FAQ: Get to know your All-Star teams

July 1st, 2019

The American and National League rosters for the 2019 MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard are officially set -- and they're absolutely stacked.

This year's Midsummer Classic on July 9 at Cleveland's Progressive Field will showcase incredible talent at every position on the diamond, with a huge influx of young stars joining forces with baseball's biggest names as the AL seeks its seventh straight win over the Senior Circuit.

Below is an FAQ for everything you should know about this year's All-Star class.

Who's made the most All-Star teams?

It's a three-way tie -- Mike Trout, Clayton Kershaw and Justin Verlander have all made eight All-Star teams.

Who are the first-time All-Stars?

This year’s roster features 31 players going to their first All-Star Game. In the AL, that list includes John Means (Orioles), Carlos Santana (Indians), Lucas Giolito and James McCann (White Sox), Shane Greene (Tigers), Ryan Pressly (Astros), Whit Merrifield (Royals), Tommy La Stella (Angels), Jake Odorizzi and Jorge Polanco (Twins), Matt Chapman (Athletics), Daniel Vogelbach (Mariners), Austin Meadows (Rays), Joey Gallo and Mike Minor (Rangers) and Marcus Stroman (Blue Jays).

In the NL, first-timers include Ronald Acuna Jr. and Mike Soroka (Braves), Ketel Marte (D-backs), Luis Castillo (Reds), David Dahl (Rockies), Walker Buehler and Hyun-Jin Ryu (Dodgers), Sandy Alcantara (Marlins), Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeil (Mets), Josh Bell (Pirates), Kirby Yates (Padres), Will Smith (Giants), Paul DeJong (Cardinals) and Anthony Rendon (Nationals).

Who has the longest streak of All-Star selections?

Trout is heading to his eighth straight All-Star Game, leading all active players. He’s been an All-Star in every full season of his career, and he's the first Major Leaguer to be voted in by the fans as a starter in seven straight seasons since Derek Jeter (2006-12). He’s looking to become the first three-time winner of the game’s MVP Award.

Trout is followed by Nationals ace Max Scherzer (seven straight) and Rockies star third baseman Nolan Arenado (five) for the longest active streaks.

Who is the youngest All-Star?

This year’s rosters include three rookies (Alonso, Soroka and Means), but it’s second-year star Acuna who is this year’s youngest All-Star at 21 years and 194 days of age as of Sunday’s announcement. He barely edges out his Braves teammate Soroka (21 years, 330 days), and he will be the first 21-or-younger player to start a Midsummer Classic since Bryce Harper (age 20) and Trout (21) took the field in 2013.

Is MLB letting the kids play?

You bet. There are 33 All-Stars who are 28 or younger this year, and 14 who are 25 or younger.

The NL's starting lineup this year is also the youngest in All-Star Game history, with an average age of 25.75 years. The previous youngest All-Star starting lineup was the 2017 AL, with an average age of 26.4 years.

Who is the oldest All-Star?

Verlander (36 years, 130 days), the ageless wonder, is this year’s oldest All-Star, narrowly edging out the resurgent Hunter Pence (36 years, 78 days). Verlander made his big league debut way back in 2005, when he faced Indians hitters including Travis Hafner, Grady Sizemore, Jody Gerut and current Red Sox manager Alex Cora as a 22-year-old. Verlander is a contender for his second career start in the Midsummer Classic, following his first nod in the 2012 All-Star Game at Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium.

What about the oldest first-timer?

Santana is the oldest of the first-time All-Stars -- 33 years and 83 days old at the time of Sunday’s roster announcement. His 29 career WAR, per Baseball-Reference, was the second-highest of any active player without an All-Star selection, following Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons (36 WAR).

Who has the longest gap between All-Star Game appearances?

It’s been five years since Pence represented the Giants at the 2014 All-Star Game at Minnesota’s Target Field. He grounded out against then-Royals reliever Greg Holland in the seventh (before they would meet again later that year in the World Series) in his lone plate appearance.

Pence’s five-year gap is the widest of any 2019 All-Star, and he’d pass Vladimir Guerrero (35 in 2010) for the Rangers’ oldest All-Star starter in franchise history if he can make it back in time from a right groin strain that sent him to the injured list. Pence’s first All-Star selection came 10 years ago, and he is the only player on either roster from 2009 to be voted in as a starter this season.

Which team has the most All-Stars?

That would be the Astros, who have six -- position players Alex Bregman, George Springer and Michael Brantley (all starters for the AL), and pitchers Verlander, Gerrit Cole and Ryan Pressly. Houston has had at least six All-Stars for three years in a row, the first team with that distinction since the Red Sox did for five straight seasons from 2007-11.

In the NL, three teams are tied for the most All-Stars: The Dodgers, Brewers and Rockies, who have four each.

Which countries will be represented?

This year’s All-Star Game features 15 players born outside the United States, representing six different nations: The Dominican Republic (6), Cuba (3), Puerto Rico (2), Venezuela (2), Canada (1) and South Korea (1). Ryu is now the fourth Korean-born player to make the All-Star team, joining Shin-Soo Choo (2018), Byung-Hyun Kim (‘02) and Chan Ho Park (‘01).

Who's making some history?

Cubs star Javier Báez will be the first player in Major League history to start the All-Star Game at second base and shortstop in back-to-back seasons. He’s just the third player to start the game at both shortstop and second at any point in his career, joining Bobby Grich and Granny Hamner. Grich started at shortstop in 1972 and at second base in '76 and '82. Hamner notched one start apiece at short (‘52) and second (‘54).

Baez’s teammate, Willson Contreras, is the first Cubs catcher to start the All-Star Game in consecutive seasons since Hall of Famer Gabby Hartnett in 1936-37.

Trout is in line to become the sixth AL player ever to start at least six All-Star games before turning 28, joining Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Ivan Rodriguez, Rod Carew and Ken Griffey Jr.

Alonso is the third Mets rookie to make the All-Star team, and it's good company -- Tom Seaver (1967) and Dwight Gooden (1984) were the first two. That also makes Alonso the first rookie position player in franchise history.