Last year around this time a few players, most notably Jonathan Papelbon, made a ruckus about the prospects of Yasiel Puig making the All-Star team after his Herculean debut month.
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This year, Puig's left no doubt that he belongs.
The Dodgers right fielder not only made the N.L. team this season, but the Cuban Comet’s name will be called when the starters are introduced at Target Field in Minnesota, July15.
Puig has been the Dodgers most impactful player in the first half of the season. He’s hitting .307, with 12 home runs and 50 RBIs. In May he won the N.L. Player of the Month Award, his second time winning the honor in his first full big league season.
He’ll also be joined by some familiar faces.
Like a Hollywood actor on the I-should-win-an-Oscar publicity blitz, Clayton Kershaw used the month of June to make the case that an All-Star team without him would be like House of Cards without Kevin Spacey: sure, it could go on, but it would be missing its soul.
Kershaw won the Pitcher of the Month Award for June. And he currently hasn’t allowed a run in 36 consecutive innings. The lefty is also 10-2, with a 1.85 ERA and tossed his first no-hitter against the Rockies.
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The Sandy Koufax clone is on the All-Star team for the fourth straight year.
Joining Kershaw is teammate Zack Greinke, who has given the Dodgers a 1-2 combo that rivals Michael Jordan-Scottie Pippen, circa 1991-92.
The 30-year-old has anchored LA’s rotation, along with solidifying his place among the National League’s best hurlers. Greinke’s tied for first in the league in wins (11), he’s tied for second in starts (18) and he's second in strikeout-to-walk ratio (5.41).
It’s his second All-Star selection.
“Flash” is the perfect name for Dee Gordon.
Just like his nickname says, the Dodger second baseman has gone from looking like, at best, a career pinch runner to All-Star.
Gordon’s motto this year has been “trust the process.” He has, and he’s reaping the rewards by making his first Midsummer Classic.
Gordon will head into the All-Star break having already set career highs in every major offensive category, except for strikeouts. His nine triples and 42 stolen bases also lead the league.
He only has two more All-Star selections to go in order to tie his father, and O.G. "Flash", Tom Gordon. He's well on his way.