For the third year in a row, the Houston Astros had six representatives at the midsummer classic, hosted at Cleveland’s Progressive Field this year.
Split evenly between pitchers and position players, the three non-pitchers – third baseman Alex Bregman and outfielders George Springer and Michael Brantley – were chosen as starters at their respective positions.
In the bullpen were Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole and Ryan Presley, the latter of whom made his first trip to the All-Star Game.
Brantley made his fourth trip to the All-Star Game and first with Houston in his inaugural season in the Lone Star State. Bregman was sent to the midsummer classic for the second year in a row in just his fourth Major League season while Springer was named to his third game in a row in his sixth season in the Majors.
It ended up being a busy all-star break for Bregman, who also competed in the T-Mobile Home Run Derby Monday night, and squared off against the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Joc Pederson in the first round.
Cole has made the All-Star Game both years he’s been with the team and those served as his second and third bids with the first one coming in 2015, his third season with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Similarly, Verlander represented the Astros for the second consecutive season for his seventh and eighth all-star selections where his first one came in 2007 with the Detroit Tigers before going five years in a row between 2009 and 2013.
Before the current string of three consecutive seasons with six all-star selections, the most Astros to be chosen to represent their team was five, accomplished by infielders Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio and Ken Caminiti, and pitchers Doug Drabek and John Hudek back in 1994.
One player that had helped that streak start is Jose Altuve, who was left off the all-star roster this year for the first time since 2013. The Venezuelan second baseman was named an All-Star in his first full Major League season (2012) and after missing it the following year, had been voted in five years in a row before that trend was broken this year.