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Judge returns to Classic as a face of the game

Young slugger makes 2nd appearance in as many years; joined by Severino, Chapman, Torres
MLB.com @BryanHoch

Aaron Judge arguably became the main attraction at last year's All-Star Game, in the midst of a phenomenal rookie season that saw him pacing the Majors with 30 home runs at the time. The young standout capped a frenzied visit to Miami by hoisting the trophy after the T-Mobile Home Run Derby, then heard Commissioner Rob Manfred laud him as someone "who can become the face of the game."

That vision had come true as Judge reported for his second Midsummer Classic, with autograph requests, extended microphones and clicking cameras promising to trail the 6-foot-7 slugger wherever he goes. Even so, Judge plans on being able to better absorb the sights and sounds of his All-Star experience this time around, and is looking forward to sharing that fun with his teammates.

Aaron Judge arguably became the main attraction at last year's All-Star Game, in the midst of a phenomenal rookie season that saw him pacing the Majors with 30 home runs at the time. The young standout capped a frenzied visit to Miami by hoisting the trophy after the T-Mobile Home Run Derby, then heard Commissioner Rob Manfred laud him as someone "who can become the face of the game."

That vision had come true as Judge reported for his second Midsummer Classic, with autograph requests, extended microphones and clicking cameras promising to trail the 6-foot-7 slugger wherever he goes. Even so, Judge plans on being able to better absorb the sights and sounds of his All-Star experience this time around, and is looking forward to sharing that fun with his teammates.

• TUNE IN: Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. ET on FOX

"I'm just trying to enjoy it," Judge said. "Last year, it being my first year, it kind of flies by. You're doing so many different things. You're getting the Derby, you're getting the All-Star Game, there's a lot of things going on. This year, I'm just trying to slow it down and just enjoy the moment. I really appreciate the group of guys we have in this room that I'm being a part of. It's something special."

:: Complete All-Star Game coverage ::

One of four Yankees selected to this year's All-Star Game presented by Mastercard, Judge will bat sixth for the American League in Tuesday's contest at Nationals Park. He is the first Yankee to start at least two straight All-Star Games since Robinson Cano (2010-13), and the first Yankees outfielder to do so since Curtis Granderson (2011-12). Judge said that he does not take his selection via the fan vote for granted.

"We were actually going around the whole clubhouse, we had a little team meeting, and I'm looking at some of the guys in their first All-Star Games -- they've been in the league 10 years, 12 years," Judge said. "For me to get my second one in my second year, stuff like that doesn't happen. I've just got to thank all my teammates, coaches and family for always pushing me and motivating me to get to this position."

Right-hander Luis Severino is active and will be taking the mound for the American League, marking his second time as an All-Star in as many seasons. Chosen via the player ballot, Severino is set to relieve Chris Sale of the Red Sox, who was tabbed to start for the AL.

• All-Star Game starters, lineups revealed

"It's great," Severino said. "Being with these guys from the Yankees makes it better. I'm happy to be here, happy to be with the guys here and enjoy my time here. … I wasn't disappointed. Chris Sale deserves to be there. He's a great pitcher. I think he's one of the best pitchers in baseball right now."

The first Yankees starting pitcher to be named to consecutive All-Star teams since CC Sabathia went to three straight from 2010-12, Severino watched last year's contest from the bullpen. He would have been the next man on the mound, had the exhibition proceeded another inning.

"I didn't pitch the first one; I was a little mad," Severino said, with a laugh. "It means a lot that they respect me. I respect everybody and it means a lot."

Left-hander Aroldis Chapman and infielder Gleyber Torres were also sent to the festivities via the player ballot, though they have been replaced due to injuries -- left knee tendinitis for Chapman and a right hip strain for Torres, who said he is eyeing a July 23 return from the disabled list.

Video: Judge discusses All-Star experience, AL outfield

"It's always exciting to be part of the All-Star Game," said Chapman, a four-time All-Star with the Reds (2012-15). "I'm happy about what I've been doing for my team. I'm proud of it. I've been more consistent for my team and at the end, that's what you look for, to be consistent and help your team."

Under the supervision of Yankees head athletic trainer Steve Donohue, Torres will run the bases at Nationals Park these next two days, then travel to Tampa, Fla., to play in Minor League games. He is the fourth Yankee to make an All-Star team at 21 or younger, joining Joe DiMaggio (21 in 1963), Mickey Mantle (20-21 in 1952-53) and Willie Randolph (21 in 1976).

"It's amazing," Torres said. "It's awesome, the opportunity. I'll just try to enjoy the moment. It's a good experience and I'll try to have fun with all the players. … I feel a little bit sad, it's my first time here and I can't play, but it's a good experience. I'll try to watch everybody, try to enjoy that moment and try to learn a little bit from these players."

While watching the 2018 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard live on FOX on Tuesday, fans can submit their choices for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet with the 2018 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote.

The 89th Midsummer Classic, at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., 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 of the All-Star Game. MLB Network, MLB.com and SiriusXM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage.

For more information about MLB All-Star Week and to purchase tickets, visit AllStarGame.com and follow @MLB and @AllStarGame on social media.

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

New York Yankees, Aroldis Chapman, Aaron Judge, Luis Severino, Gleyber Torres