On Sunday it was announced that San Francisco Giants outfielder Mike Yastrzemski had been named a finalist for the All-MLB team. The Giants had three nominees for the team — Yastrzemski, first baseman Brandon Belt, and second baseman Donovan Solano — and Yaz is the lone member to move on to the finalist round.
It’s just the second year that the league has opted to have an All-MLB team, and there will be both a first and a second team, so Yastrzemski is competing for one of six spots in the outfield. He’ll be up against eight other outfielders: Ronald Acuña Jr. (Atlanta Braves), Mookie Betts (Los Angeles Dodgers), Michael Conforto (New York Mets), Bryce Harper (Philadelphia Phillies), Eloy Jiménez (Chicago White Sox), Juan Soto (Washington Nationals), George Springer (Houston Astros), and Mike Trout (Los Angeles Angels).
It’s just another remarkable step in Yastrzemski’s career, and a reminder of his fascinating path. After spending six years in the farm system of the Baltimore Orioles — one of MLB’s worst teams — he was traded to the Giants in 2019 for pitching prospect Tyler Herb. It was a tiny trade that amounted to the Orioles giving up on Yastrzemski.
He made his debut with the Giants at the age of 28, managed to stick, and found stardom this year as your run-of-the-mill age-30 breakout star. Baseball works in mysterious ways.
The pandemic cost Yastrzemski a shot at an All-Star appearance, but he still has a pretty good shot at earning an individual accolade with an All-MLB selection. Even if he isn’t voted to the first or second team, his numbers look great: .297/.400/.568, 10 home runs, 2.7 fWAR.
Way to go, Yaz.