Lourdes Gurriel Jr was selected to play in his first All-Star Game after the phenomenal first half of the season he is had with the Arizona D-backs, after being traded earlier this year from the Toronto Blue Jays. Gurriel is hit .263 with 15 homers and 54 RBIs, already his second-highest mark of his career in MLB.
Yunito’s as he is known by the Cuban faithful is slashed .316/.493/.809 through his first 79 games of the season. He also collected 80 hits, including 21 doubles, two triples and scored 38 runs.
At 29 years of age the Cuban outfielder is entering his prime years and could be a key figure for Arizona for years to come. Gurriel has this to say to TUDN about his experience at the mid-summer classic:
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. juuuuuust missed a game-tying homer in his first ever All-Star Game at-bat pic.twitter.com/fhSCiHUY1L
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) July 12, 2023
How did your family, especially your father and your brother feel about your selection to the all-star game?
It was amazing to be elected to the game. For them it was also something very significant and moving.
How has your stellar season helped the D-backs in the win-loss column?
Yes we are having a great season, thank God. Each player, including myself is contributing their grain of salt and that is what is causing us to have such a great year.
There are eight players born in Cuba in this All-Star Game. What does it mean to you as a Cuban to be here with this many of your countrymen?
It means a lot, we are flying our flag high and representing Cuba, which is the most important thing.
What has your brother, who is having a great season in his own right with the Marlins, told you about your selection?
The first thing he told me is that I enjoy it. That I should also enjoy and relish the experience of every event that is going on this week and to participate in everything, so I can feel what the maximum experience of being an All-Star feels like.
Although your family is baseball -oriented was it difficult to adapt to another system after your trade?
The truth is that being a professional one adapts faster, but the family are the ones that are affected a little more by these sudden changes, there are several changes that we have had to make. I had already been with Toronto for six years. But we still adapted very quickly, Arizona has made it very easy for us, they have welcomed us with open arms and that has made me feel very happy.
Will the D-backs make the postseason?
Yes, that’s what we’re trying to do, play as well in the second half the as we did the first and get into the Play Offs.