Vlad Jr., Semien, Teoscar are All-Star starters

July 2nd, 2021

The Blue Jays will lead all teams with three starters in the All-Star Game at Coors Field in Denver on July 13, as results of the 2021 Google MLB All-Star Ballot were revealed on Thursday night.

was baseball’s top vote-getter and will start at first base for the American League. will start at second base, while earned a starting outfield spot after beating out Byron Buxton of the Twins in the final stages of fan voting.

The Blue Jays’ lineup has been one of baseball’s best in 2021, with Guerrero, Semien, Hernández and Bo Bichette making up a daunting top four. Bichette could still be selected to the All-Star Game, along with several other Blue Jays players, when the full rosters are revealed on Sunday at 5:30 p.m. ET on ESPN after player and manager voting concludes.

Guerrero earned the MLB lead in fan voting with a first half worthy of MVP consideration, and the 22-year-old superstar is showing no signs of cooling off. Guerrero ranks second in the AL in home runs (26), RBIs (66) and batting average (.336), while his 1.108 OPS through his first 79 games is tops in all of baseball. The individual accolades are pouring in for Guerrero -- and they will continue to -- but he always makes a point of bringing his own success back to the team.

“I’m being productive this year for my team to help my team win,” Guerrero said recently through a club translator. “Going back to last year and the year before, that’s what I’m more proud of this year, my production. Just to help my team win.”

Guerrero’s breakout season comes on the heels of a much-improved offseason program that helped him to drop weight and come into camp in far better shape, which showed immediately. After entering 2019 as baseball’s No. 1 prospect, Guerrero didn’t quite live up to the sky-high expectations over the first two years of his MLB career, but this season has seen him take it to a level few could have imagined.

Semien, one of the veterans on the club, bet on himself with a one-year, $18 million deal this past offseason, and he’s winning.

With 20 home runs, a .291 average and a .904 OPS through 79 games, Semien has returned to the caliber of his 2019 season, when he finished third in voting for the AL MVP Award.

“He just puts a smile on my face. I think Marcus is good for baseball, and he’s been exceptional for us,” said Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins. “He is a calming, steady influence from not only the first minute he walks into the clubhouse, but when he taps his bat on the plate and when he toes it up at second base. He’s been exceptional defensively, he’s a very stable decision-maker offensively and defensively. That doesn’t happen by chance or just because. He’s played the game for a long time, and he works really hard at it.”

Hernández was the buzzer-beater of the group, leapfrogging Buxton on the final day of voting to earn his first All-Star nod. Hernández was eighth in outfielder voting following the first update on Tuesday and fourth entering Thursday, but he secured his starting spot by less than 5,000 votes.

Despite missing time in April after being placed on the COVID-19 injured list, Hernández is batting .302 with an .835 OPS, 11 home runs and 47 RBIs. Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo has also been very complimentary of Hernández’s defense in right field.