MLB All-Star Roster 2014: Breaking Down This Year's Most Deserving Players

David DanielsSenior Writer IJuly 5, 2014

Jun 22, 2014; Bronx, NY, USA;  New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) pitches during the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

There are plenty of bubble players for the 2014 MLB All-Star rosters, but some have already locked up spots.

These players are not only guaranteed All-Stars, but they're MVP and Cy Young candidates as well.


4. SS Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado Rockies

Tulowitzki is on pace to finish with one of the highest batting averages since the turn of the century. He leads the majors with a .350 batting average. If he maintains it, he'll finish with the highest average since John Hamilton hit .359 in 2010. 

While there are several contact hitters on Tulowitzki's tail for the league lead in batting average, his power gives him a huge edge when it comes to who is most deserving of an All-Star roster spot. He also boasts 47 RBI and 18 home runs, which ties him for the ninth highest total in the league.


3. RHP Masahiro Tanaka, New York Yankees

Tanaka wasted no time not only becoming the Yankees' best pitcher but one of the best pitchers in baseball. He leads the majors with 12 wins in 17 starts this season. And in those 12 starts, he's established quite the stat line.

He has struck out 130 batters, tying him for fifth most in the league, and recorded a 2.27 ERA and 0.97 WHIP, ranking him fourth and fifth, respectively. He's also walked fewer batters than any pitcher with double-digit wins. The 25-year-old will be on this list for years to come.


Jun 19, 2014; Bronx, NY, USA;  Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Edwin Encarnacion (10) rounds the bases on his two run home run during the eighth inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. New York Yankees won 6-4.  Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gr

2. 1B Edwin Encarnacion, Toronto Blue Jays

No one has created more runs for his team than Encarnacion this season. Entering Friday night's action, he's racked up a league-leading 69 RBI, many of which have come off his league-leading 26 home runs. While Nelson Cruz and Jose Abreu have produced comparable numbers in the race to be baseball's best power hitter, Encarnacion earns the edge with contact.

He has a higher batting average than both Cruz and Abreu. He also has a higher on-base percentage, having drawn 43 walks. He's the greatest reason why the Blue Jays are the fourth highest-scoring team in the league this year.


Jun 21, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Seattle Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez (34) looks on from the dugout against the Kansas City Royals during the third inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

1. RHP Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners

Hernandez doesn't have as many wins as Tanaka (10), but that's about the only number of Hernandez's that isn't better. He's third in the majors with a 2.10 ERA, a 0.92 WHIP and 137 strikeouts. While he doesn't lead the league in those categories, no other pitcher is consistently rated as high across the board.

King Felix has also allowed just four home runs in 18 starts and 96 hits in 128.1 innings pitched. No pitcher with more than 100 innings has allowed fewer homers. Out of all the elite pitchers this season, no one has been better than Hernandez.


David Daniels is a columnist at Bleacher Report. He tweets, too.