The times are changing in the MLB.
This is most apparent by the 2014 MLB All-Star Game rosters, which tout a noticeable 25 first-time All-Stars, a breath of fresh air in an event that does much to compete with similar festivities put on by other leagues.
To go along with the relative fresh take on the proceedings is the fact that the Baltimore Orioles will field three players in the contest, while the Oakland Athletics, owners of the best record in the league, will bring a total of six players to the roster.
Let's take a look at the full roster and details surrounding the event.
2014 MLB All-Star Game Roster
|American League||National League|
|Salvador Perez, C, Kansas City Royals*||Yadier Molina, C, St. Louis Cardinals*|
|Miguel Cabrera, 1B, Detroit Tigers*||Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Arizona Diamondbacks*|
|Robinson Cano, 2B, Seattle Mariners*||Chase Utley, 2B, Philadelphia Phillies*|
|Derek Jeter, SS, New York Yankees*||Troy Tulowitzki, SS, Colorado Rockies*|
|Josh Donaldson, 3B, Oakland Athletics*||Aramis Ramirez, 3B, Milwaukee Brewers*|
|Mike Trout, OF, Los Angeles Angels*||Andrew McCutchen, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates*|
|Jose Bautista, OF, Toronto Blue Jays*||Carlos Gomez, OF, Milwaukee Brewers*|
|Adam Jones, OF, Baltimore Orioles*||Yasiel Puig, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers*|
|Nelson Cruz, DH, Baltimore Orioles*||Giancarlo Stanton, DH, Miami Marlins*|
|AL Reserves||NL Reserves|
|Derek Norris, C, Oakland Athletics||Jonathan Lucroy, C, Brewers|
|Kurt Suzuki, C, Minnesota Twins||Devin Mesoraco, C, Cincinnati Reds|
|Jose Abreu, 1B, Chicago White Sox||Freddie Freeman, 1B, Atlanta Braves|
|Victor Martinez, 1B, Detroit Tigers||Dee Gordon, 2B, Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Edwin Encarnacion, 1B, Toronto Blue Jays||Daniel Murphy, 2B, New York Mets|
|Brandon Moss, 1B/OF, Oakland Athletics||Starlin Castro, SS, Chicago Cubs|
|Jose Altuve, 2B, Houston Astros||Todd Frazier, 3B, Cincinnati Reds|
|Alexei Ramirez, SS, Chicago White Sox||Matt Carpenter, 3B, St. Louis Cardinals|
|Adrian Beltre, 3B, Texas Rangers||Josh Harrison, IF/OF, Pittsburgh Pirates|
|Yoenis Cespedes, OF, Oakland Athletics||Charlie Blackmon, OF, Colorado Rockies|
|Alex Gordon, OF, Kansas City Royals||Hunter Pence, OF, San Francisco Giants|
|Michael Brantley, OF, Cleveland Indians|
|AL Pitchers||NL Pitchers|
|Yu Darvish, RHP, Texas Rangers||Johnny Cueto, RHP, Cincinnati Reds|
|Max Scherzer, RHP, Detroit Tigers||Clayton Kershaw, LHP, Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Felix Hernandez, RHP, Seattle Mariners||Zack Greinke, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Masahiro Tanaka, RHP, New York Yankees||Madison Bumgarner, LHP, San Francisco Giants|
|Jon Lester, LHP, Boston Red Sox||Adam Wainwright, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals|
|David Price, LHP, Tampa Bay Rays||Tyson Ross, RHP, San Diego Padres|
|Scott Kazmir, LHP, Oakland Athletics||Jordan Zimmermann, RHP, Washington Nationals|
|Mark Buehrle, LHP, Toronto Blue Jays||Julio Teheran, RHP, Atlanta Braves|
|Sean Doolittle, LHP, Oakland Athletics||Craig Kimbrel, RHP Atlanta Braves|
|Greg Holland, RHP, Kansas City Royals||Aroldis Chapman, LHP, Cincinnati Reds|
|Glen Perkins, LHP, Minnesota Twins||Francisco Rodriguez, RHP, Milwaukee Brewers|
|Dellin Betances, RHP, New York Yankees||Tony Watson, LHP, Pittsburgh Pirates|
|Pat Neshek, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals|
Source: MLB via Twitter; *denotes starters
What: 85th MLB All-Star Game
When: July 15, 5:30 p.m. ET
Where: Target Field, Minneapolis, Minnesota
TV: Fox Sports
Online: MLB TV
Debutants to Watch
Yasiel Puig, Los Angeles Dodgers
The spectacle in Minneapolis will be mostly remembered as Derek Jeter's final foray at the event, but Yasiel Puig leads a class of new entrants looking to leave its mark on the game.
A far cry from a year ago, when Puig had hardly been in the league a month and was the subject of a major push by fans to get him in—to no avail, obviously—the 23-year-old outfielder wound up being one of the three leading vote-getters in the outfield.
Given his elite numbers, it's no wonder:
Puig, in all of his bat-flipping glory at the plate, also happens to be one of the best defenders, routinely making highlight-reel plays in the outfield, such as the one captured by the MLB on Twitter:
A name to watch in all facets, Puig kicks off what is sure to be a lengthy and fruitful track record at the All-Star game in Minneapolis. Don't miss out.
Jose Abreu, Chicago White Sox
Say hello to the guy who can steal the show and go down in history.
Were it not for a brief stint on the shelf with an injury, Jose Abreu would surely be far and away the MLB home-run leader. Through 73 games, the first baseman hit 27, a number that allowed Abreu to etch his name into the history books, as MLB Stat of the Day notes:
Jose Abreu’s 27 homers are most ever for a player through his first 73 career games - one more than the @tigers' Rudy York hit.— MLB Stat of the Day (@MLBStatoftheDay) July 5, 2014
Two weeks on the disabled list did not prevent him from other eye-popping numbers, either. In 76 games, he has 69 RBI, 17 doubles and a .281 average. But it's his ability to go yard that will put Abreu over the top in the minds of many as he plays beneath the national microscope.
Of course, all that truly matters to him is soaking up the moment with his family looking on from the stands, as Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times illustrates:
Jose Abreu on having parents at All-Star Game: "There are no words to describe how I feel just to be able to have them be there."— Daryl Van Schouwen (@CST_soxvan) July 7, 2014
For a rookie, Abreu has come quite a long way in a short period of time. He has a chance at the 85th edition of the Midsummer Classic to only further continue the story of his growing legacy.
Todd Frazier, 3B, Reds
Everyone knows Todd Frazier.
That Frazier, the hero of the 1998 Little League World Series:
Drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in 2007, Frazier has blossomed into a stellar player and will make his first All-Star Game appearance after batting .293/.356/.499 with 17 homers.
While the overwhelming narrative is Jeter's bow out of the event, an underrated element of the proceedings is Frazier's reconvening with the New York legend, as Cincinnati Redlegs points out:
In the midst of his best year as a pro with plenty of room to grown, it would be a reach to call the game a passing-of-the-torch moment, but it is still a critical part of Frazier's growing stardom.