CLEVELAND — All season, Carlos Santana has looked at the trade that brought him back to Cleveland as a return trip home. And, now, he'll have a spot in the starting lineup in the All-Star Game on his home turf.
Santana won the fan vote in the Starters Election and will be starting at first base for the American League in the All-Star Game to be held in Cleveland on July 9. Fans had between noon on Wednesday and 4 p.m. on Thursday to vote for the three finalists for the AL at first base. Santana was up against Minnesota Twins first baseman C.J. Cron and New York Yankees first baseman Luke Voit.
Santana dominated the voting, earning 49.2 percent of the vote to beat Voit (25.8 percent) and Cron (25 percent).
"I'm excited to represent Cleveland alongside the best in Major League Baseball," Santana said in a release. "To be able to start in my first career All-Star Game, and to do it at home in front of our fans, means everything to me."
Santana earning the start at first base was purely up to the fans, but regardless of the support in Cleveland, he was also the statistical leader in the clubhouse. Cleveland leads all AL first basemen with 2.6 fWAR, a half run above Seattle's Daniel Vogelbach and more than a full run above Voit (1.5) and Cron (1.3) as it relates to the Starters Election. Santana's 147 wRC+ is also tops at his position in the AL.
Entering the weekend series in Baltimore, Santana is hitting .290 with a .411 OBP and .951 OPS, 18 home runs, 15 doubles, 48 RBI and 55 runs scored.
This will be Santana's first All-Star selection. And with it, he'll become the first Indians first baseman to start the All-Star Game since Jim Thome in 1999. Reserves for both All-Star teams will be announced on Sunday.