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Bucs, Goldscmidt & Castro MLB All-Stars

on Jul 07, 2013

Former Bucs, Astros catcher Jason Castro and Diamond Backs first baseman Paul Goldschmidt selected to 2013 MLB All-Star Team. Congrats to both former Anchorage Bucs.

With the release of the MLB All-Star Game starters, Arizona Diamondbacks fans everywhere must have started shaking their heads or even their fists. Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto was voted in as the starter at first for the National League. Votto is a great first baseman but this year is not his year. This is Paul Goldschmidt’s year and the fact that he isn’t starting the All-Star Game is ridiculous.

I know people get to vote and all of that but there has to be some room for a guy that is breaking out as the best first baseman in the National League to start the stinking all-star game. Nothing against Votto but he hasn’t been the best first baseman this year in the NL, Goldschmidt has. Basically all Votto getting voted in means is that there were more people scrambling to vote him in than there were Goldschmidt. It has absolutely nothing to do with the skills either has shown this season and there is something wrong with that.

Either they need to fix this gap in the All-Star voting process so that breakout stars won’t be snubbed because they play in slightly lower populated markets or they need to start calling the mid-summer classic the Popular-Stars Game instead of the All-Star game. I can only hope that the NL manager will do the right thing, select Goldschmidt and give him a good bit of playing time for the year he is having. Give me a break MLB.

David Miller is a Senior Writer for Follow him on Twitter @davidmillerrant, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network onGoogle+. 

ARLINGTON — Jason Castro grew up holding home-run derbies based off the annual Major League Baseball All-Star game.

Castro and his friends would place stars’ names in a hat, shake it up, then draw out individual players, attaching their youth heroics to the best in baseball.

Saturday, Castro became an actual All-Star. He was the lone representative from the Astros named to the American League squad. Castro, a reserve, joins starter Joe Mauer (Minnesota) and reserve Salvador Perez (Kansas City).

The 84th annual All-Star Game will be played July 16 at Citi Field in New York.

“It was something I was always hearing about growing up and watching all the All-Star games,” Castro said. “It’s a pretty surreal thing to even be in the conversation. That in and of itself is a pretty cool experience.”

Castro, 26, has battled back from major injuries to hit .269 with 11 home runs, 23 doubles, 28 RBIs and an .804 OPS this season. He ranks first among AL catchers in extra-base hits (34), second in doubles and fourth in runs (36).

The 6-foot-3, 215-pound Castro played in just 154 combined games during 2010 and 2012, missing all of 2011 due to injury.

“Jason Castro placed high expectations on himself. We’re now witnessing what it is we all believed the organization had when he was picked in the first round,” Astros manager Bo Porter said. “His maturation has taken place right before our eyes and it’s good to see, because he’s worked so hard to get his health back right and get his game to the point where he’s able to play at an elite level.”

The No. 10 overall pick of the 2008 draft was named AL player of the week May 28. He hit .579 with three home runs, five RBIs and a 1.741 OPS from May 20-26.

He leads MLB in multi-double games (six) this season and Castro’s 11 homers are the most for an Astros catcher since Mitch Meluskey hit 14 in 2000. Castro’s batting .300 (42-for-140) during his last 39 games with 12 doubles, eight home runs, 18 RBIs and a .936 OPS.

While the Astros have struggled, entering Saturday with the worst record in MLB, Castro has been one of the most consistent and professional players on a mix-and-match roster filled with unproven young athletes and late-career veterans. He’s also linked up with a makeshift pitching staff that showed clear improvement from mid-May to late June.

“He’s taken the resources around him. You have to remember that Castro had only caught one year in college and got drafted as a catcher — the Astros made that clear, that they wanted him to catch,” Astros No. 1 starter Bud Norris said. “So he’s taken the bull by the horns and really run with it.

“The fact is that he’s in there everyday. He’s in there doing all the scouting reports with (pitching coach Doug) Brocail and his own, figuring these things out, and it’s really paid dividends for all of us.”

Jose Altuve and Norris were reserve candidates for the Astros. Second base is stacked in the AL, though, while Norris made a late push in a field crowded with talented starting pitchers.

Altuve was the Astros’ only selection in 2012. He said Friday he expected either Castro or Norris to represent the Astros in New York.

“Castro and Bud have had great years,” Altuve said.