Kauai’s Kirby Yates, who leads the major leagues with 27 saves as the closer for the San Diego Padres, was selected to his first MLB All-Star Game today.
Yates, who has struck out 56 in 34 ⅓ innings and has a 1.31 ERA, has converted all but one save opportunity this season. His 27 saves are four more than New York’s Aroldis Chapman, Cleveland’s Brad Hand and Los Angeles’ Kenley Jansen.
Yates is the fourth player born and raised in Hawaii to make the All-Star game, joining pitcher Sid Fernandez with the New York Mets in 1986 and ‘87, outfielder Shane Victorino (2009, 2011) of the Philadelphia Phillies and catcher Kurt Suzuki (2014) who made it while playing for the Minnesota Twins.
Saint Louis School alum Brandon League, who was born in California, also made the All-Star game in 2011 with the Seattle Mariners.
Yates notched his 27th save on Friday to break Heath Bell’s Padres record for the most before the break.
The All-Star Game will be held July 9 at Progressive Field in Cleveland.