The simple fact that Josh Donaldson is the lone projected All-Star starter on the roster is the perfect embodiment of the baseball culture that Billy Beane has sought to instill in Oakland: Team first, individual accomplishment second, and most importantly, get on base.
But at the same time, a .630 winning percentage and a plus-135 run differential through the first 81 games of the season do not just happen because a group of players have meshed exceptionally well. From an individual standpoint, Yoenis Cespedes has captivated the MLB with his laser throws from left field and Scott Kazmir continues to make a mockery of his 4.06 career ERA.
Thus, even though much of the sports world classifies the A's as a team that maximizes the talent they have solely through team chemistry, the reality is that the A's have extremely talented individual players.
With the All-Star Game approaching and undoubtedly being the biggest platform for showcasing individual talent, the lingering question for many of those unfamiliar with the A's is: Who are the A's best candidates to receive an All-Star spot?
The following rankings are based upon a balance between individual season statistics as well as the depth of talent at the specific position in question across the league. Also, an overall excitement factor is considered for each ranked player, as personality and swagger are important elements for determining All-Stars.
Here are the best candidates to represent the Oakland A's in the upcoming All-Star Game.
Statistics are accurate through June 29 and courtesy of MLB.com, ESPN.com, Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs.com, unless otherwise noted.