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

Jul 10, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout (27) singles during the first inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY Sports
Alex BallentineFeatured Columnist IVJune 2, 2016

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 StartersNational League Starters
Salvador Perez, C, Kansas City RoyalsJonathan Lucroy, C, Milwaukee Brewers
Miguel Cabrera, 1B, Detroit TigersPaul Goldschmidt, 1B, Arizona Diamondbacks
Robinson Cano, 2B, Seattle MarinersChase Utley, 2B, Philadelphia Phillies
Derek Jeter, SS, New York YankeesTroy Tulowitzki, SS, Colorado Rockies
Josh Donaldson, 3B, Oakland AthleticsAramis Ramirez, 3B, Milwaukee Brewers
Mike Trout, OF, Los Angeles AngelsAndrew McCutchen, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates
Jose Bautista, OF, Toronto Blue JaysCarlos Gomez, OF, Milwaukee Brewers
Adam Jones, OF, Baltimore OriolesYasiel Puig, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers
Nelson Cruz, DH, Baltimore OriolesGiancarlo Stanton, DH, Miami Marlins
AL ReservesNL Reserves
Derek Norris, C, Oakland AthleticsDevin Mesoraco, C, Cincinnati Reds
Kurt Suzuki, C, Minnesota TwinsMiguel Montero, C, Arizona Diamondbacks
Jose Abreu, 1B, Chicago White SoxMatt Carpenter, 3B, St. Louis Cardinals
Jose Altuve, 2B, Houston AstrosStarlin Castro, SS, Chicago Cubs
Erick Aybar, SS, Los Angeles AngelsTodd Frazier, 3B, Cincinnati Reds
Adrian Beltre, 3B, Texas RangersFreddie Freeman, 1B, Atlanta Braves
Ian Kinsler, 2B, Detroit TigersDee Gordon, 2B, Los Angeles Dodgers
Brandon Moss, 1B, Oakland AthleticsDaniel Murphy, 2B, New York Mets
Alexei Ramirez, SS, Chicago White SoxAnthony Rizzo, 1B, Chicago Cubs*
Kyle Seager, 3B, Seattle MarinersCharlie Blackmon, OF, Colorado Rockies
Michael Brantley, OF, Cleveland IndiansJosh Harrison, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates
Yoenis Cespedes, OF, Oakland AthleticsHunter Pence, OF, San Francisco Giants
AL PitchersNL Pitchers
Dellin Betances, RHP, New York YankeesHenderson Alvarez, RHP, Miami Marlins
Mark Buehrle, LHP, Toronto Blue JaysMadison Bumgarner, LHP, San Francisco Giants
Yu Darvish, RHP, Texas RangersJohnny Cueto, RHP, Cincinnati Reds
Sean Doolittle, LHP, Oakland AthleticsAroldis Chapman, LHP, Cincinnati Reds
Felix Hernandez, RHP, Seattle MarinersZack Greinke, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers
Greg Holland, RHP, Kansas City RoyalsClayton Kershaw, LHP, Los Angeles Dodgers
Scott Kazmir, LHP, Oakland AthleticsCraig Kimbrel, RHP, Atlanta Braves
Jon Lester, LHP, Boston Red SoxPat Neshek, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals
Glen Perkins, LHP, Minnesota TwinsFrancisco Rodriguez, RHP, Milwaukee Brewers
Fernando Rodney, RHP, Seattle MarinersTyson Ross, RHP, San Diego Padres
Chris Sale, LHP, Chicago White Sox*Julio Teheran, RHP, Atlanta Braves
Max Scherzer, RHP, Detroit TigersAdam Wainwright, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals
Koji Uehara, RHP, Boston Red SoxTony Watson, LHP, Pittsburgh Pirates
AL Selections Inactive/InjuredNL 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

July 6, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (2) walks in the eighth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgersat Coors Field. The Dodgers defeated the Rockies 8-2. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
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

BALTIMORE, MD - JULY 11: Derek Jeter #2 of the New York Yankees looks on from the dugout against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on July 11, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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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