
SS: Carlos Correa
OF: Bryce Harper
OF: Mookie Betts
OF: Giancarlo Stanton
OF: Charlie Blackmon
OF: Justin Smoak
2B/SS: Daniel Murphy
1B/3B: Cody Bellinger
DH: Miguel Sano

SP: Clayton Kershaw
SP: Lance McCullers Jr.
SP: Yu Darvish
SP: Zack Greinkie
SP: Robbie Ray
SP: Jason Vargas
RP: Kenley Jansen
RP: Andrew Miller
RP: Craig Kimbrel

Team Greenberg:
C: Buster Posey
1B: Paul Goldschmidt
2B: Josh Harrison
3B: Justin Turner
SS: Corey Seager
OF: Aaron Judge
OF: George Springer
OF: Marcell Ozuna
OF: Corey Dickerson
OF: Michael Conforto
2B/SS: Jonathan Schoop
1B/3B: Jose Ramirez
DH: Joey Votto

SP: Chris Sale
SP: Max Scherzer
SP: Corey Kluber
SP: Chris Archer
SP: Stephen Strasburg
SP: Alex Wood
RP: Chris Devenski
RP: Roberto Osuna
RP: Corey Knebel

So which team is better?

To find out who would win this fantasy all-star game, each player’s wins above replacement (WAR) during the first half of the season is prorated for the rest of the year, using 600 plate appearances for hitters and 200 innings for pitchers. Then, the total fWAR (139.8 for Neil’s team, 120.9 for Scott’s) was translated to team wins, which was then used in the log5 formula popularized by Bill James, telling us how often one team would win against the other. In this case, the 19 fWAR difference gives Neil’s team a 62.3 percent chance of winning a head-to-head matchup.