Three Rangers are All-Stars. Hunter Pence, who will be the starting DH, and Joey Gallo and Mike Minor. Minor could be the starting pitcher.
The number of players that makes the All-Star team is a real barometer of how good that team is.
During the glory years, the Rangers were well represented in the All-Star Game. They sent six players in 2010, five in 2011, and eight in 2012.
Then the stripping away of top-line talent began, and the Rangers became more and more devoid of all-stars.
The Rangers had just three all-stars in 2013, just two in 2014, only one in 2015, and just two in 2016. In 2017, they had just one again. Every team has to have at least one representative, and the Rangers really had nobody to qualify, so Yu Darvish was chosen. But the Rangers requested he not actually pitch in the game. So they had a player on paper only.
Last year, only Shin-Soo Choo made it from the Rangers.
This is an encouraging sign that the Rangers finally have multiple players worthy of being all-stars. And, they were voted in by fans and players, not written in by the league officials to satisfy the one-per-team requirement.
So, hats off to Pence, Gallo, and Minor.
Pence’s selection is truly remarkable. His career was left for dead when he left San Francisco. In fact, one scout said that if Hunter Pence made the Rangers coming out of spring training, he would be the worst player in all of major league baseball. That’s how little he was thought of.
But I guess he didn’t factor in Hunter Pence’s determination. His Comeback Player of the Year campaign gets a huge thumbs up with this All-Star selection, the fourth in his career.
This is Gallo’s first. And what a remarkable story his year has been. Maybe more unlikely than Pence’s. Because of his recent injury, he doesn’t have the at-bats to qualify for league leaders, but his OPS is higher than Mike Trout’s. And Mike Trout is leading the American League. His slugging percentage is leading all of baseball. And he’s hitting .285. This from a guy who mostly looked lost at the plate in the past. He found it.
Mike Minor is leading the American League in ERA at 2.40. The Rangers haven’t had a starting pitcher finish with an ERA in the 2s since Yu Darvish in 2013.
Congratulations to Hunter Pence, Joey Gallo, and Mike Minor. Three of the reasons the Rangers are fun to watch again.
Jose Suarez (2-1, 5.57) vs. Mike Minor (8-4, 2.40)
Game time: 7:05