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Best of the best: Bradley Jr. earns MLB All-Star Game start

Boston Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr.
Boston Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. USA TODAY Sports

Former South Carolina star Jackie Bradley Jr. is set to make his debut in the Midsummer Classic.

The Red Sox outfielder has been named a starter for the American League in the MLB All-Star Game, which will be played July 12 at San Diego’s Petco Park.

Bradley Jr. will be the first former South Carolina player to start the MLB All-Star game since Brian Roberts did so in 2005 and the first former Gamecock to be named an all-star since Roberts in 2007.

The 26-year-old is in his fourth season in the majors and is having by far his most productive year.

After spending his first three years bouncing back-and-forth between the minor leagues and MLB, Bradley Jr. entered Tuesday night’s game hitting .294 with 20 doubles, six triple, 13 home runs and 53 RBIs in 78 games.

He has already set career highs in doubles, triples, homers and RBIs.

Bradley Jr. spent three seasons at South Carolina and put together an incredibly productive career.

He was named a consensus Freshman All-American in 2009 before helping the Gamecocks to back-to-back national titles in 2010-11. In 2010 he was named the Most Outstanding Player at the College World Series.

The Virginia native was drafted No. 40 overall by the Boston Red Sox after his junior season in 2011 and quickly worked his way up the minor league ranks, making his MLB debut two years later.

All-Star Game starters

AMERICAN LEAGUE

C: Salvador Perez, Royals

1B: Eric Hosmer, Royals

2B: Jose Altuve, Astros

3B: Manny Machado, Orioles

SS: Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox

OF: Mookie Betts, Red Sox

OF: Jackie Bradley Jr., Red Sox

OF: Mike Trout, Angels

DH: David Ortiz, Red Sox

NATIONAL LEAGUE

C: Buster Posey, Giants

1B: Anthony Rizzo, Cubs

2B: Ben Zobrist, Cubs

3B: Kris Bryant, Cubs

SS: Addison Russell, Cubs

OF: Yoenis Cespedes, Mets

OF: Dexter Fowler, Cubs

OF: Bryce Harper, Nationals

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