Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout named 2022 All-Star Game starters

It’s the 10th time Trout has been named an All-Star — including nine times as a starter — and the second for Ohtani, who made history last year when he was both fan-picked and voted for as a starter at DH in as a starting pitcher by the players. Trout joins the Yankees’ Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton in the American League outfield, while Ohtani edged out Houston’s Yordan Alvarez for the DH seed. Ohtani won’t know if he made it to the club as a pitcher until the full squads are announced Sunday at 2:30 p.m. PT on ESPN. Ohtani has also not yet decided whether he will compete in the Home Run Derby, while Trout said he is officially out of the event.

“It’s a great honor for both of them,” said Phil Nevin, Angels interim manager. “It’s an honor for them as teammates and players. For me, I’m going to look at the All-Star Game a little differently and watch my boys. But hopefully we’ll get one or two more.”

Ohtani, the reigning AL MVP, had a memorable all-star experience last year when he competed in the home run derby, started the game on the mound and served as the lead hitter in the AL’s 5-2 win at Coors Field. He remains a candidate to field the first inning for a second straight year, but other options could be Houston’s Justin Verlander or Tampa Bay’s Shane McClanahan.

“I had a lot of fun last year, but this year I want to have even more fun,” Ohtani said through interpreter Ippei Mizuhara. “I honestly feel very honored and very grateful that the fans voted for me. I think that will motivate me to play better.”

Ohtani, 28, has put together another incredible season both on the plate and on the mound. He started Friday with .257/.343/.490 with 18 homers, 15 doubles, 10 stolen bases and 53 RBIs in 81 games while going 8-4 with a 2.44 ERA and 111 strikeouts in 81 innings. He’s been on a tear recently, going 5-0 with seven homers as a batter over that span with a .27 ERA in his last five starts.

“Again, what he’s doing this year, we’ve never seen anything like it,” Trout said. “I’m glad he made the team. I’m happy for him.”

Trout, meanwhile, will attend his first All-Star game since 2019 as the 2020 Midsummer Classic was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and he missed last year’s edition with a strained right calf. Trout was chosen as a starter every year from 2013 through 2019, and again last year and this year.

“It’s special,” Trout said. “That means a lot. Obviously, it’s a fan vote, so it’s a special honor. It’s a fun few days. And this one is in LA, so not too far from my home. It’s pretty cool. I’m just love being in this clubhouse. You can’t take it for granted. They are the cream of the crop.”

The 30-year-old Trout had another strong year despite a recent slump as he went into action on Friday at .265/.367/.601 with 23 homers, 17 doubles and 48 RBIs in 75 games. He said he was grateful that fans recognized him as a starter again and that he was enjoying the experience. He was the All-Star Game MVP in both 2014 and ’15.

“I always enjoy going,” Trout said. “It’s been a fun few days. It’s fun for the fans. You see your favorite players. i really enjoy it I missed it. I’m glad I’m healthy this year. In recent years, the injury has been tough for me mentally and physically. But this year I was able to be out there.”

Trout is the first player since Alex Rodriguez (2000-08) to be fan-picked as a starter for nine straight All-Star games and only the eighth player in AL history to receive nine fan picks with one organization and joining Cal Ripken Jr., George Brett, Ken Griffey Jr., Rod Carew, Derek Jeter, Ichiro Suzuki and Iván Rodríguez.

Another reason Trout’s 10th trip to the All-Star Game will be special is that he’ll be able to bring his son Beckham with him for the first time. Beckham turns 2 on July 30 and Trout said it worked out great that the game will be held at Dodger Stadium just 30 miles north of Anaheim.

“Beckham is coming, so it’s going to be special,” Trout said. “I brought my nephew to the Derby a couple of years ago. So it will be a special moment for me to be able to take my son to the All-Star Game for the first time.”

The All-Star Reserves will be announced Sunday at 2:30 p.m. PT on ESPN. Stay tuned to AllStarGame.com and social media for information on MLB All-Star Week @MLB. MLB Network, MLB.com and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All Star Week coverage.

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