Judge, Acuña get automatic All-Star starter bids

June 30th, 2022

Phase 1 of the two-phase voting process for this year’s MLB All-Star Game starters is complete, and with the top vote-getter from each league getting an automatic spot in his club’s starting lineup for the Midsummer Classic, a lot was on the line.

The top vote-getter in the American League from the 2022 Chevrolet MLB All-Star Ballot was Aaron Judge, who garnered close to 400,000 more votes than Mike Trout, the runner-up. And in the National League, a late surge pushed Ronald Acuña Jr. past Mookie Betts by fewer than 24,000 votes.

Judge, who is having a career year after already establishing himself as one of the game’s premier sluggers, received the most votes of any player, with 3,762,498. Acuña, the superstar outfielder for the Braves, got 3,503,188 votes.

Beyond Judge and Acuña, the top two vote-getters at each position -- other than pitchers, who along with reserves are voted on by “Player Ballot” choices and selections made by the Commissioner’s Office -- advance to Phase 2 of voting. Since each league’s leading vote-getter in Phase 1 is an outfielder, only the next four outfield finalists move on to Phase 2 to determine who starts at the two remaining spots on each team.

Voting in Phase 2 begins on Tuesday at Noon ET and continues until 2 p.m. ET on Friday, July 8. The ballot is available exclusively online and via mobile devices at MLB.com, all 30 Club sites and the MLB App. During this period, fans can vote once a day for whom they want to see in the MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard at Dodger Stadium on July 19, televised on FOX. Vote totals do not carry over from Phase 1, so each player advancing to Phase 2 starts from zero.

Judge entered play Thursday leading the Majors with 29 home runs, putting him on pace to challenge the Yankees’ franchise record of 61, set by Roger Maris in 1961. Judge also had a 1.001 OPS and a Major League-leading 180 total bases to help the Yanks to an MLB-best 56-20 record.

After a sensational campaign in 2017, when he set a then-rookie record with 52 home runs and finished runner-up in AL MVP Award voting, Judge had three injury-plagued seasons that suppressed his home run total. But last year, he played in 148 games and belted 39 homers before his incredible first half of 2022, which has earned him his fourth All-Star selection. He’s the first Yankees player to lead the Majors in All-Star voting since Alex Rodriguez in 2008.

Acuña, meanwhile, missed the first three weeks of the season as he finished his recovery from a torn right ACL that brought an end to his 2021 campaign just prior to the All-Star break. He then missed some time due to a groin injury and has recently been dealing with a bruised left foot.

But the electric 24-year-old has dazzled us whenever he’s been in the lineup, and he’s a perennial 40-homer/40-steal threat, smashing 41 home runs and swiping 37 bags in 2019, his last full season. In 43 games so far this year, he’s hitting .281/.372/.455 with seven homers and 13 steals. He has been selected as an All-Star for the third time, and he’s the first player to lead his league in All-Star voting in consecutive years since Albert Pujols did so with the Cardinals in 2009 and ’10.

The starters for this year’s Midsummer Classic will be announced on the 2022 Chevrolet MLB All-Star Starters Reveal show on Friday, July 8, at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN. The complete All-Star rosters will be announced during the 2022 Chevrolet MLB All-Star Selection Show on July 10 at 5:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.