New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge and Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. were selected as starters for next month's Major League Baseball All-Star game on Thursday.
Judges and Acuña have secured their positions as major voters in the United States and the National League, respectively, through the first phase of the vote, which ended Thursday.
The 30-year-old judge is the fourth All-Star in his career. He leads the majors in home runs (29) and runs (62) and will play in the Yankees Thursday night match against the Houston Astros. He is hitting .290 — at a pace that sets his career high — and added 59 RBIs.
24-year-old Acuña was selected for his third All-Star game. Acuña has hit .281 with 7 home runs, 18 RBIs, 28 RBIs and 13 stolen bases in 43 games this year. He hasn't played since Saturday due to a bruise on his left foot, but was expected to return to the Braves lineup on Friday.
In the second phase of fan voting, MLB will determine the remaining starters for each league from the list of finalists released Thursday. This phase begins on July 5th and ends at 2:00 pm on July 8th. ET. The Braves (counting Acuña) and the Toronto Blue Jays each led the league with six finalists.
Fan ballots will determine nine starters (eight fielders and designated hitters) for each team. All pitchers and reserves are set to be determined by a combination of player voting and commissioner Rob Manfred's choice.
The All-Star Starter will be announced on July 8th, all teams will be released on July 10th, and the game will be set on July 19th in Los Angeles.
American League All-Star Finalists:
Catchers: Alejandro Kirk (Blue Jays), Jose Trebino (Yankees)
First Baseman: Vladimir Guerrero Junior (Blue Jays), Ty France (Mariners)
2nd baseman: Jose Altuve (Astros), Santiago Espinal (Blue Jays)
3rd baseman: Jose Ramirez (Guardians), Rafael Devers (Red Socks)
Shortstop: Bo Bichette (Blue Jays), Tim Anderson (White Sox)
Designated hitters: Jordan Alvarez (Astros), Shohei Ohtani (Angels)
Outfielder: Mike Trout (Angels), George Springer (Blue Jays), Giancarlo Stanton (Yankees), Lourdes Griel Jr. (Blue Jays)
National League All-Star Finalist:
Catcher: Wilson Contreras ( Cubs), Travis d'Arnaud (Braves)
First baseman: Paul Goldschmidt (Cardinals), Pete Alonso (Mets)
Second baseman: Ozzie Albies (Braves), Jazz Chisholm Jr. (Marlins)
3rd baseman: Manny Machad (Paddless), Nolan Arenad (Cardinals)
Shortest op: Trea Turner (Dodgers), Dansby Swanson (Braves)
Designated hitters: Bryce Harper (Phillies), William Contreras (Braves)
Outfielders: Mookie Betts (Dodgers), Joc Pederson (Giants), Sterling Marte (Mets), Adam Duval (Braves)
– Field Level Medi A