Yankees’ Juan Soto wins first-ever All-Star start, to debut for AL alongside Judge

Michael Bennington
Thursday July 4, 2024

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The New York Yankees’ superstar slugger Juan Soto has garnered enough votes to become the starting outfielder for the American League in the upcoming All-Star Game. He will join Aaron Judge, who clinched his spot as the AL’s top vote-getter with over 3.4 million votes in the first round of voting.

The 2024 All-Star Game appearance will be the fourth in Juan Soto’s career but his first as a starter. It is also his first in the American Laegue. In his previous Midsummer Classic outings, the slugger had a 1-for-6 record with two walks.

Juan Soto, who ranked second behind Judge in the first phase, secured his starting position through the second phase, receiving 449,442 votes, which accounted for 31 percent of the total. Joining them will be Cleveland Guardians’ Steven Kwan, who finished second in Phase 2 with 406,538 votes.

Cleveland’s Steven Kwan edged out Houston’s Kyle Tucker for the third outfield position. Apart from these starters, the Yankees’ pitchers and reserves will be announced on Sunday.

The event is scheduled for July 16 at Globe Life Field in Texas.

Juan Soto and Aaron Judge: The formidable Yankees All-Star duo

As of Wednesday, Juan Soto ranked second on the Yankees in WAR (4.4) according to Baseball Reference. He also ranks among the AL leaders in home runs (20), RBIs (61), and on-base percentage (.437). Soto has achieved career highs in average exit velocity (94.4) and barrel percentage (18.3).

Judge, who is on a tear this season and already a six-time All-Star, will pair alongside Juan Soto as a starter for the first time in his career. This recognition marks his debut as an AL All-Star, following his previous selections with the Nationals and Padres.

Juan Soto is elated that the honor holds significant meaning for him and attributes it to his intense work ethic and persistent efforts. “It means a lot,” he said. “It’s a lot of hard work that I’ve been putting in … been grinding a lot.”

He is equally excited about playing alongside Judge, praising his teammate’s skills and anticipating a memorable experience at the All-Star event. “It feels great,” Juan Soto told. “He’s an All-Star, an amazing baseball player. More than happy to share the field with him. Now in an All-Star Game, it’s going to be even better.”

American League All-Star starters
C: Adley Rutschman Orioles
1B: Vladimir Guerrero Jr.Blue Jays
2B: Jose AltuveAstros
3B: José RamírezGuardians
SS: Gunnar HendersonOrioles
OF: Aaron JudgeYankees
OF: Juan SotoYankees
OF: Steven KwanGuardians
DH: Yordan AlvarezAstros

National League All-Star starters
C: William ContrerasBrewers
1B: Bryce HarperPhillies
2B: Ketel MarteDiamondbacks
3B: Alec BohmPhillies
SS: Trea TurnerPhillies
OF: Christian YelichBrewers
OF: Jurickson ProfarPadres
OF: Fernando Tatis Jr.Padres
DH: Shohei OhtaniDodgers

Juan Soto has been a standout in his first 84 games with the Yankees, posting a .997 OPS, hitting 20 home runs, and leading the major leagues with 74 walks. His performance has met the high expectations set following the offseason trade with San Diego.

Juan Soto ranks the second best OPS in MLB

Manager Aaron Boone lauded Juan Soto’s hitting prowess, calling him a generational talent. He highlighted the slugger’s consistency and remarkable self-awareness at the plate, noting the formidable combination created by having Soto and Judge bat consecutively in the lineup.

This selection marks the second time in three years that the Yankees have had two outfielders starting in the All-Star Game, following Judge and Giancarlo Stanton‘s joint selection in 2022. Juan Soto’s inclusion underscores the Yankees’ strategic moves to strengthen their outfield and offensive capabilities, forming a powerhouse lineup now recognized across the league.

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