All-Star starters revealed: Astros lead with three

The Houston Astros lead all teams with three starters for this year's All-Star Game, after all the votes were tallied Thursday in Major League Baseball's new "Starters Election."

Houston's Alex Bregman, the runaway winner at third base for the American League, will be joined in the starting lineup by Astros teammates George Springer and Michael Brantley, the latter of whom edged the New York Yankees' Aaron Judge by less than 1 percentage point for the final AL outfield spot.

Springer and Brantley will share the outfield with Angels star Mike Trout, who led all candidates with 993,857 votes in the final stage, for the game at Cleveland's Progressive Field on July 9.

Under MLB's new system, fans voted for players up until last Friday, and the top three finalists at each position for both leagues moved on to a runoff election -- after all votes were reset to zero -- conducted Wednesday and Thursday.

The Atlanta Braves, Chicago Cubs and New York Yankees were the only other teams to put more than one player in the starting lineups.

The Braves' Freddie Freeman won the tightest race in the National League, edging the Pirates' Josh Bell by 1.1% of the vote at first base. He'll be joined by Ronald Acuna Jr., who overcame a challenge from Colorado's Charlie Blackmon for the final NL outfield spot.

Cubs catcher Willson Contreras and shortstop Javier Baez -- who won at second base last year -- both cruised to starting spots, while Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez and second baseman DJ LeMahieu will start for the AL.

With 51.9% of the final vote, Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado was the only player to win more than half the votes at his position. However, in raw votes he still finished behind Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich, who led the NL with 930,577.

"In spring, there were a lot of questions if I could do it again," Yelich said. "Was it a fluke? Am I a good player? That stuff kind of lights a fire in me. I didn't know how the year was going to go, but I wasn't going to look back on last year and think anything was guaranteed. Just because you're an MVP the previous year, you're not going to just walk through the next year and everything was going to be fine."

Los Angeles Dodgers slugger Cody Bellinger, an early MVP candidate, won the other NL outfield spot, while Ketel Marte will be the first Arizona Diamondbacks second baseman to start an All-Star Game since Jay Bell in 1999.

The crowd in Cleveland will be able to cheer on hometown favorite Carlos Santana, who will start at first base for the AL after winning 49.2% of the final vote at his position.

Also starting for the American League will be Jorge Polanco -- who will be the first Minnesota Twins shortstop to start an All-Star Game in 40 years -- and Texas Rangers designated hitter Hunter Pence, who could find only a minor league contract as a free agent last offseason.

"It was quite a wild journey from this year to last year," Pence said. "And to even be speaking about this now, is a miracle. It's a blessing, and I'm very grateful."

With an average age of just 25.8 years, the National League lineup signals a youth movement. At 29, Freeman is the elder statesman, with the 28-year-old Arenado the next-oldest player. The outfield of Yelich, Bellinger and Acuna will be the youngest to start an All-Star Game since 1957, and the third-youngest ever.

"It shows how good these young guys are," said Arenado, who'll be making his fifth All-Star appearance. "Some of these young players are unbelievable players. We're fortunate to be in this time, when you get to see how good they are."

Trout is set to be the sixth AL player to start six times before turning 28. The others are Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Ivan Rodriguez, Rod Carew and Ken Griffey Jr.

"I just enjoy going to the [All-Star Games]," Trout said upon his eighth straight selection. "Every year it seems like I am slowing it down and embracing the experience. The first couple I was running around and it went so fast."

Those players who didn't win the vote will have to wait until Sunday afternoon to learn whether they are among the reserves, chosen by a combination of the players' ballot and the commissioner's office. The pitchers also will be revealed during the announcement on ESPN.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.