The MLB All-Star Game is one of the best traditions in all of sports, and the 2014 rosters for the National and American leagues have fans genuinely excited about the possible on-field action in the Midsummer Classic.
Not only does each roster feature the best starting and relief pitchers in the sport, but they also boast serious depth at every defensive position. Add in the raw hitting power, and this year’s event will be must-watch television.
Here are the complete rosters and the projected starters for the 2014 All-Star Game.
|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.com. *Denotes starter.
Top Pitcher to Watch: Clayton Kershaw, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers
Whether you're watching the All-Star Game for the hitters or the pitchers, the top player to focus on is the best starting pitcher in the league right now, Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw.
Statistically, no one can touch Kershaw. He has racked up an incredible 1.85 ERA, a 10-2 overall record, 115 strikeouts and a 0.87 WHIP. Currently, he's amassed an incredible 36-inning scoreless streak.
Reporter Steven Edwards shared just how impressive Kershaw’s streak really is:
Kershaw takes scoreless streak to 36 innings. Brings back memories of Orel Hershiser pitching 59 scoreless innings in 1988 for the #Dodgers— Steven Edwards (@StevenFTUK) July 5, 2014
David Cameron of FanGraphs also points out some incredible stats via Twitter:
Among SPs with 50+ IP, Clayton Kershaw is #1 in K%, #4 in GB%, and #8 in BB%. He’s basically the perfect pitcher. http://t.co/9Ql2gyGjK3— David Cameron (@DCameronFG) July 5, 2014
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly told Tracy Ringolsby of MLB.com before the team’s matchup with the Colorado Rockies about Kershaw’s mental strength and physical prowess:
In their early years a lot of guys come in here and wonder, but he's like a freight train. He doesn't look back and wonder what happened. He just keeps going forward. He comes in here and still uses his curveball. He still uses his slider. He still attacks the strike zone. He doesn't worry no matter where he goes. Whether it's a small park or big park, at sea level or at altitude, he knows what he has to do to get the job done.
There are many pitchers on the National League roster who deserve the nod as the team’s starter, but Kershaw’s numbers are simply the best amongst them. While many fans would want to see Kershaw for several innings, the most to be expected is two.
Will Clayton Kershaw allow a run in the All Star game?
Regardless of whom the AL will throw at Kershaw during the game—look for stars like Jose Bautista, Mike Trout and Miguel Cabrera—he has the vast array of pitches and accuracy to fool even the best hitters in the game.
The fans may only be treated to a few batters faced, but the player that must be watched is Kershaw as he mows down his opponents.
Predicted Stat Line: 2 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 4 Ks
*Stats via MLB.com.