The 2013 MLB All-Star Game is rapidly approaching, thus leaving fans and analysts in a state of overwhelming anxiety. With some of the top players in the world coming together for one game to determine which league receives home-field advantage in the World Series, all eyes are on the MLB.
The question is, which players will step up and put on a show at the Midsummer Classic?
There's no question that All-Star weekend in the MLB is unlike any other sport, as the fun and games will take a backseat to the desire for home-field advantage. With the best athletes in the league coming together, however, it will not be easy.
Instead, the following players will put on a show and thus attempt to will their team to victory.
American League Starting Lineup
|C||Joe Mauer||Minnesota Twins|
|1B||Chris Davis||Baltimore Orioles|
|2B||Robinson Cano||New York Yankees|
|SS||J.J. Hardy||Baltimore Orioles|
|3B||Miguel Cabrera||Detroit Tigers|
|OF||Jose Bautista||Toronto Blue Jays|
|OF||Adam Jones||Baltimore Orioles|
|OF||Mike Trout||Los Angeles Angels|
|DH||David Ortiz||Boston Red Sox|
|SP||Max Scherzer||Detroit Tigers|
National League Starting Lineup
|C||Yadier Molina||St. Louis Cardinals|
|1B||Joey Votto||Cincinnati Reds|
|2B||Brandon Phillips||Cincinnati Reds|
|SS||Troy Tulowitzki||Colorado Rockies|
|3B||David Wright||New York Mets|
|OF||Carlos Beltran||St. Louis Cardinals|
|OF||Carlos Gonzalez||Colorado Rockies|
|OF||Bryce Harper||Washington Nationals|
|SP||Clayton Kershaw||Los Angeles Dodgers|
Chris Davis, Baltimore Orioles
Position: First Baseman
All-Star Appearances: 1st
2013 Season Statistics
.315/.392/.717, 70 R, 27 2B, 37 HR, 93 RBI
With all due respect to Miguel Cabrera, the most dominant hitter in baseball during the 2013 MLB season has been Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis. Currently hitting .315 with 64 extra-base hits and 93 RBI, Davis has been a dominant force for an Orioles team that lacks any form of pitching consistency.
Did we mention he's entering the record books?
That's what you call putting on a show.
Davis leads the MLB in home runs and slugging percentage by a wide margin, also ranking second in RBI and third in runs scored. Paired with a ranking of sixth in doubles, it's perfectly clear that Davis knows how to find the gap and make an impact.
We expect him to do just that at the All-Star Game, putting his unparalleled power on full display for those in attendance at Citi Field and the millions watching at home.
Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels
All-Star Appearances: 2nd
2013 Season Statistics
.322/.399/.565, 65 R, 29 2B, 8 3B, 15 HR, 59 RBI, 21 SB
Could we really leave him off of this list?
Arguably the most complete five-tool player in the MLB, 21-year-old outfielder Mike Trout will make his second All-Star Game appearance in as many seasons. While his team may continue to struggle, Trout has picked up right where he left off in his historic 2012 campaign.
Thus far, Trout is hitting .322 with 15 home runs, 59 RBI, 29 doubles, eight triples and 21 stolen bases—it certainly doesn't hurt that he's dynamic in the field, as well.
Trout completes a dream team outfield with Adam Jones and Jose Bautista, but all eyes will be on the Los Angeles Angels' star. Not only will he be going toe-to-toe with Bryce Harper from a production standpoint, but he'll also have the opportunity to put the American League on his back.
With some still upset that he failed to win MVP in 2012—a season in which only the Triple Crown could steal the award from him—this is the perfect platform for Trout to shine.
He'll hit for contact, threaten to go deep, steal bases and make spectacular catches on the warning track. If we're lucky, we may even see Trout go over the wall for one of his signature home run robberies.
One way or another, Trout will steal the show—you know, how he always does.
Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado Rockies
All-Star Appearances: 3rd
2013 Season Statistics
64 GP, .332/.400/.608, 41 R, 16 2B, 16 HR, 52 RBI
On the topic of complete players, Troy Tulowitzki continues to distance himself from the pack as the best shortstop in baseball. The asterisk here, of course, is that Tulowitzki is only the best at his position when he's healthy.
A rarity, but should he suit up for the All-Star Game, we still expect fireworks.
Tulo is the uncommon breed of middle infielders, possessing elite power, top-tier fielding skills and the uncanny ability to make contact. While he's hardly a threat on the basepaths—zero stolen bases in 64 games—he can do just about everything else.
The National League will be banking on it.
Tulo has a chance to salvage his reputation here, as he's drifted off into star purgatory as a member of the Rockies. While he may be a well-known name in baseball circles, the Rockies continue to be a lackluster force away from Colorado.
Here's an opportunity for one of the MLB's best to remind us of his greatness.