Sunday, July 1, 2012
Josh Hamilton leads trio of All-Star starters
By Richard Durrett
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Outfielder Josh Hamilton, third baseman Adrian Beltre and catcher Mike Napoli will start the 2012 All-Star Game on July 10 in Kauffman Stadium. The fans voted all three players into the game at their various positions.
It's the fifth consecutive All-Star start for Hamilton, who easily topped all other players in votes with more than 11 million, a new record. The 31-year-old has a hit in each of his previous four All-Star Games with a lone RBI in 2009 in St. Louis. Hamilton is batting .319, sixth in the league and has 25 homers, one behind Jose Bautista. He's No. 1 in RBIs with 73.
Beltre and Napoli were both voted in as starters by fans for the first time. Beltre, though, started last year's game because Alex Rodriguez had to back out with a knee injury. Beltre was actually No. 1 on the player and coach ballots last year. He had a hit and played three innings in the field. The veteran is third in the AL in batting at .328. Napoli has never been to an All-Star Game and will go as a starter despite batting just .238 with 12 homers and 30 RBIs. Joe Mauer and A.J. Pierzynski have better first-half numbers (Mauer hitting .325 and Pierzynski batting .285 with 14 homers and 45 RBS), but Napoli won the fans over probably in large part because of his 2011 second half.
The reserves will be announced shortly.