Just over two weeks remain before the 2014 MLB All-Star Game officially gets underway, but the rosters aren't quite finalized. On Sunday night, the rosters will be announced with the best players from this season to take their rightful spot on their respective roster.
Many of the league's most popular players will battle it out for home-field advantage in the World Series. There will also be quite a few surprises on each roster, with players like Josh Donaldson and Jose Abreu getting the respect they rightfully deserve from voters.
The voting process ends on July 3 at 11:59 p.m. ET, so ballots must be filled out and turned in before then to make a difference on the rosters. As for the two managers, last year's World Series managers in Mike Matheny of the St. Louis Cardinals and John Farrell of the Boston Red Sox will lead the National League and American League, respectively.
With home-field advantage in the World Series on the line, here's a look at the full information for the All-Star Selection Show, current vote leaders and storylines to watch heading into the event. The full release for the show can be found on MLB.com.
2014 All-Star Selection Show Information
What: 2014 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show
When: Sunday, July 6, at 7 p.m. ET
Live Stream: WatchESPN
|Current Leaders in American League|
|Miguel Cabrera||Detroit Tigers||3,323,380|
|Jose Abreu||Chicago White Sox||1,801,592|
|Chris Davis||Baltimore Orioles||1,292,412|
|Albert Pujols||Los Angeles Angels||1,190,751|
|Mark Teixeira||New York Yankees||877,468|
|Robinson Cano||Seattle Mariners||2,474,924|
|Ian Kinsler||Detroit Tigers||1,603,185|
|Dustin Pedroia||Boston Red Sox||1,477,800|
|Jose Altuve||Houston Astros||1,312,805|
|Brian Dozier||Minnesota Twins||994,447|
|Derek Jeter||New York Yankees||2,924,686|
|Alexei Ramirez||Chicago White Sox||2,325,527|
|J.J. Hardy||Baltimore Orioles||1,534,547|
|Jose Reyes||Toronto Blue Jays||1,008,063|
|Jed Lowrie||Oakland Athletics||732,766|
|Josh Donaldson||Oakland Athletics||2,943,332|
|Adrian Beltre||Texas Rangers||1,730,748|
|Evan Longoria||Tampa Bay Rays||1,457,752|
|Manny Machado||Baltimore Orioles||1,409,804|
|Brett Lawrie||Toronto Blue Jays||865,684|
|Matt Wieters||Baltimore Orioles||2,103,385|
|Derek Norris||Oakland Athletics||1,924,049|
|Brian McCann||New York Yankees||1,624,214|
|Kurt Suzuki||Minnesota Twins||1,025,717|
|A.J. Pierzynski||Boston Red Sox||925,996|
|Nelson Cruz||Baltimore Orioles||2,944,267|
|David Ortiz||Boston Red Sox||1,948,211|
|Victor Martinez||Detroit Tigers||1,822,927|
|Edwin Encarnacion||Toronto Blue Jays||1,590,498|
|Brandon Moss||Oakland Athletics||949,009|
|Jose Bautista||Toronto Blue Jays||4,460,245|
|Mike Trout||Los Angeles Angels||4,085,647|
|Yoenis Cespedes||Oakland Athletics||1,941,553|
|Melky Cabrera||Toronto Blue Jays||1,929,506|
|Adam Jones||Baltimore Orioles||1,853,268|
|Michael Brantley||Cleveland Indians||1,630,452|
|Jacoby Ellsbury||New York Yankees||1,501,306|
|Nick Markakis||Baltimore Orioles||1,382,329|
|Carlos Beltran||New York Yankees||1,292,920|
|Torii Hunter||Detroit Tigers||1,167,642|
|MLB.com (updated 6/30)|
|Current Leaders in National League|
|Paul Goldschmidt||Arizona Diamondbacks||2,582,955|
|Mark Reynolds||Milwaukee Brewers||1,430,395|
|Adrian Gonzalez||Los Angeles Dodgers||1,418,148|
|Freddie Freeman||Atlanta Braves||1,342,703|
|Matt Adams||St. Louis Cardinals||1,323,087|
|Chase Utley||Philadelphia Phillies||2,436,143|
|Neil Walker||Pittsburgh Pirates||1,556,511|
|Dee Gordon||Los Angeles Dodgers||1,374,523|
|Rickie Weeks||Milwaukee Brewers||1,127,907|
|Brandon Phillips||Cincinnati Reds||1,046,607|
|Troy Tulowitzki||Colorado Rockies||3,997,477|
|Jean Segura||Milwaukee Brewers||1,729,054|
|Brandon Crawford||San Francisco Giants||1,263,689|
|Jhonny Peralta||St. Louis Cardinals||1,072,023|
|Hanley Ramirez||Los Angeles Dodgers||974,464|
|Aramis Ramirez||Milwaukee Brewers||1,790,777|
|David Wright||New York Mets||1,555,717|
|Pablo Sandoval||San Francisco Giants||1,406,026|
|Matt Carpenter||St. Louis Cardinals||1,323,021|
|Todd Frazier||Cincinnati Reds||1,224,931|
|Yadier Molina||St. Louis Cardinals||3,100,939|
|Jonathan Lucroy||Milwaukee Brewers||2,636,640|
|Buster Posey||San Francisco Giants||1,985,621|
|Evan Gattis||Atlanta Braves||1,364,524|
|Devin Mesoraco||Cincinnati Reds||907,593|
|Andrew McCutchen||Pittsburgh Pirates||3,173,810|
|Carlos Gomez||Milwaukee Brewers||3,169,748|
|Yasiel Puig||Los Angeles Dodgers||3,001,907|
|Giancarlo Stanton||Miami Marlins||2,681,019|
|Ryan Braun||Milwaukee Brewers||2,509,770|
|Charlie Blackmon||Colorado Rockies||1,859,729|
|Khris Davis||Milwaukee Brewers||1,457,407|
|Michael Morse||San Francisco Giants||1,444,436|
|Angel Pagan||San Francisco Giants||1,442,188|
|Justin Upton||Atlanta Braves||1,404,724|
|MLB.com (updated 7/1)|
Storylines to Watch
Will Derek Jeter Start in Final All-Star Game?
In his 20th year with the New York Yankees, Derek Jeter will finally hang up the spikes following this season. As with every elder statesman looking to retire, the All-Star Game will be a special night for the Yankees captain.
Moments like Alex Rodriguez trading positions with Cal Ripken in his final appearance and Chipper Jones getting a hit in his last at-bat resonate with fans. Then there was last season, when goosebumps were sent throughout the country as Mariano Rivera trotted out for the eighth inning at Citi Field.
For Jeter, the 40-year-old shortstop is set for his final appearance in the All-Star Game, but the big question remains—will he start? Though the numbers aren't quite there, Paul Freelend of The National writes that he's still deserving of the honor:
To be sure, Jeter is not the best shortstop in the American League this season. He turned 40 on Thursday and, as one might expect, his production is well off that of his peak years. [...]
With the Yankees’ chances of making the postseason looking shaky, MLB and its fans would do well to take this opportunity and salute Jeter while they still have the chance. We will not soon see his like again.
No, the numbers aren't there. Jeter has hit just .275 with two home runs and 19 RBI in 70 games this season, but the 13-time All-Star is more than deserving of going out with a bang at Target Field.
Given his history of coming up huge in big games, Jeter will find a way to make an impact during his final performance on the grand stage.
Deserving Players Who Might Not Start
The question comes up every year: How much bearing should the fan vote weigh on the All-Star Game? It's not a pressing inquiry thanks to the fact that the fans normally get it right, but some of the top players miss out on their opportunity each year due to the star power of others.
A few abnormalities still exist like Giancarlo Stanton, who leads the NL with 21 home runs and 60 RBI, being fourth in the outfield race. Then there's Matt Wieters still leading the AL catcher position—despite undergoing Tommy John surgery—ahead of players like Derek Norris and Brian McCann.
The biggest question on the AL side is who will start at second base. Names like Robinson Cano and Ian Kinsler are at the top of the list, but a player standing at 5'5", 170 pounds is leading all of baseball with 116 hits and the AL with a .347 average and 36 stolen bases.
That man is Jose Altuve, who has helped turn around the Houston Astros this season. MLB Stat of the Day provides some history on just how stellar Altuve has been this season:
He also hasn't slowed down any during the month of June, as the MLB's official account notes his ridiculous clip for the month:
Along with Altuve, another deserving player who is narrowly missing out on a starting spot it Jonathan Lucroy. The Milwaukee Brewers catcher currently sits second in the NL in hits (100) and leads all catchers by a considerable margin.
The current leader in voting is Yadier Molina, who is behind Lucroy in homers, RBI, average and on-base percentage, but has the backing of Cardinals fans. Lucroy spoke about the potential of earning an All-Star nod after his terrific start, per James Carlton of Fox Sports:
I'm more worried about this, what's going on right here (in the clubhouse), and not worrying about that -- that's going to be totally separate. This right here is what's more important because this is what's going to propel us to the playoffs.
So I'm just trying to go out there, try my best and if (being voted an All-Star) happens, it happens.
Though diehard baseball fans might know about the phenomenal season Altuve and Lucroy are putting together, the names like Cano, Kinsler and Molina are slightly more recognizable to the casual voter. Whether they start or not, expect to see both great hitters on the roster for their respective teams.
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