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Christian Yelich, Josh Hader named to inaugural All-MLB team

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Yasmani Grandal earned second-team honors, too.

Milwaukee Brewers v Minnesota Twins Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

More than six millions votes were cast, and earlier today the inaugural “All-MLB” first and second teams were officially released. Two current members of the Milwaukee Brewers and one recently-departed stalwart were named among the honorees, and none of them are exactly surprising:

Both outfielder Christian Yelich and reliever Josh Hader were named first-team All-MLB, adding yet another honor to the growing lists for both players. Yelich led all National Leaguers in each triple-slash category, batting .329/.429/.671 with 44 home runs and 30 stolen bases in 580 plate appearances for a 179 OPS+. He won his second consecutive Silver Slugger award and looked like a lock to defend his title as the reigning Most Valuable Player on the Senior Circuit until a broken kneecap ended his season prematurely. He wound up finishing second in voting to Cody Bellinger of the Dodgers.

Injuries forced Josh Hader into a more traditional closer role for the Brewers this season, but that didn’t stop Craig Counsell from regularly using him for multi-inning appearances as he piled up 75.2 innings across 61 appearances. Hader somehow increased his already otherworldly strikeout rate up to 16.4 K/9 and slashed his walk rate down to 2.4 BB/9. He was extremely difficult to hit — 4.9 H/9 and a 0.806 WHIP — though he was prone to giving up the long ball when batters did manage to make contact against him (1.8 HR/9). It all added up to a 2.62 ERA and 170 ERA+, and he recorded 37 saves among 46 games finished. Hader was named the National League Relief Pitcher of the Year for the second straight season.

Named to the All-MLB second team was Yasmani Grandal, who donned the tools of ingnorance on a near-daily basis in the Cream City last year. He set a new franchise record for home runs in a season by a catcher, smashing 28 dingers while batting .246/.380/.468 in 632 plate appearances for a 119 OPS+. Grandal’s offensive excellence combined with his defensive prowess — particularly his top-notch pitch framing ability — helped him land a four-year, $73 mil free agent contract with the White Sox this winter.

Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference