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Giancarlo Stanton will have a busy All-Star break. In addition to appearing in the July 9th Home Run Derby, he will be a reserve outfielder on the NL All-Star team the next night. Stanton was selected to his first All-Star Game Sunday by NL manager Tony La Russa.
The 22-year-old Stanton is the Marlins' only representative this year. "If one thing is very bright for us, it's him," Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen told the Miami Herald.
Stanton is batting .282 this season, and he hit his 19th home run of the season on Sunday. His .916 OPS leads the team, and only Omar Infante has a better average among the Marlins.
Stanton has hit 75 home runs since being called up from Double-A Jacksonville in June of 2010, earning the NL's Player of the Month honor in May.
The Marlins have plenty of former All-Stars on the roster, including Hanley Ramirez, Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, and Heath Bell. " I looked at this ballclub in December and I said 'Wow we got a few All-Star guys,'" Guillen said Sunday. "Unfortunately they didn't play good enough to get in the All-Star Game."
Still, he was happy for Stanton, who Guillen views as an important figure in recent MLB history. "Because when everybody was hitting home runs [before] they were under something," Guillen said. "Now having kids like that coming up, enjoy this home run thing, that's good for everyone. Kids can see new kids doing that. That's a motivation for people to watch the game."
The 83rd MLB All-Star Game will take place June 10 at Kansas City's Kauffman Stadium. The game will be televised on Fox at 8 p.m. The Home Run Derby, in which Stanton will also appear, takes place the previous night at 8 p.m. on ESPN.
Johnson, who has thrice been an All Star, said he told Stanton to soak up the All-Star Break and enjoy it. "It's going to be a really fast three days, two and half days really,"Johnson said. "It's going to be non-stop.