Unexpected All-Star David Fry has seized opportunities with Guardians (2024)

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Count David Fry among those stunned by his selection to the American League roster for next week’s All-Star Game in Texas.

“Heck no,” Fry said when asked if he saw himself suiting up for the AL back at the start of the season.

“Maybe a Triple-A All-Star, I don’t know, but no. It’s pretty cool. Didn’t expect it for sure.”

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Fry was among three Guardians players added to the AL roster on Sunday when reserves and pitchers were announced by Major League Baseball. With Steven Kwan and José Ramírez already on the squad as elected starters, Fry, Josh Naylor and Emmanuel Clase give Cleveland five All-Stars for the first time since 2018.

Acquired in March of 2022 as the player to be named later in a trade that sent J.C. Mejia to Milwaukee, Fry’s path to the big leagues was never guaranteed, much less in line for an All-Star shot.

“Obviously God had a plan because it wasn’t really much I did,” Fry said. “A lot of guys work hard. I’ve worked hard, but there was a lot of help from the staff that we have here. From catching coaches to infield coaches, hitting coaches, I’ve had nothing but support and just really great help.”

Fry said getting the opportunity to prove himself on the field was another reason he will be heading to Texas next week.

“With the staff that we have now, giving me the opportunity to play a little bit more,” Fry said. “Like I said, I don’t think it’s really anything I did, I’ve just gotten more opportunity. And I’m just really happy to be able to go.”

Unexpected All-Star David Fry has seized opportunities with Guardians (1)

Make no mistake, Fry earned his spot on the AL roster. The 28-year-old utility man is hitting .305 with 14 doubles, eight home runs and 33 RBI in 66 games. He has started at four different positions as well as designated hitter, providing versatility to manager Stephen Vogt’s lineup that has proven to be as valuable as his bat.

Among AL players with at least 200 plate appearances, Fry is fourth in on-base percentage and ninth in OPS. Fry leads the majors in when batting against left-handed pitching in on-base percentage (.500), walks (23) and is fourth in OPS (1.111).

Perhaps the biggest indicator of Fry’s All-Star worthiness is the fact that Cleveland is 36-15 in games he starts. Vogt said Fry worked hard on his defense behind the plate in order to make himself an everyday player.

“To see somebody who wasn’t supposed to make it to the big leagues, but earns his way into an everyday role, and then is elected by his peers to go to the All-Star Game, I couldn’t be more proud of David,” Vogt said. “It’s just such a great story.”

Unexpected All-Star David Fry has seized opportunities with Guardians (2)

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Fry said finding out about his selection on Sunday in front of his teammates was an exciting moment that got him “pretty fired up.” Teammates such as fellow first-time All-Star Josh Naylor could not be happier that Fry will be along for the ride.

“He’s a true gamer in my opinion,” Naylor said. “We value him so much and he’s come such a long way in his career. He’s been willing to be such a versatile player where he’ll do whatever you ask him to do. He just wants to be in that lineup and help the team win.”

Naylor said after Fry failed to make the second phase of fan voting at designated hitter, he sought out his teammate and delivered a message of his own.

“I said, ‘Bro, you’re an All-Star. Whether you are a reserve or not, you’re an All-Star in my book and I appreciate everything you’ve done for this team and me and this organization,’” Naylor said.

Sending five Cleveland players to the game is good, but Fry thinks even more of his teammates are deserving.

“Our entire bullpen could have gone,” Fry said. “Would’ve loved to see more guys, but it’s just really cool to get a lot of guys there.”

A Texas native, Fry said the festivities could interfere with his previous plans to invite some of his teammates over for a pool party during the break. Will Brennan, Steven Kwan and the Naylors were all on the list.

“I guess now we have to have a game in between,” Fry said. “But we will be okay with that.”

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Unexpected All-Star David Fry has seized opportunities with Guardians (2024)
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