Aaron Judge's prodigious power turned each at-bat into a must-see attraction during the season's first half, and as the rookie slugger prepares to represent the American League in the July 11 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard at Marlins Park in Miami, he will have plenty of company from the Yankees'
Aaron Judge's prodigious power turned each at-bat into a must-see attraction during the season's first half, and as the rookie slugger prepares to represent the American League in the July 11 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard at Marlins Park in Miami, he will have plenty of company from the Yankees' clubhouse.
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The AL's leading vote-getter, Judge appeared on 4,488,702 ballots and is being joined on the roster by at least four of his teammates. Right-hander Dellin Betances, infielder Starlin Castro, catcher Gary Sanchez and right-hander Luis Severino were selected to participate in the Midsummer Classic via the player ballot.
"It's incredible," Judge said. "I get a chance to play in front of the best fans every night at Yankee Stadium. Having their support through these first couple of months has been incredible. They've really motivated our team and they've helped this team a lot. They're always supporting us, so I've got to thank them."
Shortstop Didi Gregorius could also punch a ticket to Miami, having been named as one of the five finalists in the AL's Esurance All-Star Game Final Vote. The Astros, Indians and Nationals also had five All-Stars announced Sunday.
• Didi among five on AL Final Vote ballot
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Having slugged a Major League-leading 27 home runs through play on Sunday, the 25-year-old Judge is the youngest player to lead the AL in voting since Ken Griffey Jr. (24) in 1994. He will become the third Yankees rookie to start an All-Star Game, joining Joe DiMaggio (1936) and Hideki Matsui (2003).
"As well as he's played on the field, he's better off the field," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "To me, that's who Aaron Judge is. You watch him, he's a leader. He's the whole package."
Judge and Sanchez have both been invited to participate in the T-Mobile Home Run Derby, and plan to announce their decision at some point this week.
"That'd be cool if me and Gary were both in it, competing against each other," Judge said. "A little healthy competition. We'll decide here in the next couple of days what we're going to do."
Betances joins DiMaggio as the second Yankee to be selected as an All-Star in each of his first four full Major League seasons, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The right-hander is 3-3 with a 3.12 ERA in 29 appearances, striking out 48 batters in 26 innings, and is looking forward to showing his teammates what the All-Star experience is like.
"I'm very excited, especially with a lot of the young guys going," Betances said. "I feel like I'm the older guy in the group. It's definitely an exciting moment for me and my family."
It is the fourth All-Star selection for Castro, who represented the National League three times (2011-12, '14) as a shortstop. Castro is batting .313/.348/.486 with 12 homers and 45 RBIs this season and, though he is currently on the disabled list with a right hamstring strain, remains hopeful he will be able to play by then.
"I think it's pretty special for me," Castro said. "I feel really good to represent this organization. I think they're going to be happy for me and my family. It's pretty good, the fans keep supporting us."
Sanchez is the first Yankees catcher to make the All-Star team since Russell Martin in 2011, and the third to make one at age 24 or younger, joining Thurman Munson (24 years old in 1971) and Yogi Berra (23-24 years old in 1948-49). Despite missing most of April, Sanchez is batting .289/.378/.526 with 13 homers and 40 RBIs in 53 games.
"It's an honor to have the opportunity to go play there in the All-Star Game in my first full season," Sanchez said through an interpreter. "I'm very excited about that."
At age 23, Severino is the youngest Yankees pitcher to make an All-Star team since Mel Stottlemyre (23) in 1965. He is the first Yankees starting pitcher to be selected to the AL All-Star team since Masahiro Tanaka in 2014, and is 5-4 with a 3.52 ERA in 16 starts, striking out 114 against 25 walks in 99 2/3 innings.
"I feel very happy and proud. I'm proud to be representing the Yankees and the Yankee fans," Severino said. "I worked hard in the offseason. I worked hard to get my spot in the rotation. I'm very happy."
Fans can cast ballots for the 2017 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote on MLB.com, Club sites and their mobile devices until 4 p.m. ET on Thursday. The winners, as chosen exclusively by online fan voting totals, will then be announced during "MLB Tonight" live on MLB Network and MLB.com at 6 p.m. Extensive coverage throughout the Final Vote will be provided by MLB Network and MLB.com, including interviews with the candidates, frequent updates, heat maps indicating where votes are being cast for each candidate, news on player and club campaigns, and a running countdown clock leading up to the announcement.
Now in its 16th season, with more than 680 million votes cast, the Final Vote again will include social votes on the last day of balloting, as Twitter support for the 10 candidates over the final six hours of balloting will count toward their vote totals. From 10 a.m.-4 p.m. ET on Thursday, any tweet that includes a designated player hashtag will be tabulated as part of the official vote total used to determine the winners.
On Tuesday, July 11 at 7:30 p.m. ET, tune in to the 2017 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard live on FOX, and during the game visit MLB.com to submit your choice for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet via the 2017 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote. The 88th All-Star Game, in Miami, will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 160 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB.com, MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat.