We all knew Aaron Judge would be making the trip to Miami for next week’s All-Star Game. On Sunday, it was revealed that four teammates will join him. Here’s a breakdown of each of the five 2017 Yankees All Stars.
A Refresher on the 2017 New York Yankees All-Stars
Catcher Gary Sanchez (Reserve)
2017 Stats- .382 On-Base pct., 13 HR, 40 RBI
On July 2, Gary Sanchez was named to his first All-Star Game. Fittingly, he signed with the Yankees exactly nine years earlier, in 2009. After toiling around in the minors for years, Sanchez finally proved his promise after being called up for good in 2016. He went on a tear, hitting 20 home runs and driving in 42 in just 53 games. Sanchez also just announced he will be participating in the Home Run Derby.
Getting the nod this year was very impressive, as Sanchez missed most of April and has only played in 53 games. However, he ranks near the top in most offensive categories for catchers.
Second Baseman Starlin Castro (Reserve)
2017 Stats- .313 AVG, 92 Hits, 12 HR
Previous ASG Appearances- 2011, 2012, 2014
Starlin Castro was in the midst of a breakout season in his second campaign for the Yankees before going down on June 26 due to a Grade 1 strained right hamstring. He did take batting practice on Saturday, suggesting there’s a possibility we see him play in Miami. This will be the fourth All-Star Game for the 27-year-old, his first since 2014 when he was still a member of the Cubs.
Castro was acquired by the Yankees from the Chicago Cubs following the 2015 season in exchange for long reliever Adam Warren. The Cubs were trying to push him out of town to give Addison Russell more playing time, explaining the cheap acquisition cost. The Yankees re-acquired Warren at the Trade Deadline last year as part of the trade that sent Aroldis Chapman west.
Right Fielder Aaron Judge (Starter)
2017 Stats- .329 AVG, 28 HR, 5.1 WAR
Before the season, there was a question if Judge would earn the starting job in right field. A few months later, he’s heading to the All-Star game as the American League’s leading vote-getter. Upwards of 4,000,000 fans voted for the monstrous slugger. As of July 4, Judge leads the American League in home runs (28), RBI (63), on-base percentage (.447), and walks (58). He will also participate in the Home Run Derby, much to the delight of many a Yankee fan.
Born and raised in Linden, California, Judge was initially drafted by the Athletics in 2010 (31st round) after completing high school. He declined their offer and decided to attend college at Fresno State. Three years later, the Yankees took Judge in the first round. He was called up in late 2016 and showed glimpses of excellence, but finished with a .179 average and a whopping 42 strikeouts in 27 games. What a difference one year can make.
Starting Pitcher Luis Severino (Reserve)
2017 Stats- 3.52 ERA, 16 Starts, 114 K
Like Judge, Luis Severino is leaps and bounds from where he was last year. In 2016, Luis went 0-8 with a 8.50 ERA in 11 starts. He was relegated to the bullpen and posted a sparkling 0.39 ERA in 23.1 innings. He came back in 2017 wanting to be a starter, and worked with Larry Rothschild on developing a slider. Increased pitch selection is a main reason why Severino has performed well in 2017. Having three pitches instead of two is a huge difference, especially for starters, who will see the same hitter twice or three times in one game.
Like Sanchez, Severino was signed by the Yankees out of the Dominican Republic. He played just two full seasons in the minors before being called up in 2015. At 23 years old, he is not even in his prime yet and has time to improve.
Relief Pitcher Dellin Betances (Reserve)
2017 Stats- 3.00 ERA, 50 K, 2.60 FIP
Previous ASG Appearances- 2014, 2015, 2016
2017 will mark Dellin Betances‘ fourth consecutive All-Star Game appearance. This call was a surprising one, as Betances has struggled in 2017, at least by his standards. He’s already issued 22 walks in 27 innings, after permitting only 28 in 73 frames last year. His 50 strikeouts are impressive, but pale in comparison to his first-half strikeout totals of the past few years: 84 in 2014, 77 in 2015, 78 last year. Even if his numbers are not that great, the players did vote him in, which means his stuff still looks just as nasty.
A neat fact about Betances is that he is a New York kid. Dellin attended grade school in lower Manhattan. The Yankees took a flier on him with their eighth-round pick in the 2006 draft. Despite being in the system for over a decade now, there are signs Betances may soon leave. Following his arbitration hearing in the spring, Yankees President Randy Levine publicly fumed that Betances should not be getting paid like a closer. Betances was rightly upset. Frustration about his contract status may be causing Betances to lose focus and could explain his early-season struggles.
Who are you most forward to seeing in the All-Star game?
Don’t forget to vote for Didi Gregorius in the Final Vote ballot. #SIRDIDI4SURE