TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (July 8, 2016) – Toronto Blue Jays and former Tallahassee Community College outfielder Michael Saunders has been named to the American League All-Star Team and will be part of Major League Baseball’s 87th All-Star Game on Tuesday, July 12 at San Diego’s Petco Park.
Saunders earned his first All-Star nod by virtue of winning the American League’s Final Vote contest. The Blue Jays launched a major campaign, largely through social media and the Twitter hashtag #VoteCaptainCanada, to boost Saunders past four other Final Vote candidates – George Springer (Houston Astros), Ian Kinsler (Detroit Tigers), Dustin Pedroia (Boston Red Sox) and Evan Longoria (Tampa Bay Rays).
A native of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, Saunders played for Coach Mike McLeod’s Eagles in 2005, his only season of collegiate ball. In 51 games with Tallahassee, Saunders batted .311 with five home runs, 41 RBIs and 14 stolen bases. Following his freshman campaign, Saunders signed with the Seattle Mariners, who drafted him in the 11th Round of the 2004 First-Year Player Draft.
After representing Canada in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Saunders made his Major League debut in 2009 and donned a Mariners uniform through the 2014 season. He was traded to Toronto prior to the 2015 campaign and is currently enjoying the best season of his career.
Through 79 games in 2016, Saunders is batting .298 with 16 home runs and 41 RBIs.
This marks the second straight year that a former Eagle has been selected to the American League All-Star Team. Kansas City Royals outfielder Lorenzo Cain, a teammate of Saunders with Tallahassee in 2005, was voted to the American League’s starting lineup in 2015.