The votes are in, and the final rosters have been announced for the 2014 MLB All-Star Game.
This year's Midsummer Classic features a bevy of talented players sure to bring plenty of excitement to Target Field in Minneapolis on July 15. Although, while every player was deserving of a roster spot in their own right, some were more deserving than others.
There weren't many surprises on this year's final rosters, but a few names stood out above the rest. For these players, while being elected to the All-Star Game is a great feat, they still have plenty to prove in an effort to show they belong.
Let's take a look at a few players who fall into this category.
Josh Harrison, UTIL, Pittsburgh Pirates
Harrison is having himself quite a season with the Pirates.
So far this year, he's played second base, third base, shortstop, left field and right field in Pittsburgh. His defensive versatility and strong arm make him a valuable chess piece for the Pirates.
Strong at the plate as well, Harrison is batting .295 with 69 hits, 13 doubles, four triples and five home runs for 25 RBI.
Even though he's a solid player, is he All-Star worthy?
Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports begged the question:
For those wondering how Josh Harrison is an All-Star and Anthony Rendon or Anthony Rizzo or a whole lot of others aren't ... I got nothing.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 6, 2014
Using Passan's comparison, Anthony Rendon has been rather versatile for the Washington Nationals. He's played both second base and third base this season and has experience at shortstop as well.
Rendon features a nice amount of power at the plate and has been very productive, batting .284 with 97 hits, 22 doubles, five triples and 13 home runs for 52 RBI.
Harrison's spot on the team is well deserved; however, he must make the most of his time on the field to warrant his selection.
Aramis Ramirez, 3B, Milwaukee Brewers
Ramirez gets the start at third base for the National League in this year's Midsummer Classic, and he's put up the numbers to warrant his spot.
Currently, he's batting .279 with 68 hits, 10 doubles and 11 home runs for 41 RBI. That's not too shabby; however, there's one problem: Casey McGehee has put up better numbers in almost every offensive category.
This season, McGehee boasts a .320 batting average with 112 hits, 20 doubles, one triple and one home run for 53 RBI. He may not have a ton of power, but he's incredibly consistent at the plate.
Defensively, it's the same story, McGehee has a .973 fielding percentage, committing five errors, while Ramirez has just a .953 fielding percentage with six errors.
Miami Marlins broadcaster Glenn Geffner tweeted his thoughts on the position:
If you don't think Stanton is 1 of the 3 best OF in NL & Ramirez is more deserving than McGehee...there are many things I wish I could say.— Glenn Geffner (@GlennGeffner) July 6, 2014
Again, Ramirez' numbers aren't bad, but he's really going to have to prove he belongs on the NL's roster—especially as a starter.
Josh Donaldson, 3B, Oakland Athletics
There's no doubt Donaldson is having a great season; although, are his numbers really worthy of receiving a starting spot on the AL's roster?
Well, the players didn't quite think so, according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News:
#Rangers Beltre won the player's vote at 3B over starter Donaldson. And it wasn't really close— Evan Grant (@Evan_P_Grant) July 7, 2014
Sure, he's put up some nice offensive numbers this season with 83 hits, 13 doubles, two triples, 19 home runs and 63 RBI, but he's currently batting just .237.
Meanwhile, looking at reserve third baseman Adrian Beltre's stats, it's tough to make a case for Donaldson to start. Beltre is batting an impressive .336 with 99 hits, 20 doubles, one triple, 12 home runs and 49 RBI.
Defensively, Beltre is faring better as well.
Donaldson is holding a .949 fielding percentage with 15 errors, while Beltre is fielding .952 with nine errors. Perhaps Donaldson's arm is his saving grace here, as he's accumulated 26 double plays this season.
Still, Donaldson will have to be in top form to warrant such a large portion of the fan voting.