TO 2016 AMERICAN LEAGUE ALL-STAR TEAM
Dustin Pedroia Named to American League Final Vote Ballot
BOSTON, MA – Six Boston Red Sox players were selected to the American League roster for Major League Baseball’s 87th All-Star Game, which will take place Tuesday, July 12 at Petco Park in San Diego, CA.
Selected to start the Midsummer Classic via the fan ballot were designated hitter David Ortiz, shortstop Xander Bogaerts, and outfielders Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr. Right-handed pitchers Steven Wright and Craig Kimbrel were also named to the AL All-Star Team; Wright was voted in by the players, while Kimbrel was selected by AL Manager Ned Yost.
In addition, second baseman Dustin Pedroia can be selected as the final player on the American League’s 34-man roster via the Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote.
Boston’s six selections are the club’s most since the 2008 squad also had six; no Red Sox team has had more All-Star honorees since the 2002 squad had seven. The Red Sox last had as many as four starters in an All-Star game in 2005 (Johnny Damon, David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, and Jason Varitek).
With the selections of Betts and Bogaerts—both 23 years old—this is the first time the Red Sox will have two All-Star representatives age 23 or younger since 1941 (Ted Williams and Bobby Doerr).
Ortiz, 40, has been named to 10 All-Star teams, breaking a tie with Bobby Doerr for the third-most selections in Red Sox history behind only Carl Yastrzemski and Ted Williams (18 apiece). Ortiz entered today leading the major leagues in on-base percentage (.433), slugging percentage (.679), OPS (1.112), doubles (34), and extra-base hits (54). In 76 games with the Red Sox this season, he has hit .339 (93-for-274) with 19 home runs and 66 RBI, drawing 45 walks against only 41 strikeouts. Ortiz, who announced on his 40th birthday that 2016 would be his final season as a player, has already set a Red Sox record for most doubles prior to the All-Star break and is only one double shy of tying Major League Baseball’s single-season record for doubles as a 40-year-old (Sam Rice, 35 in 1930).
Bogaerts earned his first All-Star selection this season after being named to the Final Vote ballot in 2015. The 23-year-old entered today leading American League shortstops in most offensive categories, including hits (114), doubles (22), batting average (.336), on-base percentage (.392), slugging percentage (.481), RBI (51, tied), and runs scored (62). He ranks second among all major leaguers in hits and is fifth in batting average, while his 11 stolen bases already mark a career high. Bogaerts compiled a 26-game hitting streak from May 6–June 2, second-longest in the majors this season behind only Bradley Jr. (29).
This is also the first All-Star selection for Betts, who has hit .297 (108-for-364) with a .525 slugging percentage in 81 games this season. The 23-year-old leads major league leadoff hitters in RBI (57), home runs (18), hits (108), and runs scored (71). Having already matched his career high in home runs (18 in 2015), Betts is only the third player in Red Sox history to record at least 100 hits, 15 home runs, and 70 runs scored before the All-Star break, joining Wade Boggs (1987) and Manny Ramirez (2003). The Tennessee native has made all 81 of his starts in right field, recording seven assists, two double plays, and only one error with a .994 fielding percentage.
Another first-time All-Star selection is Bradley Jr. , who in 78 games this season has established new career highs with 47 runs, 83 hits, 13 home runs, six triples, 53 runs batted in, 34 walks, and 39 extra-base hits while batting .294 (83-for-282). The outfielder ranks sixth in the American League with a .381 on-base percentage and a .927 OPS, while his .546 slugging percentage is the league’s eighth-highest mark. His 29-game hitting streak from April 24-May 25 is tied for the fourth-longest in Red Sox history and is the longest in the major leagues this season. The 26-year-old leads all major league center fielders with eight assists from the position, while his 11 double plays since the start of 2014 lead all outfielders.
Kimbrel was selected to his fifth All-Star team and first as a representative of the American League after appearing in four consecutive All-Star teams with the Atlanta Braves from 2011-14. The right-handed closer has converted 17 out of 19 save opportunities this season (89.4%), including each of his 11 at Fenway Park. In 32 appearances in his debut season with the Red Sox, the 28-year-old is 1-3 with a 2.53 ERA (9 ER/32.0 IP) while ranking among American League relievers with 13.50 strikeouts per nine innings (tied for third), a .161 opponent batting average (fifth), 48 strikeouts (tied for seventh), 17 saves (tied for eighth), and a 0.94 WHIP (13th).
This is the first All-Star selection for Wright, 31, who ranks among American League qualifiers with a 2.42 ERA (second), three complete games (tied for first), 0.50 home runs allowed per nine innings (first), and a .217 opponent batting average (fourth) over a career-high 16 starts. The knuckleballer has allowed three or fewer earned runs in 14 of his 16 outings while setting career highs with nine wins, 108.0 innings, and 87 strikeouts. Wright threw complete games in three consecutive road starts from May 8-30, becoming the first Red Sox pitcher with three complete games in a single calendar month since Pedro Martinez in August of 2000.
Fans can now begin voting to select Pedroia as the final player on the American League roster via the 2016 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote. Votes can be cast online at RedSox.com or MLB.com and on mobile phones. The AL and NL winners will be announced after the voting concludes on Friday, July 8 at 4:00 p.m. ET.
Pedroia was the starting second baseman in his first All-Star selection in 2008, and he has appeared in three Midsummer Classic games since then (2009, ’10, ’13). A Red Sox player won the AL Final Vote in 2002 (Johnny Damon), 2003 (Jason Varitek), and 2007 (Hideki Okajima).
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