December 2, 2023

Brighton Journal

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2023 MLB Rookie All-Star

2023 MLB Rookie All-Star

The starters are locked in for the 2023 MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard, scheduled for July 11 in Seattle.

The Braves Ronald Acuna Jr. and the Angels formerly Shohei Ohtani received automatic starting bids by virtue of their leadership in the NL and AL, respectively, in votes during first round balloting, and the rest of the freshmen elected in the 93rd Midsummer Classic. At T-Mobile Park was announced Thursday night on ESPN.

Nine different clubs are represented among this year’s junior teams, led by Rangers with four. The Braves and Dodgers are tied for the NL lead with three starters, and the Rays and Angels also have several starters. Eight players won the fan vote for the first time in their careers, including a pair of rookies.

The full All-Star rosters, including pitchers and reserve players for both teams, will be announced at 5:30 PM ET on ESPN on Sunday, July 2. The pitchers and reserves will be decided – a total of 23 players per side. Through the “Player’s Ballot” choices and those made by the Commissioner’s Office.

Here are the All-Star players (all stats entering Thursday’s games):

NL: Sean Murphy, ATL (first election)
One of three Atlanta players to earn a spot in the NL’s starting lineup, Murphy defeated the Dodgers’ Will Smith and would become the fifth Braves catcher to start the All-Star Game, joining Del Crandall, Joe Torre, Javy Lopez, and Brian McCann. In his first season after being traded from the A’s to the Braves, Murphy hit . 289 with 13 homers, 44 RBIs, and . 926 OPS over 60 games.
Runner-up: Will Smith, LAD

AL: Jonah Heim, TEX (first choice)
After going nine straight All-Star games without a start — Hunter Pence was voted into the DH in 2019 but missed out due to injury — the Rangers have four leading players in the NBA this year. Heim won a close battle with Adley Rutschman of the Orioles to secure the starting spot behind the plate for the AL. The 28-year-old is one of baseball’s best catchers and has stepped up his game on offense this year, hitting . 279 with 11 homers and . 800 OPS over 284 games with the top-scoring Majors.
Runner-up: Adley Rutschman, BAL

NL: Freddie Freeman, LAD (4th election)
Heading off Freeman Matt Olson in a game between former and current Braves captain, he earned his first All-Star nod since signing with the Dodgers and the fourth of his career. The 33-year-old, who hits . 317 with 14 homers, 27 MLB doubles and 0.938 OPS this season while appearing per game, will become the first Dodgers player to start an All-Star Game since Steve Garvey in 1980.
Runner-up: Matt Olson, ATL

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AL: Yandy Díaz TB (first election)
Prior to 2023, Evan Longoria, Carl Crawford and Corey Dickerson were the only Rays position players to start the All-Star Game, but the club would add two more to the roster after Díaz and Randy Arozarena each won the fan vote. Diaz helped the Rays achieve MLB’s best record this season, hitting . 322 with an AL-leading . 407 on-base percentage and 12 home runs in 68 games.
Runner-up: Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Tor

NL: Luis Arraez, MIA (first election)
400 batting average, he would become the Marlins’ first baseman to start the All-Star Game. Jazz Chisholm Jr. won the fans vote at second base a year earlier, also against the Braves’ Ozzie Alpes, but an injury kept him from participating in the game. The 26-year-old Arraez currently hits .396 with MLB-leading .447 OBP.
Runner-up: Ozzie Alpes, ATL

AL: Marcus Semien, TEX (second election)
Having started at second base for the AL All-Star team as a member of the Blue Jays in 2021, Semien will do the same this year while representing the Rangers, having defeated incumbent Toronto captain Whit Merrifield in a fan vote. In his second season with Texas, Semien hit . 282 with 11 homers, 55 RBIs, and an AL-leading 65 runs, helping the Rangers take control of first place in the AL West. Only two Rangers have ever started an All-Star Game at second base: Julio Franco in 1989 and Alfonso Soriano in 2004.
Runner-up: Whitt-Merryfield, Tor

NL: Nolan Arenado, STL (fifth election)
After losing the fan vote to San Diego’s Manny Machado a year ago, Arenado will return to his familiar role as the starting third baseman in the Premier League. This will be the fifth time he has occupied that spot in the past six All-Star Games. Now an eight-time All-Star, Arenado rebounded from a slow start to hit . 311 with 13 homers, 35 RBIs and a . 985 OPS over his past 40 games.
Runner-up: Austin Riley, ATL

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AL: Josh Jung, TX (first election)
By defeating the Blue Jays’ Matt Chapman, Jung is set to become the first Rangers rookie to start an All-Star Game since the franchise moved to Texas in 1972. The youngster leads all rookies in NLs (16), RBIs (47) And scored points (55) this season.
Runner-up: Matt Chapman, Tor

NL: Orlando Arcia, ATL (first election)
In a league with shortstops like Francisco Lindor, Xander Bogaerts, Trea Turner and Dansby Swanson, it will be Arcia who gets the starting nod to the NL All-Star team. The veteran earned the spot by posting a .303/.358/.436 slash with six homers and 26 RBI over 59 games for the Braves.
Runner-up: Francisco Lindor

AL: Corey Seager, TX (first election)
After less than two years of splurging on free agency and signing Semien and Seager to contracts totaling $500 million in guaranteed money, the Rangers will see the duo form the AL’s primary quarterback in this year’s All-Star Game. Seager made up for lost time after missing 31 games with a hamstring injury earlier this season, slashing 342/.394/.627 with nine more hits, 18 doubles and 44 RBI over 38 games since returning from IL in May. He would join Toby Hara (1976) and Alex Rodriguez (2002, 2003) as the only Rangers present to start the All-Star Game.
Runner-up: Bo Bichette, TOR

NL: JD Martinez, LAD (2nd election)
Martinez enjoyed a rejuvenated season in Los Angeles, hitting 18 batters—twice as many as in the previous year—with 51 RBI and a 0.571 slugging percentage over 63 games. Although this is the second time Martinez has won a fan vote, it will also be his third All-Star start, as he drew the starting nod at DH in the AL as a replacement for Hunter Pence in 2019.
Runner-up: Bryce Harper, PHI

AL: Shuhei Ohtani, Los Angeles (3rd election)
Otani catapulted himself to the automatic starting berth by leading the AL in votes during Phase 1 All-Star balloting, earning his third consecutive DH start for the AL team. The two-way star looks better than ever at the plate in 2023, leading the Majors in homers (28), slugging percentage (. 659) and OPS (1.048) over 80 games.
Runner-up: Brandon Belt, Tor

Mookie Bates, LAD (4th election)
One of the most decorated players of his generation, Betts (20 HR, .869 OPS) continues to rack up accolades, earning his seventh consecutive All-Star selection dating back to 2016 (there was no All-Star Game in 2020). This will be Bates’ fifth All-Star start and fourth for Fan’s Choice.

Corbin Carroll, Arizona (first election)
Carroll captivated the baseball world with his dynamic skills all season, playing a pivotal role in Arizona’s sudden success by hitting . 292 with 17 homers, 24 steals, and scoring 60 runs in 78 games. Now, he’s slated to become the first rookie D-back to start the All-Star Game, and home in Seattle to boot.

Runner-up: Michael Harris II, ATL; Lourdes Gurriel Jr. , AZ

Mike Trout, Los Angeles (10th election)
After making his All-Star team debut as a reserve in 2012, Trout has won fans’ votes every year since, even though he hasn’t actually appeared in the Midsummer Classic since 2019 due to injuries. The three-time AL MVP hit .254 with 17 homers and .849 OPS in 76 games this season.

Randy Arzarena, TB (first election)
Arozarena now has an All-Star selection on his resume to go with the 2021 AL Rookie of the Year award and his postseason records for hits and home runs, both of which he set in 2020. The 28-year-old put up a career-best .401 OBP with 14 homers and 54 RBIs over 79 games in 2023.

Aaron Judge, New York (5th election)
Judge hasn’t played since injuring his toe while hitting a fence to make a stunning catch at Dodger Stadium on June 3, so he needs a replacement on the roster. However, the extended absence did not prevent Judge from winning the fan vote for the fifth time. The reigning AL MVP recorded 19 homers, 40 RBIs, and a 1.078 OPS in 49 games before going to IL.

Runner-up: Yordan Alvarez, HOU; Adolis García, TEX; Kevin Kiermayer, TOR