It’s that time of year again….. Major League Baseball’s mid-summer classic is upon us this week as the 89th edition of baseball’s All-Star game takes place in Washington D.C. The festivities begin on Monday night with the 34th annual Home Run Derby, but 24 hours later the best players in the game as voted on by both the fans and the league will take the field and showcase their skills on national television. Just like last year, there will be a host of Latino players participating in this event. The Latino players for both teams will go a long way in deciding who wins this year. Without any further delay, here are the 2018 Hispanic All-Stars for Major League Baseball…
First on the Field
Javier Baez, Chicago Cubs, Infielder
Whether it’s making a clutch hit, stealing home plate, or making an out of this world defensive play, this Puerto Rican native is finally making his first All-Star appearance although he’s made a strong case to do so in seasons past. Baez –a key member of the Cubs 2016 World Series team- has turned himself into a potential MVP candidate with a slash line of .292/.326/.566/.892 with 19 home runs, 72 runs batted in, 61 runs scored, 18 stolen bases, 100 total hits and 194 total bases.
The National League will lean heavily on the 25-year-old as they look to end a five-game losing streak in this series. This Tuesday night Baez will get to show the world what all of the buzz coming out of Chicago’s north side is about.
Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies, Third Base
Making his fourth All-Star appearance, Arenado is having another MVP type of season with an outstanding slash line of his own (.312/.395/.586/.981). He’s also the National League’s second leading home run leader (23), fourth leading RBI man (68), and he also boasts 63 runs scored, 201 total bases, 23 extra base hits, and he’s ready to give American League pitchers fits.
Willson Contreras, Chicago Cubs, Catcher
Not only has this Venezuelan-born backstop seen what Javy Baez can do first hand, he’s also done some damage of his own. He has the second-highest batting average of all N.L. catchers (.279), the best on-base percentage (.369), second best slugging percentage (.449), and the top N.L. OPS at his position (.818). Contreras also ranks in the National League catchers’ top five in home runs (7), RBI’s (34), extra base hits (24), and runs scored (33).
This time the voters could no longer ignore what this 26-year old brings to the table.
Answering the Call for Back Up
Jesus Aguilar, Milwaukee Brewers, First Base
Five seasons and two teams into this 28-year-old’s career, Aguilar finally gets his first All-Star nod albeit as the winner of the MLB Final Vote contest. The Brewers are currently second place in the N.L. Central Division thanks in large part to Aguilar’s 24 homers, 70 runs batted in, 169 total bases, and the stability he provides at the heart of the Brewers batting order.
Eugenio Suarez, Cincinnati Reds, Third Base
After starting the season in last place, the Reds have been one of the hotter teams in baseball by winning 23 of their last 39 games. Here are Suarez’s contributions to this effort: .312/.399/.574/.973 slash line, 19 home runs, 71 RBI’s, 50 runs scored, 19 extra base hits. Born in Venezuela, Suarez is in his fifth Major League Season and this will be his first-ever trip to the All-Star game.
Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals, Catcher
At 36, the man considered to the best the greatest catcher of today’s generation hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down. Molina, now a nine-time All-Star, is already considered one of the greatest players to ever come from Puerto Rico. And this year he’s proven himself again with a solid slash line (.274/.315/.474./.789), 13 homers, 41 RBI’s, and 109 total bases. Molina and Contreras will provide a one-two punch behind the plate for the National League this year.