Los Angeles Angels two-way standout Shohei Ohtani and San Diego Padres star Fernando Tatis Jr. head the list of players who were announced as All-Star Game starters on Thursday night after fan balloting.
Ohtani was voted to be the starting designated hitter for the American League for the July 13 game in Denver. Tatis will start at shortstop for the National League as the first San Diego position player voted to start the contest since Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn in 1998 and ’99.
It will be the first All-Star start for both Ohtani (major-league-leading 28 homers entering Thursday) and Tatis (26 blasts). Another first-time starter will be Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (26 homers), who will play first base for the AL and be one of three Toronto Blue Jays in the starting lineup.
The starters were announced Thursday night game after Phase 2 of voting. The opening phase narrowed the candidates to three at each position and nine in the outfield.
Guerrero received a major-league-best 75% of the votes at his position. Tatis was tops in the NL at 64 percent.
Injured Angels star Mike Trout (.333) landed one of the AL starting outfield spots, marking his ninth All-Star nod. However, he will miss the contest with a calf injury and will be replaced in the starting lineup.
St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Nolan Arenado (16 homers) made his return to Colorado to face the Rockies on Thursday night, and he will back in town again after being selected to the All-Star Game for the sixth time.
A couple mainstays will be behind the plate with the Kansas City Royals’ Salvador Perez (19 homers) starting for the AL and the San Francisco Giants’ Buster Posey (.330) starting for the NL. It will be the seventh All-Star appearance for both catchers.
Reigning NL MVP Freddie Freeman (17 homers) of the Atlanta Braves will be the first baseman, making his fifth appearance. Rounding out the NL infield will be first-time selectee Adam Frazier (.327), who will be the first Pittsburgh Pirates player to start at second base since Bill Mazeroski in 1967.
Atlanta outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. (22 homers) will be making his second All-Star appearance. Nick Castellanos (.346) and Jesse Winker (.325), both of the Cincinnati Reds, will join him as the starting NL outfielders with both making their first appearances.
Winker edged out Los Angeles Dodgers star Mookie Betts for the final NL outfield spot.
The New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge (18 homers) is one of the AL outfielders, making his third career appearances. The Blue Jays’ Teoscar Hernandez (11 homers) is in the game for the first time after narrowly edging the Minnesota Twins’ Byron Buxton for a starting berth.
Joining Guerrero in the AL infield is teammate Marcus Semien (20 homers) at second base and the Boston Red Sox duo of Xander Bogaerts (.329) at shortstop and Rafael Devers (20 homers) at third base. Bogaerts is making his third appearance while Devers and Semien are in the game for the first time.
The reserves and pitchers for both leagues will be announced on Sunday.
--Field Level Media