Ranking Tampa Bay Rays' Best All-Star Game Candidates

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Ranking Tampa Bay Rays' Best All-Star Game Candidates
MIKE CARLSON/Associated Press

Who will represent the Tampa Bay Rays in the 2014 MLB All-Star Game?

This question is a reflection of how the team has played so far this season both individually and collectively. 

Since 2008 the question surrounding the Rays' All-Star selections has been how many players the team would send. The franchise has sent at least two players to the Midsummer Classic each season since changing the name to the Rays.

 

Tampa Bay Rays All-Stars Since 2008 (via MLB.com)

Year

All-Star (Pos.)

2013

Matt Moore (RHP), Ben Zobrist (INF/OF)

2012

David Price (LHP), Fernando Rodney (RHP)

2011

Matt Joyce (OF), David Price (LHP), James Shields (RHP)

2010

*Carl Crawford (LF), *Evan Longoria (3B), *David Price (LHP), Rafael Soriano (RHP)

2009

Jason Bartlett (SS), Carl Crawford (LF), ºEvan Longoria (3B), Carlos Pena (1B), Ben Zobrist (INF/OF)

2008

Scott Kazmir (LHP), Evan Longoria (3B), Dioner Navarro (C)

*Started game

ºVoted as starter but did not play due to injury

This year will likely be very different. Based on the recent voting results, the Rays will not have a player starting in this year's All-Star Game. Evan Longoria came the closest, but Josh Donaldson from the Oakland A's is running away with the lead in votes for third base.

It would be plausible to envision a scenario where the Rays have no player on the team if the rules did not guarantee representation from every team.

Since somebody has to go, who will it be?

This list will look at the most likely candidates to represent the Rays in the 2014 All-Star Game. 

The players were selected based on performance this year and popularity. The criteria for the list are the same as the criteria that usually factor into All-Star selections. 

Players like Derek Jeter do not have to be the best player at their position by statistics or perception. Due to his global popularity, he will receive a large quantity of fan votes each season. There is nothing wrong with that since it is the All-Star game, not the All-Stats game. Fans want to watch their favorite players. 

That does not mean that performance is unimportant. Players who are excelling at their position usually earn their way onto the roster.

This was the case for Fernando Rodney in 2012 on his way to his record-breaking .060 ERA season. He had a 0.93 ERA and 25 saves before the All-Star break and earned his first career All-Star selection that year.

Here is a look at the Rays' best candidates for the 2014 MLB All-Star Game.

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