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Pujols won't be first All-Star to skirt the "Mendoza Line"

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Game 2 of St. Louis Cardinals and Miami Marlins series

Cardinals designated hitter Albert Pujols singles in the ninth inning of a game against the Marlins on Tuesday, June 28, 2022, at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. 

Albert Pujols will make his 11th trip to the All-Star Game, MLB announced Friday, though not exactly on the strength of his offensive numbers this season.

Entering play for the weekend the storied slugger so far has hit just .200 — the infamous "Mendoza Line" — with four home runs and 18 RBIs.

Commissioner Rob Manfred chose Pujols, playing in his final season, and Miguel Cabrera of the Detriot Tigers as his "legacy selections" for the game, based on their historical contributions to baseball.

According to a Post-Dispatch analysis of data from baseball-reference.com, Pujols' .200 batting average going into Friday's game would be the second-lowest of any All-Star position player at the All-Star break since 1990.

The lowest average came just last season. Tampa Bay's Mike Zunino, picked as a reserve catcher then, was hitting .198 at the break. He acquitted himself well, going one for two with an RBI in the game, helping push the American League past the National League 5-2.

After Zunino, the next-lowest All-Star average belongs to another Cardinal legend: Mark McGwire, who was hitting just .201 for the A's at the break in 1991.

Rounding out the bottom 10, Yadier Molina was hitting .223 in 2010 when he represented the Cardinals as a starting catcher for the National League.

Ten lowest batting averages by All-Star position players since 1990

 

Player Year Avg. Pos. Lineup
Mike Zunino 2021 .198 C reserve
Mark McGwire 1991 .201 1B reserve
Adam Dunn 2012 .208 1B reserve
Bryce Harper 2018 .214 CF starter
Jason Varitek 2008 .218 C reserve
Russell Martin 2011 .220 C reserve
Salvador Perez 2018 .221 C starter
Dan Uggla 2012 .221 2B starter
Darren Daulton 1995 .221 C reserve
Yadier Molina 2010 .223 C starter
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