After today’s All-Star team rosters were announced, I’m proud to say that two very deserving Angels made the squad, those two being the Halos’ first half Superman in Torii Hunter, and first-year closer Brian Fuentes.
In 75 games played, Torii has posted a .304 batting average, along with a club-best 17 home runs and 63 RBI to go along with some stellar center field play (still 0 errors on the season… hopefully this won’t jinx him!). He’s been on fire all year long, and without his hot bat during Vlad’s DL stint, who knows where the Angels would be. One thing’s for sure, they sure as heck wouldn’t be sitting atop the AL West.
He will be making his 3rd All-Star appearance, as he finished 4th in outfield voting, barely missing a starting spot behind Seattle Mariner hit machine Ichiro Suzuki, Boston Red Sox slugger Jason Bay, and the Texas Rangers’ comeback kid in Josh Hamilton, who has only played in 35 of the team’s 80 games this year (but I guess that’s what you get when the fans vote).
And for Fuentes, he’s been successful on 24 of 27 possible save opportunities this year, and that 24 saves is tops among all MLB closers. After a rocky start to the season (blowing 2 of his first 7 save opportunities), Fuentes has been in a groove, shutting the door in 19 of his past 20 opportunities. He hasn’t given up a run since May 30th and in 10 appearances during the month of June, he allowed no runs and only surrendered 3 hits to opposing lineups.
Fuentes was selected in by the players and coaches, with this being his 4th All-Star appearance of his career (All-Star from 2005-2007 with the Colorado Rockies).
The 2009 All-Star game takes place on Tuesday July 14th under the Gateway Arch in beautiful St. Louis, Missouri.