The Oakland Athletics have the best record in Major League Baseball and accordingly the club has the most players named to American League roster for the All-Star Game.
The voting process is over for the 2014 MLB All-Star Game, as we know which players will be on the American League and National League squads for the game on July 15 at Target Field. As is the case just about every year, there are some players that deserved their selection, while others were left out.
So let’s take a look at the players selected from the American League West division.
Oakland has the best record in baseball and not surprisingly they’re well represented. Josh Donaldson will be the starting third baseman for the AL team. He certainly earned it this season with his performance at the plate. He has a .242 average with 19 home runs and 63 RBI in 343 at-bats with 59 runs scored. Donaldson also has a solid OPS of .779.
The A’s have three reserve players on the AL side with catcher Derek Norris, first baseman Brandon Moss and outfielder Yoenis Cespedes. Norris is still crushing the baseball with a .306 batting average and .913 OPS in 183 at-bats. Moss is a threat to go deep with each swing, as indicated by his 19 home runs and 63 RBI. Cespedes has 55 RBI in 332 at-bats, along with a .259 average. He also has a terrific arm in the outfield that shouldn’t be tested.
The Athletics have a couple pitchers that made the All-Star team as well. Scott Kazmir has been remarkable in their rotation with a 2.53 ERA in 110 innings pitched. The closer in Sean Doolittle has performed very well with 13 saves and only two walks in 41 games.
Newcomer Jeff Samardzija will receive full All-Star honors, but will be inactive. This is because, he was recently traded to an AL team.
Los Angeles Angels
The Angels have one player representing them and this is outfielder Mike Trout. Trout is one of the most talented players in baseball and showcases his skills on a nightly basis. He has a .304 batting average with 20 home runs and 64 RBI in 319 at-bats, while swiping 10 bases. The OPS for him is .995, and he has a .319 average with runners in scoring position.
Seattle will have three players in the All-Star Game. The player that Seattle signed in the off-season to a massive contract, Robinson Cano, will start at second base for the AL team. He is hitting .320 with 27 extra-base hits and 51 RBI in 328 at-bats.
The next player that will represent Seattle is third baseman Kyle Seager, replacing Edwin Encarnacion, who was placed on the disabled list Monday. Seager has a .271 batting average with 13 home runs and 59 RBI in 321 at-bats. He has a .281 average and .930 OPS in 199 at-bats against right-handed pitchers.
In saving the best for last with Seattle, starting pitcher Felix Hernandez was also selected. Hernandez has been one of the best starters in the AL with a 2.11 ERA across 136.1 innings pitched. He has struck out 145 batters and walked just 23. King Felix has 10 consecutive starts of pitching at least seven innings and allowing two runs or less. He will probably be selected to start the game for the AL.
Texas will have third baseman Adrian Beltre and starting pitcher Yu Darvish in the game for them. Beltre has a .334 batting average with 12 home runs and 48 RBI in 287 at-bats, along with an OPS of .910. He is hitting .338 with 32 RBI when runners are in scoring position.
Darvish in 109.1 innings pitched has a 2.63 ERA with 134 strikeouts and only eight home runs allowed. He has a SO/9 of 11.0 and limits the opposition to a .224 batting average. He is lights out with runners in scoring position, as indicated by teams hitting .163 in this situation.
The lone participant for the Astros is second baseman Jose Altuve. He is small in stature, but makes an impact on the diamond. He has a .338 average in 367 at-bats with 124 hits and 30 extra-base hits. He has an OPS of .813, while stealing 39 bases. He is hitting .412 in 102 at-bats against left-handed pitchers.
Altuve also broke the club record of most hits before the All-Star break that was previously held by Bob Watson.
There were some players that got snubbed and deserve to be in the All-Star Game from the AL West division. Starting pitchers Garrett Richards from the Los Angeles Angels and Dallas Keuchel from the Houston Astros come to mind right away.
Richards has a 2.71 ERA in 116.1 innings pitched through 18 starts with 119 strikeouts. He has allowed just four home runs and his WHIP is 1.07. He is limiting opposing teams to a .196 average.
Keuchel has a 3.06 ERA in 108.2 innings pitched with three complete games. He has allowed just six home runs and left-handed batters have a .232 average in 99 at-bats against him.