New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge and Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. have been named All-Star starters as the top vote-getters in their respective leagues, Major League Baseball announced on Thursday.
Each league's top vote-getter is now automatically an ASG starter.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AllRise?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AllRise</a> for <a href="https://twitter.com/TheJudge44?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TheJudge44</a>, his 4th ASG nod. <a href="https://t.co/SUjxEgxmH5">pic.twitter.com/SUjxEgxmH5</a>
The rest of the finalists for the starting positions were also announced:
Judge, 30, has been ripping the cover off the ball this season, hitting .290 with an MLB-leading 29 homers and 62 runs. The four-time All-Star also has 59 RBI and a 1.001 OPS, and the Yankees have raced to a 56-20 record, a whopping 13 games ahead of the Boston Red Sox in the AL East.
"When I walk up to the plate, there’s no fear," Judge told reporters this week. "It makes it fun every single night."
He's wrong, of course. There's definitely fear, it's just coming from the pitcher facing him, as Judge mounts a serious challenge to reach the 60-homer plateau this season. Only five players in MLB history have reached it: Barry Bonds (73), Mark McGwire (twice: 70 and 65), Sammy Sosa (three times: 66, 64 and 63), Roger Maris (61) and Babe Ruth (60).
So Judge would enter hallowed territory if he becomes the sixth. His career high is 52 dingers in 2017.
Acuna, 24, missed the beginning of the season as he recovered from an ACL tear but has hit .281 with seven homers, 18 RBI, 28 runs and a .828 OPS in 43 games. It will be Acuna's third All-Star appearance.
The Braves have surged in June, jumping to a 44-32 record, just three game behind the New York Mets in the NL East. Acuna's return from injury has certainly been a major factor.