Zobrist picked to rep Rays as reserve in All-Star Game

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Tampa Bay Rays infielder Ben Zobrist was named Saturday as a American League team reserve for the All-Star Game, to be played July 16 at Citi Field.

This is Zobrist’s second selection to the All-Star Game, his first coming in 2009.

“I was shocked,” Zobrist said in a statement released before the Rays’ game against the Chicago White Sox at Tropicana Field. “I was really puzzled as to why I was coming into the principal’s office before the game. … When they showed me the envelope and said that (AL manager Jim) Leyland had selected me as one of the guys to come off the bench possibly — it’s a huge honor. … I look forward to being there and seeing what I can do.”

Zobrist, 32, is hitting .260 with five home runs and 44 RBI. He is tied with Evan Longoria with a team-high 40 walks and is second in RBI, behind Longoria’s 49.

Since 2009, he leads the American League and ranks fifth in the majors with 397 walks. He leads all major leaguers with a combination of 161 doubles and 23 triples in that span.

“I love the selection from the perspective that a complete game matters, it’s not just about batting average,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said in a statement. “Ben personifies the complete baseball player and has done so year in and year out. It’s great to see him recognized for it.”

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