On Sunday night the starters for the 2017 Major League Baseball All Star game were announced. Fan voting wrapped up Thursday night for the 88th mid-summer classic with Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals and Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees leading the way. More than 3.6 million votes were cast for Harper, while Judge, the Yankees’ young, power-hitting star had more than 3.4 million votes.
As of Sunday Judge currently leads all players with 27 home runs. Dodgers right fielder Cody Bellinger is close behind with 24. Bellinger has said he’s willing to participate in the Home Run Derby, provided his father can pitch to him. Judge has yet to say whether or not he’ll take part.
All Stars are selected via three different processes. First is the fan vote, a vote that determines the starters for each league. After the starters are named, players from all 30 teams vote to fill out the rosters, choosing eight pitchers and a backup player for every position. Finally the commissioner’s office steps in to name the last few players. They pick five American League players, seven in the National League (the National League is two players short thanks to AL team getting a Designated Hitter and a backup DH.) The inclusion of the commissioner’s office is a new development and takes the place of each league’s starting manager picking the last few players. It essentially wipes away the cloud of potential bias that hung over the decision.
Here are the starters for each league.
C: Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants
1B: Ryan Zimmerman, Washington Nationals
2B: Daniel Murphy, Washington Nationals
SS: Zack Cozart, Cincinnati Reds
3B: Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies
OF: Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals
OF: Charlie Blackmon, Colorado Rockies
OF: Marcell Ozuna, Miami Marlins
DH: Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks
C: Sal Perez, Kansas City Royals
1B: Justin Smoak, Toronto Blue Jays
2B: Jose Altuve, Houston Astros
SS: Carlos Correa, Houston Astros
3B: Jose Ramirez, Cleveland Indians
OF: Aaron Judge, New York Yankees
OF: George Springer, Houston Astros
OF: Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox
DH: Corey Dickerson, Tampa Bay Rays
Some of the closer races in the fan voting were at first base in the National League, with Zimmerman edging out Anthony Rizzo of the Cubs and Paul Goldschmidt of Arizona. It was close in the American League at first as well, with Smoak coming out ahead of Eric Hosmer of the Royals and Yonder Alonso. Third base was also close in both leagues. In the National League Kris Bryant of the Cubs saw his lead wiped out and was overtaken by Nolan Arenado of the Colorado Rockies, while in the American League, it had been a tight three-way race between Miguel Sano of the Twins, Jose Ramirez and Josh Donaldson of Toronto.
Mike Trout of the Angels, who is currently out with an injured thumb ligament, was picked to be a starter in the American League outfield. The race to replace him between Betts of the Red Sox and Michael Brantley of the Indians was tight up until the end.
This year’s game will feature two major changes in addition to the commissioner’s office sliding in to take heat off the managers. Rosters are smaller this year, with rosters going from 34 to 32 players. But the biggest change, and perhaps the most important and definitely the one people have been asking the league to make since it was put in place in 2002, is that the winner of this year’s game WILL NOT decide home-field advantage for the World Series.
The 2017 MLB All-Star Game is in Miami and it takes place on July 11.