Bobby Witt Jr. and Scott Barlow named finalists for All-MLB Team


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KANSAS CITY, Mo.—Major League Baseball today announced the finalists for the All-MLB Team presented by Church & Dwight, which recognizes and commemorates the top performances by players during the regular season. The selections for the All-MLB Team, which was established in 2019, will be announced on MLB Network on Monday, Dec. 5.

Two Royals are among this year’s finalists, including infielder Bobby Witt Jr. and right-handed relief pitcher Scott Barlow.

Beginning today and continuing through Tuesday, Nov. 22 at 4:00 p.m. CT, fans may vote for their 2022 All-MLB choices at mlb.com/allmlb once every 24 hours. The ballot will also be available in Spanish at lasmayores.com/todomlb. Fans voting on MLB.com and a decorated panel of media members, broadcasters, former players and other officials throughout the game will have equal say in determining the first-team and second-team choices on the 2022 All-MLB Team.

Fans and panelists will vote for their choices at catcher, first base, second base, third base, shortstop, three outfielders (without regard for left/center/right) and designated hitter, along with five starting pitchers and two relief pitchers on both the first and second teams. All choices will be based on the regular season, without regard for American League or National League affiliation.

Witt Jr. is one of 10 finalists at the shortstop position, along with Willy Adames, Bo Bichette, Xander Bogaerts, Carlos Correa, Francisco Lindor, Jeremy Peña, Corey Seager, Dansby Swanson and Trea Turner. Along with Peña, Witt Jr. is one of two rookies among the 10 finalists at the position, and he’s two years younger than the next youngest shortstop finalist.

Witt Jr. is one of two finalists at shortstop to record at least 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 2022, along with Turner. Regardless of position, Witt Jr. this season became just the fifth player in the last 49 years to record at least 20 home runs and 30 stolen bases in his age-22 season or younger, following Ronald Acuña Jr. (2019), Mike Trout (2012-13), Álex Rodríguez (1998) and Barry Bonds (1987).

Witt Jr. appeared in 150 games as a rookie in 2022, including 98 games (96 starts) at shortstop. He was one of four players in American League history to record at least 20 homers and 30 steals while playing at least 95 games at shortstop, following Jonathan Villar (2019), Rodríguez (1998) and Bert Campaneris (1970).

Barlow, who is one of 22 finalists among relief pitchers, recorded a career-high 24 saves in 2022, which ranked 6th in the American League, and pitched to a career-best 2.18 ERA (18 ER in 74.1 IP), which ranked 11th among American League relievers. He also earned a career-best 7 wins, which tied for 3rd among American League relievers, and he did not allow an earned run in 56 of his team-high 69 appearances.

Barlow was especially good in his 39 appearances at Kauffman Stadium, where he pitched to a 1.50 ERA (7 ER in 42.0 IP) and .185 opponents’ average (27-for-146). The former marked the best home ERA in the Majors in 2022 (min. 40.0 IP), lower than Justin Verlander, Sandy Alcantara and Tony Gonsolin, who all tied for 2nd at 1.64.

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Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttps://sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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