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Cubs’ Castro, LaHair picked for National League All-Star team

Bryan LaHair

Bryan LaHair

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Updated: July 1, 2012 7:31PM

Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro has been named to his second National League All-Star team--but the surprise is the Cubs’ second selection.

First baseman Bryan LaHair was selected for the first time Sunday — on the strength of his early power numbers. He has 13 home runs, second only to Alfonso Soriano’s 15 homers. LaHair is hitting .284 with 28 RBI in his first full season after spending years in the minor leagues.

Ironically, LaHair lost his first base job last week when top prospect Anthony Rizzo was promoted. LaHair will play in the outfield now.

LaHair, 29, was the Class AAA Pacific Coast League most valuable player in 2011 when he set a new record for Class AAA Iowa with 38 home runs and led the PCL with 76 extra base hits, 303 total bases and a .664 slugging percentage.

LaHair was promoted to the Cubs in September and .288 with two home runs and six RBI in 20 games.

LaHair’s only other major league experience was in 2008 when he played in 45 games for the Seattle Mariners, hitting three homers in 45 games. He had spent the next three years in the minors, joining the Cubs organization in 2010.

The new Cubs management team under Theo Epstein gave LaHair the first base job to start this season before Rizzo’s promotion.

Castro, 22, will be in his second straight All-Star game in only his second full season in the majors. He was fourth in the majors last season with 207 hits and was the youngest Cub All-Star evern last season.

This season, he is hitting .298 with six home runs and 40 RBI and a team-high 94 hits.

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