By Jon Weisman
The wait is over for Kenley Jansen, and it never began for Corey Seager.
The Dodgers’ veteran closer and rookie shortstop have each been named to their first National League All-Star team, where they are joined at least in spirit by Clayton Kershaw — who despite his current back injury earned his sixth consecutive All-Star spot.
[mlbvideo id=”840462183″ width=”550″ height=”308″ /]
The 28-year-old Kershaw almost certainly would have started the All-Star Game for the first time in his magnificent career had he not been sidelined. He leads NL starting pitchers in numerous categories by wide margins, including wins above replacement (5.5), ERA (1.79), fielding-independent ERA (1.69), WHIP (0.73), strikeout-walk ratio (16.1, an MLB-record pace) and shutouts (three).
[mlbvideo id=”890371283″ width=”550″ height=”308″ /]
Jansen, also 28, leads NL relievers in WAR (1.9), thanks to a 1.30 ERA, 0.66 WHIP, 11.4 K/9 and 8.8 K/BB. In 36 appearances this season, Jansen has held opponents without a run or inherited run in 32 of them. He is the first Dodger reliever to be named to the All-Star team since Jonathan Broxton and Hong-Chih Kuo in 2010.
[mlbvideo id=”895651983″ width=”550″ height=”308″ /]
Seager is rapidly asserting himself as the NL’s best shortstop and along with Kershaw, as an MVP candidate. The 22-year-old leads NL shortstops in WAR (3.9), weighted on-base average (.380) and weighted runs created (142).
At 22 years and 69 days, Seager is the youngest position player All-Star in Dodger history, ahead of Pete Reiser in 1941 (22 years, 113 days). The only Dodger All-Stars younger than Seager were Fernando Valenzuela (20 years, 281 days in 1981) and Ralph Branca (21 years, 183 days in 1947).
Seager is also the Dodgers’ first All-Star shortstop since Rafael Furcal in 2010 and their first rookie All-Star shortstop since Billy Grabarkewitz in 1970.
Starting lineups and full All-Star rosters for the National and American leagues can be found here.