Marcell Ozuna Leads Braves All-Stars Into Arlington

(Photo by Matthew Grimes Jr./Atlanta Braves/Getty Images)

Three Atlanta Braves players were honored to represent the organization in the All-Star Game this season in Arlington, TX. In 2024, the Braves’ two starting pitchers and one hitter will join the National League team at Globe Life Field. To highlight the class, designated hitter Marcell Ozuna will travel down for the Midsummer Classic. The two starting pitchers are the Braves’ newest additions in the offseason in trade acquisition Chris Sale and free agent signing Reynaldo López.

Marcell Ozuna

Designated hitter Marcell Ozuna will participate in his first All-Star Game since 2017 with the Miami Marlins. Ozuna is batting .295, his highest average in a full season since his last All-Star appearance. In June, Ozuna was on pace for the Triple Crown, but hit a small slump the last two weeks. Remarkably, the 33-year-old leads the NL in RBI, and is second in home runs, and ninth in batting average. There were many complaints last season were about Ozuna’s plate discipline after his inability to work many walks. After off-season work, Ozuna has raised his BB% to 11.3%, his highest mark in four years. Overall, through a season of struggles for the Braves, Ozuna has stuck out like a sore thumb in the batters box.

Chris Sale

The trade acquisition of Chris Sale this season threw a lot of trust on the 35-year-old. So far, the now eight-time All-Star is back to his best stuff. Although Sale has battled injuries his last couple seasons, his health hasn’t plagued his exceptional 2024. In 16 games this season, Sale has posted a 2.71 ERA and 127 strikeouts, which is third in the NL. Sale leads all starters in the majors with 11 wins, and only owns three losses this season. Of those three losses, only one loss has Sale posted more than two earned runs. His slider, four-seam combo dominates 76.6% of his pitches, with his sneaky changeup at 14.3%. Throughout all of Sale’s starts, he leads the Braves to win ballgames, and looks to stay healthy for the second half of baseball.

Reynaldo López

The final selection for the NL Wildcard leaders is first time All-Star Reynaldo López. López, who transitioned back into a starting pitcher, has broke all advanced statistics to become an All-Star. The 30-year-old in his ninth season leads the majors in ERA, posting a 1.71 ERA. The only qualified sub-two ERA pitcher in the majors fixed his slider to break out this year. López’s slider batting average decreased from .247 to .163. In 16 starts, López has conceded only six home runs, while seven wins and two losses. His breaking pitches and fastball have been his bread and butter, combining for a deadly slider-four seam combo. López’ Arlington appearance is one of the most unpredictable All-Star selections at the start of the season, but he objectively deserves the honor.

2023 Compared To 2024

As a team last season, the Braves sent eight All-Stars to Seattle for the Midsummer Classic. They were Ronald Acuna Jr. Orlando Arcia, Sean Murphy, Spencer Strider, Bryce Elder, Matt Olson, Ozzie Albies, and Austin Riley traveled to the West for their All-Star appearances. This season, the Braves retained none of their 2023 All-Stars to 2024. Ozuna is the only Atlanta Brave All-Star who played for the defending NL East champions last season. The Braves led all teams in All-Stars last season, while they only are fourth in the NL this year. Nevertheless, their pitching bolsters the NL All-Star team in Texas this summer.

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Brooks Thomason

As a up and coming writer, Brooks has been born and raised as an Atlanta Braves fan. Going through the years of Jason Heyward, Justin Upton, and Brian McCann as a kid, to Freddie Freeman, and Acuña, Brooks has seen Braves stars come and go. However, his fandom always remains with Braves Country.

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