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Projecting All 30 MLB Teams' All-Star Representative

Karl BuscheckContributor IIIJuly 2, 2014

Projecting All 30 MLB Teams' All-Star Representative

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    Joe Sargent/Getty Images

    There are all sorts of factors that go into constructing MLB All-Star Game rosters. 

    There's the fan vote, the players' ballot and the selections made by the All-Star managers. To further complicate the equation, the rules state that all 30 clubs must be represented at the Midsummer Classic. 

    What follows are projections for the 30 players who are most likely to represent their teams at the All-Star Game on July 15. Plenty of teams will have more than one player in attendance at Target Field in Minnesota, but here are the standouts who are locks to take part.

Updated All-Star Ballots

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    Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

    The most up-to-date All-Star ballots for the American League and National League are courtesy of the MLB Public Relations Twitter account. The fan vote ends on Thursday, July 3, at 11:59 p.m. ET. 

Atlanta Braves: Julio Teheran, SP

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    Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

    The Representative

    Julio Teheran has been dealing in 2014. 

    The Colombian owns a 7-5 record and a 2.34 ERA for the Atlanta Braves. His ERA would be even lower if not for a seven-run anomaly on June 11. Teheran's inclusion on the NL All-Star staff should be a formality.

     

    Also in the Running

    • Evan Gattis, C
    • Freddie Freeman, 1B
    • Craig Kimbrel, RP

Miami Marlins: Giancarlo Stanton, RF

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    Alex Brandon/Associated Press

    The Representative

    With the fourth-most votes among NL outfielders (2,681,019), Giancarlo Stanton currently isn't slated to start in the All-Star Game. 

    Still, with 21 home runs and a 1.005 OPS, Stanton should be a top option to occupy the designated hitter's role for the NL squad. 

     

    Also in the Running

    • Henderson Alvarez, SP
    • Steve Cishek, RP
    • Casey McGehee, 3B
    • Marcell Ozuna, LF

New York Mets: Jon Niese, SP

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    Rich Schultz/Getty Images

    The Representative

    Sitting in fourth place in the NL East, the New York Mets look set to have just one All-Star selection. 

    With a 2.88 ERA, Jon Niese has the strongest case to win that honor. However, as Ken Davidoff of the New York Post points out, the underwhelming David Wright could "steal" that spot if he goes on to win the fan vote at third base.

    For now, Wright is second on the ballot to Aramis Ramirez of the Milwaukee Brewers.

     

    Also in the Running

    • Daniel Murphy, 2B
    • David Wright, 3B

Philadelphia Phillies: Chase Utley, 2B

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    Laurence Kesterson/Associated Press

    The Representative

    With almost a million votes more (2,436,143) than the No. 2 second baseman, Neil Walker (1,556,511), Chase Utley is well on his way to earning his sixth All-Star selection.

    The 35-year-old has already clubbed 24 doubles this season, but Utley has slowed down considerably over the past month. 

     

    Also in the Running

    • Cole Hamels, SP
    • Jonathan Papelbon, RP

Washington Nationals: Adam LaRoche, 1B

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    David Banks/Getty Images

    The Representative

    First base is crowded with talented players in the NL. 

    Adam LaRoche's numbers, though, are too good to ignore. The left-handed hitter leads all players at the position in OBP (.412) and is second in OPS (.916). LaRoche is also hitting .306 with 12 home runs. For the 34-year-old, a trip to Target Field would be his first All-Star selection of his career. 

     

    Also in the Running

    • Tanner Roark, SP
    • Anthony Rendon, 3B
    • Jordan Zimmermann, SP

Cincinnati Reds: Johnny Cueto, SP

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    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    The Representative

    Johnny Cueto has been the most dominant starter in baseball in 2014. 

    The right-hander owns the lowest ERA (1.88) in MLB and has limited opposing batters to just a .171 average. Those credentials should be enough to earn Cueto the start for the NL squad. The only problem is that he's scheduled to pitch on July 13 and likely won't be available for the All-Star contest, as Mark Sheldon of MLB.com notes. 

    Either way, Cueto should be just one of several Reds players in uniform representing the club at Target Field.

     

    Also in the Running

    • Todd Frazier, 3B
    • Devin Mesoraco, C
    • Alfredo Simon, SP

Chicago Cubs: Jeff Samardzija, SP

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    Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

    The Representative

    The Chicago Cubs are in the cellar in the NL Central, but the team has plenty of All-Star candidates. 

    Anthony Rizzo (.278/.389/.505, 17 HR, 44 RBI) is one of those players, but ultimately the first baseman could find himself on the outside looking in simply because there are so many other standout players at first base.

    Jeff Samardzija looks to be on track to land an All-Star selection. The right-hander has slowed down in his last 10 outings but still has the 10th-best ERA in the league (2.83). That should earn the starter a role on the NL staff.

     

    Also in the Running

    • Starlin Castro, SS
    • Jason Hammel, SP
    • Anthony Rizzo, 1B

Milwaukee Brewers: Carlos Gomez, CF

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    Tom Lynn/Getty Images

    The Representative

    The first-place Milwaukee Brewers have an array of All-Star contenders. 

    For now, Carlos Gomez is the safest bet, as he has the second-most votes of any NL outfielder (3,169,748) behind Andrew McCutchen of the Pirates. That's a well-deserved distinction for the center fielder, who has already racked up 13 home runs and 14 steals. 

     

    Also in the Running

    • Scooter Gennett, 2B
    • Kyle Lohse, SP
    • Jonathan Lucroy, C
    • Wily Peralta, SP
    • Aramis Ramirez, 3B
    • Francisco Rodriguez, RP

Pittsburgh Pirates: Andrew McCutchen, CF

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    Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

    The Representative

    Andrew McCutchen is currently the leading vote-getter among all NL outfielders (3,173,810). A trip to the All-Star Game this July would mark the fourth season in a row that the center fielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates has earned such an honor.

    The 27-year-old definitely has a fan in 13-time All-Star Ken Griffey Jr.

    "He can hit for average. He can hit for power," Griffey told Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "What makes him really dangerous is he can run."

     

    Also in the Running

    • Mark Melancon, RP
    • Neil Walker, 2B

St. Louis Cardinals: Adam Wainwright, SP

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    Scott Kane/Associated Press

    The Representative

    With Cueto likely unavailable to pitch in the All-Star Game, Adam Wainwright is the leading contender to draw the starting assignment.

    The right-hander has posted a 2.01 ERA and has already totaled three complete games, including two shutouts. It also doesn't hurt that Mike Matheny, Wainwright's manager with the St. Louis Cardinals, is in charge of the NL team. 

     

    Also in the Running

    • Matt Adams, 1B
    • Lance Lynn, SP
    • Trevor Rosenthal, SP

Arizona Diamondbacks: Paul Goldschmidt, 1B

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    Gregory Bull/Associated Press

    The Representative

    There's no debate over who should represent the Arizona Diamondbacks.

    The obvious answer is Paul Goldschmidt. The slugger leads all NL first basemen in voting (2,582,955), which is an impressive feat, considering just how loaded the position is. For the right-handed hitter, an All-Star selection would mark the second consecutive season that he's earned such a recognition. 

     

    Also in the Running

    • Brad Ziegler, RP

Colorado Rockies: Troy Tulowitzki, SS

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    The Representative

    Troy Tulowitzki not only has the most votes of any NL shortstop but also the most of any player in the league (3,997,477). 

    The 29-year-old accomplished that by posting the highest average (.353) and OPS (1.064) in baseball. For Tulowitzki, this will be the second year in a row that he's started at shortstop for the NL squad. The way his first half has gone, Tulowitzki is setting himself up to land near the top of the NL MVP award ballot. 

     

    Also in the Running

    • LaTroy Hawkins, RP
    • Justin Morneau, 1B

Los Angeles Dodgers: Yasiel Puig, RF

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    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    The Representative

    There's no question that the Los Angeles Dodgers will have more than one star taking part in the Midsummer Classic.

    One of those players is Yasiel Puig. The electric right fielder is third in voting for NL outfielders (3,001,907). Puig is also third among all outfielders in the league in OPS (.919) and has already collected 21 doubles.

     

    Also in the Running

    • Josh Beckett, SP
    • Dee Gordon, 2B
    • Zack Greinke, SP
    • Clayton Kershaw, SP
    • Hyun-Jin Ryu, SP

San Diego Padres: Huston Street, RP

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    Denis Poroy/Getty Images

    The Representative

    Huston Street is the overwhelming favorite to represent the San Diego Padres on the NL squad.

    The closer has a 0.90 ERA, is 22-for-22 on save opportunities for the Padres, and he has twice as many strikeouts (32) as hits allowed (16). Street's lockdown performance in the first half has made him a highly valuable trade chip should the Padres decide to put him on the market. 

     

    Also in the Running

    • N/A

San Francisco Giants: Tim Hudson, SP

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    Eric Risberg/Associated Press

    The Representative

    The way Tim Hudson is pitching, you'd never know he's nearing his 39th birthday. 

    The starter owns a 7-5 record with a 2.59 ERA for the San Francisco Giants. One of the keys to the right-hander's success has been his consistent ability to throw strikes. Through his first 16 starts, Hudson has walked just 16 batters.  

    Surprisingly, an All-Star nod would only be Hudson's fourth of his career. 

     

    Also in the Running

    • Madison Bumgarner, SP

Baltimore Orioles: Nelson Cruz, DH/OF

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    Patric Schneider/Associated Press

    The Representative

    Nelson Cruz has been dismantling AL pitching in 2014. 

    The 34-year-old has gone yard 26 times, which is tied for the most in all of baseball. All that power earned the right-handed hitter an invite to the Home Run Derby. Cruz has opted to turn that offer down, as he explained via Eduardo A. Encina of The Baltimore Sun

    "I don't know if it would affect me, but even if it's two or three games, that could be the difference between us making [the postseason]."

    It's a shrewd move by the veteran, and not a decision that most players around the league would likely make. 

     

    Also in the Running

    • Adam Jones, CF

Boston Red Sox: Koji Uehara, RP

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    Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

    The Representative

    With a 1.40 ERA, 18 saves and a .179 batting average against, Koji Uehara has the numbers to earn a role in the All-Star bullpen. 

    It will be intriguing to see if Red Sox manager John Farrell, who is running the AL team, also tries to find a spot for David Ortiz. The veteran is second in voting among DHs with 1,948,211 votes, behind Cruz (2,944,267). However, sluggers like Edwin Encarnacion, Brandon Moss and Victor Martinez are all having statistically superior seasons.

     

    Also in the Running

    • Jon Lester, SP
    • David Ortiz, DH

New York Yankees: Derek Jeter, SS

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    Rich Schultz/Getty Images

    The Representative

    With the most votes among all AL shortstops (2,924,866), Derek Jeter is on his way to making his 14th and final All-Star appearance.

    That selection would be a historic accomplishment for the New York Yankees captain. Jeter would move ahead of Joe DiMaggio and Mariano Rivera, who both earned 13 All-Star honors. Only Mickey Mantle (20) would have more in franchise history, according to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com.

     

    Also in the Running

    • Dellin Betances, RP
    • Masahiro Tanaka, SP

Tampa Bay Rays: David Price, SP

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    Bob Levey/Getty Images

    The Representative

    After a pedestrian start to the season, David Price doesn't have the overall numbers of most of the other starters competing for an All-Star spot. 

    Over the last month, though, Price has been locked in, as he explained to the Associated Press (via ESPN.com):

    I've never been as good as I am right now, period. Not in 2012 [when he won the Cy Young Award], not in college, not in high school. This is the best pitcher I've ever been. I feel in complete control on the mound at all times.

    The results confirm the left-hander's claims. Before striking out nine batters in his most recent outing on July 1, Price had turned in five consecutive starts in which he punched out 10 batters or more. 

     

    Also in the Running

    • Chris Archer, SP

Toronto Blue Jays: Edwin Encarnacion, 1B/3B/DH

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    Tony Dejak/Associated Press

    The Representative

    As of the most recent count, Edwin Encarnacion isn't in line to start in the upcoming All-Star Game. 

    However, the way Encarnacion has been swinging the bat in the first half of the season, it would be downright criminal for Farrell to leave him off the roster. The right-handed slugger has 25 home runs and leads all of baseball with 48 extra-base hits. 

     

    Also in the Running

    • Jose Bautista, RF
    • Mark Buehrle, SP

Chicago White Sox: Jose Abreu, 1B

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    Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

    The Representative

    Trailing Miguel Cabrera in the fan vote with 1,801,592 votes, Jose Abreu is not on pace be a starter for the AL team. 

    As is the case with Encarnacion, excluding the Cuban first baseman from the roster would just be inexplicable. In his rookie season, Abreu has the highest slugging percentage (.627) in baseball and has a share of the lead in home runs (26). Plus, the 27-year-old also has the best isolated power mark (.346) in MLB, according to FanGraphs.

     

    Also in the Running

    • Alexei Ramirez, SS
    • Chris Sale, SP

Cleveland Indians: Corey Kluber, SP

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    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    The Representative

    It's extremely difficult to project just which player or players will represent the Cleveland Indians.

    The team has three viable candidates in Corey Kluber, Lonnie Chisenhall and Michael Brantley. For Chisenhall and Brantley, third base and the outfield are both loaded positions, which means either player could end up getting snubbed.

    Kluber appears to be the safest bet because the All-Star pitching staff can be manipulated based on which starters are actually available to pitch the day of the game.   

     

    Also in the Running

    • Michael Brantley, LF
    • Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B

Detroit Tigers: Miguel Cabrera, 1B

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    Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

    The Representative

    With a lead of over 1.5 million votes, Miguel Cabrera is on the verge of punching his ticket to the All-Star Game. For the Detroit Tigers slugger, the trip to Minnesota will be the ninth All-Star selection of his career. 

    While Cabrera is all but a lock, his teammate Victor Martinez will need some help. The DH is third in the voting but is absolutely deserving of a spot on the bench. In 2014, Martinez has connected on 20 home runs while punching out just 23 times. 

     

    Also in the Running

    • Victor Martinez, DH
    • Anibal Sanchez, SP

Kansas City Royals: Greg Holland, RP

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    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    The Representative

    There aren't a lot of closers who can do what Greg Holland does.

    The Kansas City Royals reliever has a 1.99 ERA and is 23-for-24 on save attempts in 2014. The right-hander has also been racking up strikeouts at a remarkable rate with a 13.9 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

     

    Also in the Running

    • Danny Duffy, SP
    • Yordano Ventura, SP

Minnesota Twins: Kurt Suzuki, C

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    LM Otero/Associated Press

    The Representative

    Kurt Suzuki has been a major surprise for the Minnesota Twins in 2014. 

    The veteran backstop has hit .304 and added 15 doubles for the Twins in the first half of the season. With leading vote-getter Matt Wieters out for the season, the path could be cleared for Suzuki to earn his first All-Star selection. 

     

    Also in the Running

    • Brian Dozier, 2B
    • Glen Perkins, RP

Houston Astros: Jose Altuve, 2B

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    Bob Levey/Getty Images

    The Representative

    With Robinson Cano running away with the vote at second base with 2,474,924 votes, there's no chance that Jose Altuve will start for the AL. There's also no way that the Houston Astro can be left off the roster. 

    Altuve is leading the AL with a .347 average and has stolen 37 bases on the year. For the 24-year-old, this July should mark his second All-Star selection of his brief career. 

     

    Also in the Running

    • Dallas Keuchel, SP
    • George Springer, RF

Los Angeles Angels: Mike Trout, CF

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    Colin E. Braley/Associated Press

    The Representative

    The 22-year-old Mike Trout is about to secure his third consecutive All-Star selection.

    The center fielder for the Los Angeles Angels ranks second in voting among all AL outfielders with 4,085,647 votes, behind Toronto's Jose Bautista (4,460,245). In 2014, he has the highest OPS (1.027) in the league and has already totaled 19 home runs. 

     

    Also in the Running

    • Garrett Richards

Oakland Athletics: Josh Donaldson, 3B

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    Beck Diefenbach/Associated Press

    The Representative

    The Oakland Athletics have myriad All-Star candidates.

    One player who will definitely be making his way to Target Field is Josh Donaldson. The right-handed hitter leads all AL third basemen with nearly three million votes. The 28-year-old has 18 home runs, which is the most of any player at his position.

    In the field, Donaldson has saved Oakland 18 runs, per Baseball Info Solutions on Baseball-Reference.com

     

    Also in the Running

    • Yoenis Cespedes, LF
    • Jesse Chavez, SP
    • Sean Doolittle, RP
    • Sonny Gray, SP
    • Scott Kazmir, SP
    • Brandon Moss, 1B/OF
    • Derek Norris, C

Seattle Mariners: Felix Hernandez, SP

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    Ben Margot/Associated Press

    The Representative

    In just a couple of weeks, Felix Hernandez should be on his way to his fourth All-Star appearance in a row and the fifth of his career. 

    There's an excellent chance that Hernandez will be the starter for the AL team thanks to the fact that one of his top competitors appears to be out of the picture. Masahiro Tanaka will likely be unavailable as he's scheduled to pitch just two days before the exhibition, as John Harper of the Daily News notes.

     

    Also in the Running

    • Robinson Cano, 2B
    • Chris Young, SP

Texas Rangers: Yu Darvish, SP

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    Rick Yeatts/Getty Images

    The Representative

    With an 8-4 record and a 2.42 ERA, Yu Darvish has the numbers to land on the AL All-Star team. 

    However, it's unlikely that the right-hander will actually end up pitching in the game, according to a report from the Associated Press (via ESPN Dallas Fort Worth). Darvish is slated to start two days before the contest with the NL, which means he's set to be a spectator if Farrell includes him on the team.

     

    Also in the Running

    • Adrian Beltre, 3B

     

    Note: All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com and MLB.com.

    If you want to talk baseball, find me on Twitter @KarlBuscheck.

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