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Whit Merrifield named to his first All-Star team

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All-Star Whit!

MLB: Cleveland Indians at Kansas City Royals Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Whit Merrifield will represent the Royals at the 2019 All-Star Game to be played July 9 at Progressive Field in Cleveland. Merrifield was named as a reserve to the American League squad in a process determined by both a player’s vote and input from the Commissioner’s office. It will be the first All-Star appearance for the 30-year old. Merrifield is tied for second in the league in hits with 104, one behind leader D.J. LeMahieu of the Yankees, and is hitting .299/.347/.497 with 11 home runs and 11 steals. Merrifield led all of baseball in hits and stolen bases last year.

Hunter Dozier was a snub at third base despite being the 18th-most valuable player in the league by Wins Above Replacement Level, according to Fangraphs. Dozier is hitting .292/.378/.565 with 13 home runs in a breakout season, but was likely passed over due to missing three weeks with an injury. Alex Bregman of the Astros was elected over Dozier in the online vote at third base, and Athletics third baseman Matt Chapman was named as the only third base reserve. There is a possibility he could be named as an injury replacement.

Adalberto Mondesi was also a contender to be named to the All-Star team, but a loaded shortstop position and his recent groin injury likely kept him off. Jorge Soler is among league leaders in home runs, but a recent slump has brought his batting average down to .234.

The 2019 All-Star Game will air on FOX. You can see complete rosters here.