Finalists for the 2021 MLB All-Star Game were announced this week, and for the Los Angeles Dodgers, that amounted to Max Muncy, Gavin Lux, Justin Turner, Mookie Betts and Chris Taylor advancing to Phase 2 of voting.
Of the group, only Lux and Taylor have never participated in a Midsummer Classic. The latter is in the midst of a career year, and as of the last voting update, ranked fifth among National League outfielders behind Ronald Acuña Jr., Nick Castellanos, Jesse Winker and Betts.
Whether or not he earns a spot on the roster, Lux is appreciative of Dodgers fans for helping him get this far in the process. “It’s a huge honor. I know I wouldn’t be in this situation if it weren’t for all the support I have from my fans and Dodger fans,” he said.
“It means a lot. Just to be in the same conversation with some of the other players, some of those superstar guys I’m in contention with in the outfield, it means a lot to me. I’m very humbled.”
Now in his eighth big league season, Taylor envisioned himself being a finalist to make the All-Star Game at some point. “Yeah. I want to say yeah,” he proclaimed.
“It’s always been a goal of mine. Maybe not at the forefront, but I think everybody hopes to one day make an All-Star team. I have very high expectations for myself, so I would say yes.”
Entering play Thursday — the final day fans can place their votes — Taylor was hitting .262/.377/.448 with 11 doubles, three triples, 10 home runs, 39 RBI and seven stolen bases in 300 plate appearances (75 games).
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts previously voiced his support for Taylor being selected to the All-Star Game. “The reason I went on record about a week ago in saying that in 2021 he’s an absolute All-Star, is because no one in baseball can do what he does,” Roberts said.
“That’s the versatility and ability to hit left and right. And also play above-average defense all over the diamond. So I think that in itself makes him an All-Star player.
“When you try to bucket him as a center fielder, second baseman, shortstop or left fielder, you’re actually doing him a disservice. The All-Stars are to showcase the best players in each league for that particular year, and he is one of the best players in the National League, hands down. It’s a pretty easy sell.
“And also, people need to promote him because doesn’t promote himself. There’s a lot of self promotion in sports and this game, where he’s a blue collar guy. Give him the love, please.”
Taylor reveals favorite All-Star Game moment
When asked what his favorite All-Star Game moment is, Taylor recalled the 2001 exhibition game when Cal Ripken Jr. homered and took home MVP honors. “I think Cal Ripken was the All-Star Game MVP one year,” Taylor said.
“He’s my favorite player. I think he hit a homer and was the All-Star Game MVP. I think that’s probably the first one that comes to mind.”
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