On Sunday, July 1, Major League Baseball released the American League and National League rosters for the 2012 All-Star Game in Kansas City. Four Los Angeles Angels players are among the players listed for this year's Midsummer Classic: Mike Trout, Mark Trumbo, C.J. Wilson, and Jered Weaver.
There was little doubt that Weaver and Wilson would make the All-Star team. The two pitchers have been dominant thus far in 2012. There's a good chance that the Angels wouldn't be in the playoff chase if Weaver and Wilson hadn't kept the Angels within striking range during the team's early season slump.
Yet it's been the emergence of Trumbo and Trout as the Halos' offensive catalysts that has pushed the club into second place. Trumbo had a very good year in 2011, but his numbers this season have been off the charts, especially when you consider that he had very little help in the lineup while Albert Pujols struggled. He's on track to hit more than 40 HRs, 110 RBIs, and 30 doubles for a .312 BA. Those numbers dwarf the stats that Pujols projects to have for the season.
Meanwhile, Trout's effect on the club is even more palpable. The team was getting little support from the top of the batting order prior to his arrival on April 28, but it has since become one of the best offensive teams in all of baseball. Trout led the A.L. in hitting (.339) and stolen bases (22) entering play on July 2, while remaining near the top of the league in runs and triples. He definitely deserves to be an All-Star.
However, there is one player missing from the roster that many fans expected to be there. Albert Pujols paid for his early season struggles by missing his second straight All-Star Game. He's since broken out of his slump, but it was too late to earn a trip to Kansas City. I'm sure he'll make next year's roster.
Even with Pujols's absence from the All-Star team, the Angels are going to be well-represented at the Midseason Classic. Hopefully, fans will vote for closer Ernesto Freiri to make the team as well. It would be great to see five Angels take the field for the A.L. on July 10.
Derek Ciapala has been a fan of the Angels since childhood. His favorite Angels moment is when they won the 2002 World Series in seven games over the San Francisco Giants. You can follow him on Twitter @dciapala or on Facebook.