The MLB 2020 season was reduced to 60 games due to the still-rampant COVID-19 pandemic.  But the All-MLB first team was announced on Wednesday evening in New York as the league looks to try to keep things as normal as possible.  That won’t be completely possible, though, and a number of changes are coming to MiLB this year.

All-MLB Players Announced

Beginning with the National League (NL), the All-MLB team features NL MVP Freddie Freeman, also a winner of the Hank Aaron Award.  He’ll be at first base and will be joined by two other teammates from the Atlanta Braves, designated hitter Marcell Ozuna and starting pitcher Max Fried.

The San Diego Padres had two players selected to this elite MLB squad., shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. and third baseman Manny Machado.  Cy Young Award winners Trevor Bauer of the Cincinnati Reds and Shane Bieber of the Cleveland Indians made the first team roster, as well.  Right hand pitcher Yu Darvish of the Chicago Cubs and perennial ace Jacob deGrom of the New York Mets topped off the five starting pitchers.

First team catcher on the NL All-MLB team went to Salvador Perez of the Kansas City Royals, while the second base honors went to DJ LeMahieu of the New York Yankees.  The first team NL outfielders were awarded to Mookie Betts of the World Champion Los Angeles Dodgers, Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels and Juan Soto of the Washington Nationals.

NL relievers this year are Tampa Bays’ Nick Anderson and Oakland’s Liam Hendriks.  The NL Rookie of the Year Devin Williams of the Milwaukee Braves and Cleveland’s closer Brad Hand were named as the relievers on the second squad.

Abreu In For The AL

José Abreu of the Chicago White Sox took home the double honors of being the American League (AL) MVP, and also winning the coveted Hank Aaron Award.  He is now named as first baseman on the All-MLB second team.

The Philadelphia Phillies excellent catcher J.T. Realmuto found his name on the list, along with the Tampa Bay Rays’ second baseman Brandon Lowe. LA Dodger’s shortstop Corey Seager and the Cleveland Indians third baseman José Ramírez round out the infield.

Michael Conforto of the New York Mets, Ronald Acuña Jr. of the Atlanta Braves and Mike Yastrzemski of the San Francisco Giants made up the outfield.  40 year old Nelson Cruz of the Minnesota Twins was named designated hitter.  The starting pitchers named were Gerrit Cole of the New York Yankees, Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers and Dinelson Lamet of the San Diego Padres, Kenta Maeda of the Minnesota Twins and Hyun-Jin Ryu of the Toronto Blue Jays.

Votes for the 2nd annual All-MLB teams were cast by fans, media members, broadcasters, former players and other MLB officials.

The Dodgers’ Mookie Betts received the most fan votes, while Mike Trout, Jacob deGrom and DJ LeMahieu were the only players to be elected to the first team each of the past two years.

MiLB Continues To Shrink

MLB has ended the Professional Baseball Agreement that has governed the relationship between the majors and the minors. The National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, which has been governing the minor leagues since 1901, is closing down, and the minors will now be run from the MLB office in New York under the supervision of Peter Woodfork, MLB’s new Senior VP of Minor League Operations and Development.

MLB is going through with its plan to cut down to 120 farm teams.  This means that 40 cities will lose their minor league teams, including Jackson, Tennessee, which just lost its Double-A team.  The New York-Penn League, which started in 1939, has been eliminated and the Pioneer League, also started in 1939, lost its affiliated status and became and independent partner league. The long-standing Appalachian League is now converted to a college summer circuit for rising freshmen and sophomore baseball players.