Justin Steele leads the National League in ERA. His Chicago Cubs teammate Marcus Stroman is fourth.
Only one American League player has more home runs than Chicago White Sox center fielder Luis Robert Jr. — and that’s Los Angeles Angels two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani.
Steele, Stroman, Robert and Cubs shortstop Dansby Swanson were selected Sunday for the MLB All-Star Game, scheduled for July 11 at T-Mobile Park in Seattle.
“It definitely means a lot,” Robert said through an interpreter at Oakland Coliseum, where the Sox wrapped up a series against the Athletics with an 8-7 victory. “It’s a big accomplishment. It’s a result of all the work I’ve been putting in every day since the offseason started.”
Steele and Robert are first-time All-Stars. Stroman made the AL team in 2019 with the Toronto Blue Jays. Swanson was an All-Star last season with the Atlanta Braves.
Steele’s 2.43 ERA is the best in the majors. The 27-year-old left-hander is 9-2 in 15 starts with 76 strikeouts and 19 walks in 85 1/3 innings. His 1.03 WHIP is the lowest in the NL.
Stroman, 32, is 9-6 with a 2.76 ERA and is tied for the league high with 18 starts. He has 92 strikeouts and 37 walks in 107 2/3 innings.
The 29-year-old Swanson, in his first season with the Cubs after signing a seven-year, $177 million deal in the offseason, was slashing .261/.348/.407 with nine homers and 35 RBIs in 79 games through Saturday.
It’s the first time the Cubs will have at least three All-Stars since 2019, when Javier Báez, Kris Bryant and Willson Contreras made it.
Robert, 25, is second in the AL with 24 homers and third with a .912 OPS. After manager Pedro Grifol informed him of the news, Robert reached out to his mom and dad in Miami.
“Everybody that has helped me to get to this point,” Robert said, also noting his trainers, “it’s an accomplishment for them too.”
He’s the first Sox center fielder to make the All-Star team since Chet Lemon in 1979.
“The key is just being able to play every day,” Robert said. “If you play every day, you have the chance to get better, the chance to identify things that you can improve.”
Robert had a monster June, ranking second in the AL with 11 home runs and a .677 slugging percentage and fourth with a 1.040 OPS.
“Power, defense, arm, speed (and) the other day he stole a couple bases in Anaheim,” Grifol said Saturday. “On top of all that he’s demonstrated growth, maturity, work ethic, ability to apply instruction, aptitude. So my question is what hasn’t he demonstrated.”
Robert earned his first AL Player of the Week honor on June 26. Now he has added All-Star to the resume.
He’s excited to be around “two of the best baseball players in the world” in Ohtani and Mike Trout and is looking forward to playing alongside fellow Cubans such as Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Randy Arozarena.
“That’s definitely going to be special,” Robert said.