Voting for the All-Star starters ended at 4 PM Eastern today, and they were announced three hours later on ESPN. The Braves had an incredible seven candidates up for starting spots, and admittedly, not all deserved to be first string at their position.
Brian McCann, Dansby Swanson, Josh Donaldson, Nick Markakis, and Ozzie Albies were not voted in. While all five have had productive years, only Albies had a real case to be a starter. Now, they have to wait until June 30th at 5:30 PM Eastern to see if they will be a reserve on the All-Star roster. The pitchers will also be announced then, and Dave Roberts will select a DH for the NL.
For the two Braves that were named All-Star starters, it was well-deserved. Freddie Freeman was the top vote-getter at first base, narrowly beating out Josh Bell, who is having a hell of a season himself. However, there isn’t a player in the National League hotter than Freeman. This is his fourth All-Star appearance and second consecutive start.
The next to be announced was Atlanta’s budding superstar – Ronald Acuña Jr. This was his first opportunity, as he barely played in the first half of last season even though he took home the Rookie of the Year award. The 21-year-old is already among the most electric athletes in any sport and earned this nomination behind stellar numbers. With that said, it does not even feel like he’s been hot yet. We could be in for an incredible second half just like we saw a year ago.