Baseball is a sport steeped in tradition, and the 2014 edition of the MLB All-Star Game has the unenviable honor of trying to live up to the high standards of the annual event.
Fortunately for hardcore and casual fans alike, the rosters for both the American and National Leagues are stacked with elite hitters and dominant pitchers. The game should be a fierce battle with home-field advantage in the World Series on the line.
Here are the complete rosters for the AL and NL and a focus on the player whom baseball fans are most excited to see in action.
|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, Milwaukee 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|
Player to Watch: Andrew McCutchen, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates
A cadre of pitchers could steal the show in the All-Star Game, and several hitters have the power to dominate the headlines, but no one possesses the game-changing abilities of Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen.
While many fans immediately think of his consistency and power at the plate, McCutchen is arguably the best outfielder in the sport. With a unique mixture of speed and awareness in the field, he can cover an incredible amount of ground and make breathtaking catches.
The Pirates' official Twitter account talked about where he ranks amongst the all-time Pittsburgh greats:
McCutchen joins Roberto Clemente & Ralph Kiner as one of just 3 OFs in Pirates history to represent the team in at least 4 consecutive ASGs— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) July 6, 2014
That speed also helps him on the basepaths. McCutchen has racked up 15 stolen bases this season and looks to be on pace to meet his season average of 23. He may look to use his baserunning ability during the actual All-Star Game.
When asked about the honor of making the Midsummer Classic, McCutchen told Tom Singer of MLB.com about going with his teammates and being voted as a starter:
It's definitely an honor and I'm happy I will have some guys accompanying me there…It takes us winning to get that recognition, and we've done that the last couple of years. It's good to see. Being in the All-Star Game is enough in itself. Being No. 1 [in voting for outfielders] is a plus, really cool.
ESPN’s Stats and Info department shared a great image of just how hot McCutchen has been since June 1:
Pirates All-Star Andrew McCutchen continued his hot hitting ways on Sunday. Look how he's fared since June 1 pic.twitter.com/vs4Ixmj5BS— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 7, 2014
McCutchen picked up right where he left off last season. He has compiled a .321 batting average, 15 home runs, 59 RBI, 53 runs and a .419 on-base percentage in 91 games this season. He looks to be on pace to match or surpass almost all of his regular-season averages.
In his three previous All-Star Game appearances, though, McCutchen has only managed one hit in five at-bats. It could be time for the Pittsburgh star to buck the trend and take the game over for the National League.
With 46 extra-base hits in 2014, McCutchen has the ability to change the game with one swing of his bat.
Predicted stat line: 2 at-bats, 2 hits, 1 RBI, 1 run, 1 stolen base
*Stats via MLB.com.