Outfielder Mookie Betts and first baseman Freddie Freeman were elected by fans to start the 2023 MLB All-Star Game, in results announced on Thursday, the second straight year the Dodgers will have multiple starters in the midsummer classic.
Three position players starting in the All-Star Game is the most by the Dodgers since four — Steve Garvey, Davey Lopes, Ron Cey, Reggie Smith — did so in 1980.
The All-Star Game will be held at T-Mobile Park in Seattle on Tuesday, July 11.
Betts, who is tied for fourth in the National League with 20 home runs and ranks seventh in fWAR (3.0), got the most support in Phase 2 of voting (34 percent) among the four National League outfielders vying for two spots. In the NL outfield, he’ll join the Braves’ Ronald Acuña Jr., the top vote-getter among everyone in the NL during Phase 1 of voting, and rookie Corbin Carroll of the Diamondbacks.
This is the seventh All-Star berth for Betts, and his fifth start along with 2016-18 and 2022.
2023 NL All-Star starters
|OF||Ronald Acuña Jr.||Braves|
Betts said previously that, if he was named an All-Star, he will take part in the Home Run Derby for the first time. Other announced participants in the Home Run Derby are Mariners outfielder Julio Rodríguez and Blue Jays first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
Freeman, who leads the majors with 27 doubles and ranks third in the National League with 100 hits, fourth in the NL in slugging percentage (.543), wRC+ (152), and fWAR (3.1), and fifth in on-base percentage (.395) earned his fourth All-Star start — along with 2018, 2019, and 2021 — and seventh All-Star berth, by garnering 60 percent of votes in Phase 2, beating Pete Alonso of the Mets.
Freeman will be just the third Dodgers first baseman to start an All-Star Game, joining Steve Garvey (seven times, from 1974-80) and Gil Hodges (1951).
J.D. Martinez got 53 percent of votes to outpace the Phillies’ Bryce Harper at designated hitter in the National League, earning his sixth career All-Star berth. Martinez is second in NL with a .571 slugging percentage and has 18 home runs. He hit his 300th career home run on Tuesday at Coors Field.
It’s the third time starting for Martinez, who also did so in 2018-19 for the American League with Boston.
Martinez is the first Dodger ever elected to start at designated hitter in the All-Star Game — this is only the second year fans voted for DH as a National League position. But he’ll be the second Dodger to start an All-Star team at DH. Max Muncy was voted to the 2021 team as a first baseman, and was tabbed to start at DH by National League manager Dave Roberts.
Will Smith was a finalist among National League catchers, but got only 39 percent of the vote in Phase 2, trailing Sean Murphy of the Braves (61 percent). For Smith, who ranks fifth in the NL in on-base percentage (.404), leads NL catchers with 38 runs score, and ranks second among league backstops in home runs (12), slugging percentage (.502), OPS (.906), wRC+ (149), and fWAR (2.8), his best avenue for his first All-Star berth is via the player vote.
Players vote for nine position players — one at each position plus three outfielders. If the top player at a particular position was also the fan-voted starter, the second-most votes from players gets the nod. So if Smith finishes within the top two catchers with Murphy in player voting, he’ll get the nod.
Full All-Star rosters will be announced Sunday.