MLB All-Star Selections 2014: Preview and Predictions for Game's Biggest Stars

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MLB All-Star Selections 2014: Preview and Predictions for Game's Biggest Stars
USA TODAY Sports

The 2014 MLB All-Star Game will take place July 15 at Target Field in Minneapolis, and several of the league's top players will add another roster selection for the annual event to their resumes.

These appearances are always a measuring stick when it comes to assessing players' careers. This year's roster features an interesting mix of familiar faces and young guns alike.

Derek Jeter will be making his 14th and final appearance in the Midsummer Classic, while fresh faces like Josh Donaldson and Yasiel Puig will be making their debuts.

Here's a look at the complete list of selections and predictions for the biggest names participating.

2014 MLB All-Star Selections
American League Starters National League Starters
Salvador Perez, C, Kansas City Royals Jonathan Lucroy, C, Milwaukee Brewers
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 Devin Mesoraco, C, Cincinnati Reds
Kurt Suzuki, C, Minnesota Twins Miguel Montero, C, Arizona Diamondbacks
Jose Abreu, 1B, Chicago White Sox Matt Carpenter, 3B, St. Louis Cardinals
Jose Altuve, 2B, Houston Astros Starlin Castro, SS, Chicago Cubs
Erick Aybar, SS, Los Angeles Angels Todd Frazier, 3B, Cincinnati Reds
Adrian Beltre, 3B, Texas Rangers Freddie Freeman, 1B, Atlanta Braves
Ian Kinsler, 2B, Detroit Tigers Dee Gordon, 2B, Los Angeles Dodgers
Brandon Moss, 1B, Oakland Athletics Daniel Murphy, 2B, New York Mets
Alexei Ramirez, SS, Chicago White Sox Anthony Rizzo, 1B, Chicago Cubs*
Kyle Seager, 3B, Seattle Mariners Charlie Blackmon, OF, Colorado Rockies
Michael Brantley, OF, Cleveland Indians Josh Harrison, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates
Yoenis Cespedes, OF, Oakland Athletics Hunter Pence, OF, San Francisco Giants
AL Pitchers NL Pitchers
Dellin Betances, RHP, New York Yankees Henderson Alvarez, RHP, Miami Marlins
Mark Buehrle, LHP, Toronto Blue Jays Madison Bumgarner, LHP, San Francisco Giants
Yu Darvish, RHP, Texas Rangers Johnny Cueto, RHP, Cincinnati Reds
Sean Doolittle, LHP, Oakland Athletics Aroldis Chapman, LHP, Cincinnati Reds
Felix Hernandez, RHP, Seattle Mariners Zack Greinke, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers
Greg Holland, RHP, Kansas City Royals Clayton Kershaw, LHP, Los Angeles Dodgers
Scott Kazmir, LHP, Oakland Athletics Craig Kimbrel, RHP, Atlanta Braves
Jon Lester, LHP, Boston Red Sox Pat Neshek, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals
Glen Perkins, LHP, Minnesota Twins Francisco Rodriguez, RHP, Milwaukee Brewers
Fernando Rodney, RHP, Seattle Mariners Tyson Ross, RHP, San Diego Padres
Chris Sale, LHP, Chicago White Sox* Julio Teheran, RHP, Atlanta Braves
Max Scherzer, RHP, Detroit Tigers Adam Wainwright, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals
Koji Uehara, RHP, Boston Red Sox Tony Watson, LHP, Pittsburgh Pirates
AL Selections Inactive/Injured NL Selections Inactive/Injured
Matt Wieters, C, Baltimore Orioles (Injured) Yadier Molina, C, St. Louis Cardinals (Injured)
Edwin Encarnacion, 1B, Toronto Blue Jays (Injured) Jordan Zimmermann, RHP, Washington Nationals (Injured)
Alex Gordon, OF, Kansas City Royals (Injured) Jeff Samardzija, RHP, Chicago Cubs (Ineligible; Traded to Oakland)
Victor Martinez, C, Detroit Tigers (Injured)
Masahiro Tanaka, RHP, New York Yankees (Injured)
David Price, LHP, Tampa Bay Rays (Opted out)

Source: ESPN.com; Rosters current as of July 12; * MLB.com Final Vote winner

 

Mike Trout

Alex Gallardo/Associated Press

Even at only 22 years old, Mike Trout is no stranger to All-Star games. The 2014 edition of the game will be his third, and the American League MVP candidate will definitely be one to watch. 

The slugger is No. 4 in home runs in both the MLB and the AL with 22, and when he goes yard, it's explosive. As ESPN Stats and Info points out, half of those have been over 420 feet:

The All-Star Game is all about highlights: Fans tune in to see the league's best hitters try to take the best pitchers deep.

And with fellow Los Angeles area superstar Yasiel Puig suiting up for the National League, a little friendly competition between the outfielders could be at play.

Trout should welcome that with open arms. 

Prediction: 2 AB, 1 HR, 2 RBI.

 

Troy Tulowitzki

USA TODAY Sports

In the National League, no one is hitting better than Colorado's Troy Tulowitzki. The shortstop leads the NL in batting average at .344 and with 21 home runs, he is tied for No. 1 with Miami's Giancarlo Stanton (the NL's starting designated hitter for Tuesday's game).

Like Trout, Tulo is no stranger to the All-Star Game: 2014 will mark his fourth career appearance and his second consecutive start for the NL.

Not everything has been going swimmingly for the 29-year-old, however.

His stellar production this season hasn't kept the Rockies from a pitiful 40-54 record thus far. The disconnect between his production and the Rockies' consistent struggles have made him open to a trade, as he told The Denver Post's Mark Kiszla:

In Todd Helton, there's someone who's easy to look at his career here and how it played out. I have the utmost respect for Todd, but at the same time, I don't want to be the next in line as somebody who was here for a long time and didn't have a chance to win every single year. ... He played in a couple postseason games and went to one World Series. But that's not me. I want to be somewhere where there's a chance to be in the playoffs every single year.

Playing for a disappointing Rockies team, Tulowitzki's numbers have seemingly gone unnoticed. It wouldn't be a shock to see him playing with a little chip on his shoulder Tuesday in trying to make his mark. 

Prediction: 2 AB, 2 H, 1 2B, 1 RBI.

 

Derek Jeter

Rob Carr/Getty Images

There's a ton of young talent to behold on this year's rosters, but Jeter's last appearance makes him one of the games' biggest stars to watch. 

The 40-year-old's presence goes far beyond statistics. His .271 batting average is pedestrian, by the standards of his All-Star peers. He isn't likely to hit any home runs—he has just two on the season. 

But his appearance in the AL lineup will serve as one of the final great moments in the future Hall of Famer's career.

As SportsCenter tweeted, few shortstops have made more starts in the traditional showcase than the Yankee's No. 2:

The final All-Star Game of a legend's career tends to be a special one.

Much was made of Mariano Rivera's final Midsummer Classic in 2013. This year, it could be Jeter's turn to be honored as he plays perhaps his last game on the national stage. 

Jeter's final stat line might not top the charts, but he should be responsible for as many memorable moments as anyone—a fitting send-off for a player whose impact can't be captured by just the stats. 

Prediction: 3 AB, 1 H.

 

All stats courtesy of MLB.com and are current through the games of July 12.

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