Every year, the LA Angels are locks to have one All Star starter in Mike Trout. This year, however, he could be joined by a teammate for the first time in a long time.
A lead candidate for American League Comeback Player of the Year, La Stella has been absolutely mashing baseballs to start the season. That, along with other factors, could find La Stella beating out the likes of Gleyber Torres and Jose Altuve as the starting second baseman for the ASG.
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First off, his stats speak for themselves. He is hitting .299 (3rd among AL qualifiers), has a .560 slugging percentage (2nd), 11 home tune (2nd), and his 27 RBI’s rank 3rd. He has been not only the best offseason addition for the Angels, but one of the best steals of the entire MLB offseason.
While his stats are impressive, La Stella will need a good storyline and a lot of support to be named a starter. The storyline is there, as La Stella has more home runs this season than in every other year of his career combined. On top of that, playing alongside Trout every night will only boost his stock.
As long as Angels fans, who were unable to vote Andrelton Simmons to the All Star Game as apart of the Final Vote portion in 2018, show out and stuff their ballots for La Stella, he has an inside track at starting.
His main competition as of right now is New York Yankees star Gleybar Torres. Torres has 12 homers and a higher slugging percentage. However ten of those twelve have come against the Baltimore Orioles, which is an insane number but also means regression could be coming for Torres in the next two months.
Speaking of regression, that’s something La Stella needs to avoid. This outburst of slugging could be from a change in approach (and it certainly seems that way), but it could also mean he’s just had a hot two months.
While we mostly have to throw away all of La Stella’s past stats now that he’s this new slugger, he has historically struggled in June, which heavily impacts All Star voting. However, being an everyday player now and having a refined swing, La Stella could be in for a career year, and the Angels are lucky he won’t hit free agency until 2021.
By then, the Angels may have already locked up their newest All Star for years to come.