NEW YORK — Cody Bellinger and Christian Yelich were elected starters for one of the youngest All-Star Game lineups ever, leading the millennial-heavy National League for the Midsummer Classic in Cleveland.

Major League Baseball revealed the results from fan balloting for its All-Star starters Thursday. The All-Star Game is July 9.

The Dodgers’ Bellinger, Brewers’ Yelich and Braves’ Ronald Acuna Jr. are set to play outfield for the NL, leading a lineup averaging just 25.8 years old. Depending on who is chosen as the club’s designated hitter, the starting position players could be younger than the 1967 NL and 2017 AL clubs, which averaged 26.0 years old.

“I’ve never seen this much young talent in the game,” said Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts, who will lead the NL. “There’s a lot of fun players to watch – talented and the personalities from some of these young players.”

Angels star Mike Trout was the leading vote getter in the final round. He’ll be joined on the AL squad by three Astros – Alex Bregman, George Springer and Michael Brantley – and two Yankees – Gary Sanchez and DJ LeMahieu.

The defending World Series champions, the Boston Red Sox, had no player selected as a starter.


The lineups are full of unlikely names. LeMahieu didn’t crack New York’s Opening Day lineup. Rangers designated hitter Hunter Pence could only find a minor league contract as a free agent last offseason. Diamondbacks second baseman Ketel Marte and Twins shortstop Jorge Polanco hardly garnered All-Star attention in previous years. Now they’re All-Star starters.

“It was quite a wild journey from this year to last year,” Pence said. “And to even be speaking about this now, is a miracle. It’s a blessing, and I’m very grateful.”

The elder statesmen in the NL lineup will be 29-year-old Freddie Freeman from Atlanta and 28-year-old Nolan Arenado of Colorado.

“It shows how good these young guys are,” said Arenado, making his fifth All-Star appearance. “Some of these young players are unbelievable players. We’re fortunate to be in this time, when you get to see how good they are.”

Indians first baseman Carlos Santana was elected to start in his home park in the 33-year-old’s first All-Star selection. He’ll be joined in the lineup by Brantley, a former teammate who left the Indians in free agency last offseason for a $32 million, two-year deal with Houston. Brantley edged Yankees slugger Aaron Judge by 0.9 percent for the final outfield spot.

The Cubs’ Willson Contreras and Javier Baez will each start for the NL for the second straight year. Baez was elected at shortstop a year after starting at second. Only three other All-Stars have started in consecutive years at different positions.


Trout is set to be the sixth AL player to start six times before turning 28. The others are Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Ivan Rodriguez, Rod Carew and Ken Griffey Jr. It’s Trout’s eighth straight selection overall.

Yelich was second in voting behind Trout. He homered in last year’s All-Star Game, then staged a second-half tear that ended in him winning NL MVP. He’s been just as good in 2019, leading the majors with 29 homers while hitting .332 with a 1.149 OPS.

“In spring, there were a lot of questions if I could do it again,” Yelich said. “Was it a fluke? Am I a good player? That stuff kind of lights a fire in me.

“I didn’t know how the year was going to go, but I wasn’t going to look back on last year and think anything was guaranteed. Just because you’re an MVP the previous year, you’re not going to just walk through the next year and everything was going to be fine.”

The league adopted a new balloting structure this season, which operated exclusively through Google. Fans voted up until June 21 to determine finalists for All-Star starters. The top-three vote getters at each position – top nine in the outfield – in each league then entered a second phase of voting, which ran Wednesday and Thursday. Vote totals were reset prior to the final round.

Fans elected the nine starting players for the AL team and eight for the NL – with the extra AL player being the designated hitter. The rest of the 32-man rosters for each league, including the DH for the National League, will be determined by player balloting and selections from the Commissioner’s Office. Those All-Stars will be announced Sunday.


The first All-Star Game was in 1933 in Chicago. All-Star starters have been elected by fans since 1970. Balloting was moved exclusively online in 2015.

YANKEES: Outfielder Giancarlo Stanton is more likely to return in August than July after straining the posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.

Stanton went on the 10-day injured list a day after he was hurt during an awkward slide into third base against Toronto. Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman would project only a possible range of time for his return.

“I would say it’s safer to look into August,” Cashman said Thursday during a baseball development initiative by the Yankees in north London’s Finchley Park. “I don’t want to say it’s unlikely in July, but the sweet spot would be August in terms of not getting burnt.”

Stanton strained his left biceps on March 31 in his third game, strained a shoulder and calf during his rehabilitation and returned June 18. He is hitting .290 with one home run and seven RBI in nine games.

Mike Tauchman was called up to replace Stanton on the roster rather than Clint Frazier because Tauchman is a better defensive outfielder.


Cashman said Frazier was not being penalized for taking the maximum allowed three days to report to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre when he was optioned on June 16.

“His send-down was tougher than most because of how good he performed here and how much he helped this club,” Cashman said. “If he needed the extra time to process being the odd man out, I was OK with that personally. It had nothing to do with him not being selected coming here.”

METS: Tom Seaver is getting a statue outside the Mets’ home, and the team is getting a new address.

The announcement was made official at a ceremony Thursday. Citi Field will now be listed as 41 Seaver Way in honor of the Hall of Fame pitcher’s number. New York City officials agreed to the team’s request.

Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon says it might be more than a year before the statue of 9 to 12 feet is in place.

Seaver, 74, has dementia and could not attend. But his daughter, Sarah Seaver, says her father is proud to know he “very much will be remembered.”

Ron Swoboda played with Seaver on the 1969 Miracle Mets title team and was among the former teammates at the ceremony. Swoboda says the three-time NL Cy Young Award winner gave a once woebegone team “credibility.”

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