The Major League All-Star Game is quickly approaching at Progressive Field, the home of the Cleveland Indians. This game represents the halfway point of the Major League season. There have been some major standouts in the first half. Some have received lots of attention, where others have had impressive numbers under the radar. With July 9th coming up quickly, let’s take some time to get to know the National League All-Star starters.
The NL All-Star roster is loaded. pic.twitter.com/z6WNi7uF6x
— MLB (@MLB) June 30, 2019
2019 National League All-Star Starters
Catcher: Willson Contreras, Chicago Cubs
Willson Contreras has put together quite the first half in the National League Central for the Chicago Cubs. Contreras is slashing .285/.380/.556 with 17 HR and 48 RBI. More importantly, he is receiving, blocking, and throwing out runners well. Contreras has thrown out 31% of would-be base stealers this year. Willson Contreras owned 44.6% of the fan voting to grab him his second appearance in the All-Star Game. Contreras showcases a powerful swing, a strong throw down to second base, and a guy who enjoys playing the game of baseball.
First Base: Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves
Freddie Freeman is no rookie to being named an All-Star. In fact, this is his fourth selection to the All-Star game. Freeman has slashed .312/.399/.592 with 22 HR and 65 RBI during the first half of 2019 for the Atlanta Braves. It is truly impressive that he can hit for such a high average while putting up such productive power numbers. Freeman fields the ball well at first base as well. He is currently holding a .995 fielding percentage in his corner infield position. Freeman collected 38.5% of fan votes to earn a spot as a National League All-Star starter. Freeman shows up to the ballpark with a smooth and powerful left-handed swing, flawless defense at first-base, and a huge smile.
Second Base: Ketel Marte, Arizona Diamondbacks
Those who are not Arizona Diamondbacks fans may not know who Ketel Marte is. However, he has had an incredible first half. He is currently slashing .309/.357/.571 with 20 HR and 52 RBI. If that is not impressive enough, he also has a fielding percentage of 1.000 while logging innings at second base, shortstop, and in the outfield. Marte gathered 39.2% of fan voting to earn him his first ever All-Star appearance. Expect Marte to showcase great at-bats, smooth defense, and a lot of hustle in his first All-Star Game.
Ketel your friends,
DREAMS really do COME TRUE. ?
Congratulations to Ketel Marte on his selection to his very first MLB All-Star Game. ?
This guy is special:
? NL Hits Leader
? .316 AVG
? 20 Home Runs
? 22 for his last 34 pic.twitter.com/9fmh6q3KHK
— Dbacks Snake News (@SnakeNewss) June 27, 2019
Shortstop: Javier Baez, Chicago Cubs
Javier Baez has quickly become a fan favorite throughout the league. He makes great plays in the field and has a knack for dropping some major bombs as the dish. He is currently slashing .284/.322/.546 with 20 HR, and 56 RBI. Baez has also had an impressive half fielding the baseball. He has committed nine errors in 228 attempts to give him a .973 fielding percentage. Baez collected 43.3% of fan voting to earn him his second trip to the all-star game. In 2018, he started at second base. This makes him only the fourth player in All-Star Game history to start two consecutive All-Star Games at different positions. Fans can expect big swings, smooth defense, and creative slides to avoid defenders when Baez takes the field.
— Cubs Talk (@NBCSCubs) June 27, 2019
Third Base: Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies
Nolan Arenado is no stranger to the All-Star festivities. This is his fifth selection to the National League All-Star team since he came into the league in 2013. Arenado has slashed .320/.384/.581 with 20 HR and 65 RBI over the first half of this season. He has been a staple in the middle of the Rockies lineup and is always a legitimate threat to leave the yard. However, Arenado does more than just swing the bat. He is an exceptional fielder, carrying a .984 fielding percentage after only committing four errors during the first half. Arenado received 51.9% of fan voting to earn him a trip to Cleveland. He showcases a lot of pop from swinging and some web-gem-quality plays when he is at third base.
Christian Yelich, Milwaukee Brewers
Reigning NL MVP Christian Yelich has put together another MVP-type of first half. He is currently slashing .328/.425/.704 with 29 HR and 63 RBI. Yelich has been a nightmare for opposing pitchers this year. His ability to hit for power yet sustain a high average has been nothing short of spectacular. Yelich has also proven to be quite the defender in the outfield. He has four errors over the course of the year for the Brewers. He received 22.3% of voting to earn his second trip to the All-Star Game. Yelich showcases: a sweet left-handed swing, high baseball IQ, and an incredible amount of hustle when he plays.
Cody Bellinger, Los Angeles Dodgers
Cody Bellinger has also put together an MVP first half. He is slashing .346/.442/.695 with 27 HR, and 67 RBI. Once again, these numbers are impressive. Being able to hit for power and sustain an average above .340 is incredible. Bellinger has stolen eight bags this year to add to his impressive offensive production. He has also fielded the ball well during this first half. Bellinger has one error during the 2019 season giving him a .982 fielding percentage in the outfield. He received 21.0% of fan votes to earn him his second trip to the All-Star Game. Expect Bellinger to offer big powerful swings, a cannon from the outfield, and a huge smile when he plays Tuesday, July 9th.
— We’re Nassssssty (@Dodgers_Blues) June 29, 2019
Ronald Acuña Jr., Atlanta Braves
Ronald Acuña Jr. has made quite the impact for the Atlanta Braves, who play in the NL East. He is slashing .295/.376/.513 with 20 HR and 52 RBI. Acuña also has 13 stolen bags to add to his impressive offensive year. Furthermore, he has only committed six errors in the outfield during the course of the year. Acuña received 15.0% of fan votes to earn him his first-ever trip to the All-Star Game. Fans can expect a lot of energy, hustle, and athleticism from Acuña.
Christian Yelich, Cody Bellinger, and Ronald Acuna Jr are the youngest starting outfielders for an MLB All-Star game since Willie Mays, Frank Robinson, and Hank Aaron in 1957 pic.twitter.com/In80WHZwtC
— Bush Leaguer (@BushLeague101) June 28, 2019
The reserves and pitching staff were announced on Sunday. Check them out here.
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