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Five First-Timers Among All-Star Game Starters

Yankees' Aaron Judge, Braves' Ronald Acuna Jr. are top vote-getters.

If you think Major League Baseball is getting younger, you just might be right, especially at the star level of the game.

Five of the 18 position-player starters revealed Friday for the July 19 All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles are starters for the first time, with another four starting for the second time. Four teams — the host Los Angeles Dodgers, next-door neighbor Los Angeles Angels, MLB-leading New York Yankees, and Toronto Blue Jays — each landed a pair of starters.

 

All-Star Starters

 

Reserves and pitchers, 23 each for the American League and National League, will be announced Sunday. The starting pitchers will not be determined until the day before the game, although there is a lot of sentiment toward two L.A. guys the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw for the NL and the Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, selected as starting designated hitter for the AL.

Outfielders Aaron Judge of the Yankees and Ronald Acuña Jr. of the World Series champion Atlanta Braves were the leading vote-getters in the first of two phases of balloting and were given a pass through to starting status. First-timer starters are Miami Marlins second baseman Jazz Chisolm Jr., Dodgers shortstop Trea Turner and San Francisco Giants outfielder Joc Pederson for the NL and Toronto Blue Jays catcher Alejandro Kirk and Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson in the AL.

While half of the starters are first-timers, Angels’ center fielder Mike Trout leads all those announced with 10 All-Star appearances, with Houston Astros‘ second baseman Jose Altuve and St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt next with eight trips to the Mid-Summer Classic.

Bryce Harper, the Philadelphia Phillies star picked as the NL’s DH is injured and will not be able to play. He will be replaced in the starting lineup.

Earlier Friday, two iconic players, Cardinals designated hitter Albert Pujols and Detroit Tigers DH Miguel Cabrera, were named as special selections for the All-Star Game. Under the collective bargaining agreement that ended the owners’ lockout in March, the Commissioner’s Office has the ability to add one legacy pick in each league.

Pujols has said he will retire after this season, while Cabrera said he will hang up his spikes at the conclusion of his current contract, which is after the 2023 season. Pujols and Cabrera each have more than 3,000 hits and 500 homers.

 

Photos by Icon Sportswire and Wikimedia Commons | Adapted by Justin Redler (@reldernitsuj on Twitter)

Steve Drumwright

Steve Drumwright is a lifelong baseball fan who retired as a player before he had the chance to be cut from the freshman team in high school. He recovered to become a sportswriter and have a successful journalism career at newspapers in Wisconsin and California. Follow him on Twitter @DrummerWrites.

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