New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge will start the All-Star Game on July 11 at Marlins Park after he was the leading vote-getter in the American League.
A 25-year-old rookie, Judge leads the American League in batting average (.327), home runs (27) and RBIs (62). He received 4.5 million votes, more than Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout and Houston Astros outfielder George Springer, the other two American League outfield starters.
"I'm looking forward to it ... go out there and enjoy the moment," Judge, who has still not decided if he will compete in the Home Run Derby, said on ESPN during the All-Star Selection Show.
Catcher Gary Sanchez and second baseman Starlin Castro were selected as reserve players, while starting pitcher Luis Severino and reliever Dellin Betances are on the American League's pitching staff.
Sanchez, who is batting .289 with 13 home runs and 40 RBIs in 51 games this season, and Severino, who is 5-4 with a 3.52 ERA in 16 starts with 114 strikeouts in 99 2/3 innings, made it to their first All-Star Games. Sanchez told the Bergen Record's Pete Caldera "there's a chance" he may compete in the Home Run Derby after receiving an invite.
Castro, who is hitting .313 with 12 home runs and 45 RBIs, was selected to his fourth All-Star Game, although it is unknown if he will play due to a Grade 1 hamstring strain.
Betances, who is 3-3 with a 3.12 ERA, made it to his fourth straight All-Star Game. The 29-year-old has six saves, seven holds and two blown saves in 29 outings this season.
Shortstop Didi Gregorius, who is hitting .310 with 10 home runs and 36 RBIs, is up for the final vote, joining Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts, Texas Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus, Kansas City Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas and Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Logan Morrison.
Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Justin Smoak, Astros second baseman Jose Altuve, Cleveland Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez and Astros shortstop Carlos Correa are the four infield starters. Salvador Perez of the Royals will start at catcher, while Corey Dickerson of the Rays will be the designated hitter.
If you guessed that the Yankees would have five All-Stars this season and that each of them would be under the age of 30, congrats!
Judge had to battle to make the Yankees roster out of spring training, and now the rookie is the leading vote-getter for the American League All-Star roster. Judge, who many thought had too many holes in his swing to be a big threat this season, has become must-see TV when he comes to the plate. The next question with Judge is whether he will participate in the Home Run Derby.
Sanchez got off to a slow start and then suffered an injury, resulting in a stint on the disabled list. Since, Sanchez has been absolutely on fire, putting to rest any notion that his rookie season was a fluke.
The only thing that slowed has Castro down is his current fate on the disabled list. Castro showed glimpses of All-Star performance in 2016, but this year he has been the model of consistency at the plate.
Severino was also a mystery coming into the season. Would he be a member of the rotation or was he better served as a reliever? The answer is readily apparent, as Severino has been the best pitcher in the Yankees' rotation over the course of the entire first half of the season.
Betances had been incredibly dominant this season, including a stint as the Yankees' closer while Aroldis Chapman was on the DL, until the last handful of appearances. Regardless, Betances has the ability to lock down innings and he'll surely be used by Terry Francona at some point in a high-leverage situation.
Gregorius continues to improve his overall game, and an All-Star appearance (which would be his first) might put his name on the game's map. Gregorius might be one of the most underrated players in the game, but Yankees fans know he is the glue of the roster.