NEW YORK — Less than three months after making his major league debut, Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant is an All-Star, one of two rookies selected along with Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson.
Also on the way to Cincinnati is former LSU standout DJ LeMahieu, a first-time selection who started his season as hot as can be.
But there was no room on the roster for Alex Rodriguez, enjoying a renaissance in his return to the New York Yankees following a season-long drug suspension.
Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal also was a first-time selection Monday for the July 14 game. Grandal became the third All-Star this year who served a drug-related suspension following MLB’s investigation of the Biogenesis of America clinic. Seattle slugger Nelson Cruz and St. Louis shortstop Jhonny Peralta were elected by fans to start.
Albert Pujols of the Angels will start at first base for the AL in place of Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera, who injured a calf muscle Friday. Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen will start in the NL outfield instead of Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton, who broke his hand on June 26.
Bryant, 23, made his big league debut April 17 and began Monday with a .279 average, 12 homers and 49 RBIs.
“Obviously, I’ve been at some All-Star Games, but I don’t think anything can compare to making the major league All-Star team,” he said. “It is kind of weird right now.”
He’s open to participating in the Home Run Derby.
“It’s all happened so quick,” he said.
The selection of LeMahieu, 26, is a bit of a surprise, especially since he got the nod over teammate Troy Tulowitzki. He has slumped lately, but LeMahieu still is hitting .298 with a .351 on-base percentage; both stats rank third in the NL among second basemen.
“The guy is a baller,” Rockies manager Walt Weiss told the Denver Post earlier this season. “He’s a quiet kid, but he’s a gem. We already knew about the defense, and I always thought the offense was going to come. He’s having a hell of a year offensively.”
A record six Royals were picked for the game, with players electing pitcher Wade Davis, and AL manager Ned Yost of Kansas City selecting reliever Kelvin Herrera. They join Royals outfielders Lorenzo Cain and Alex Gordon, catcher Salvador Perez and shortstop Alcides Escobar, who were elected on Sunday as starters.
Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas is among the five players on the AL fan ballot for the 34th and final roster spot. Rodriguez is not.
The three-time MVP, who turns 40 on July 27, has 16 home runs and 47 RBIs for the Yankees after missing last year because of a drug suspension.
“We spent a lot of time debating his name,” said Yost, who preferred the versatility of an extra infielder or outfielder. “We felt we were covered in the DH. ... We wanted to get Alex Rodriguez on there and couldn’t.”
The league that wins the All-Star Game gets home-field advantage in the World Series.
Rodriguez is hitting .284 during a season in which he passed Willie Mays for fourth on the career home run list and topped 3,000 hits. But Texas’ Prince Fielder, who was elected by players, joined Cruz as the only DHs on the AL roster.
“As I’ve said all season, my number one goal is helping the Yankees win a championship. I’m excited that we’re in a good position to get there,” Rodriguez said. “Of course it would have been an honor to represent the American League next week, but I’ll have fun cheering on the guys who were put on the team and watching them protect home field.”
Yankees reliever Dellin Betances was elected by players, and first baseman Mark Teixeira was picked to fill Cabrera’s roster spot. But this will be the first All-Star Game with no Yankees starters since 1999.
St. Louis tops the NL with five players. Peralta was elected to start along with outfielder Matt Holliday, who isn’t sure when he’ll be activated from the disabled list. Catcher Yadier Molina and reliever Trevor Rosenthal were elected by players, and NL manager Bruce Bochy of San Francisco picked pitcher Michael Wacha.
Cincinnati closer Aroldis Chapman was elected by players and is the second member of the hometown Reds on the NL roster. Third baseman Todd Frazier was elected to start.
Pittsburgh pitcher A.J. Burnett, in his 17th and what he says will be his final season, became an All-Star for the first time. At 38, he’s the oldest player headed to the game.