Justin Upton has been to two All-Star Games in four years, and at just 23 years of age there’s a good chance he’ll attend a few more before his career is done with.
But will he ever start in the game?
“He’s got to be one of those guys who hits 35-40 home runs and drives in 120,” Mark Asher said on Sports 620 KTAR’s Gambo and Ash show Wednesday. “If that happens then absolutely. He won’t get voted in because the fans of Arizona vote him in, we’re not that strong.”
Asher has a point.
In order to be an All-Star Game starter one must be voted in by the fans, an advantage that usually goes to teams playing in Philadelphia, New York, St. Louis and Boston.
However, Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers and Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays were voted in, proving a player from a small market can win the fan vote — if he’s really, really good.
It would also help to get some exposure outside of Arizona.
“If this team can get to the playoffs people will see Justin Upton,” John Gambadoro said on the show. “I think it will help the Justin Upton if this team, over the next few years, has a few playoff appearances.
“In the playoffs everybody watches you play. People don’t know Justin Upton, nobody’s watching him play.”
The state of Arizona is watching him now, and if he keeps up this pace the rest of the country will take notice too.
When that happens Upton’s star will only rise even higher, to a point where he could become not only a regular in the Mid-Summer Classic, but a consistent starter as well.