ANAHEIM -- Angels superstar outfielder Mike Trout was the leading overall vote-getter in the first Google MLB All-Star Starters Election, becoming the first player in franchise history to be elected as an All-Star Game starter seven times. However, Tommy La Stella fell short in his bid to be elected as
ANAHEIM -- Angels superstar outfielder Mike Trout was the leading overall vote-getter in the first Google MLB All-Star Starters Election, becoming the first player in franchise history to be elected as an All-Star Game starter seven times. However, Tommy La Stella fell short in his bid to be elected as the starting second baseman in the American League, finishing third behind the Yankees’ DJ LeMahieu and the Astros’ Jose Altuve.
Trout, a two-time AL MVP Award winner, was named an All-Star for the eighth time in his career, passing Hall of Famer Rod Carew for the most times elected as a starter in Angels history. Trout led all Major League players with 993,857 votes in the Starters Election balloting for the Midsummer Classic, which will be played at Cleveland’s Progressive Field on Tuesday, July 9. He’s also the first player to be elected a starter in seven straight seasons since Derek Jeter from 2006-12.
“It means a lot," Trout said. "A lot of great players before me played in an Angels uniform. It’s an honor. I can’t do this without the fans. It makes you feel good. To be voted in and be the highest vote-getter, it means a lot to me. I can’t thank the fans enough."
Trout is 7-for-15 with two doubles, two homers and four RBIs while playing in six All-Star games in his career, as he missed the 2017 Midsummer Classic due to injury. He was the All-Star Game MVP in both 2014 and '15.
Trout’s election comes as no surprise, as he’s generally regarded as the best player in the game and is again having a standout season. The 27-year-old entered Thursday hitting .303 while leading the AL with a .461 on-base percentage and .629 slugging percentage. He had hit 22 homers, 18 doubles and a triple while driving in 56 runs and scoring 63 times.
“He was an underdog," Angels manager Brad Ausmus said with a laugh. "I was only a part of one, but it’s a fun experience.”
La Stella, meanwhile, was the leading vote-getter at second base in the primary election, but once it was narrowed down to three finalists, he finished third behind LeMahieu and Altuve. LeMahieu received 38 percent of the votes, while Altuve registered 31.5 percent and La Stella 30.5 percent.
La Stella was thankful to the fans for their support, as well as the Angels for putting together a social media campaign on Twitter led by left-hander Tyler Skaggs.
“It was pretty special,” La Stella said. “The whole process itself was really cool. Skaggs and the guys putting that video together was really cool. I just appreciate all the support from everybody. All the fans, all the people back home. Family and friends from across the country. It was cool.”
The Angels are still hopeful that La Stella will be named an All-Star reserve for the first time in his career. He’s having a breakout season, entering Thursday hitting .296/.347/.502 with 16 homers and 44 RBIs in 74 games.
“He’s got to be an All-Star," Trout said. "He needs to be in there. He’s having a career year. He obviously believes in himself, and we believe in him as a team. He just comes in every day and puts in work, and it’s showing. I’m happy for him."
Players who did not win the Starters Election are not automatically added as reserves. Pitchers and reserves will be announced on Sunday at 5:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.
The 2019 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard will be played on Tuesday, July 9, at Progressive Field in Cleveland. It will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 180 countries. FOX Deportes will provide Spanish-language coverage in the United States, while ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage. MLB Network, MLB.com and SiriusXM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage.
Rhett Bollinger covers the Angels for MLB.com. He previously covered the Twins from 2011-18. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.