Tag: 2014 MLB All-Star Game

MLB All-Star Game: Wainwright Shouldn’t Have Grooved the Pitch to Derek Jeter

Adam Wainwright clearly never took a lesson in integrity from the Derek Jeter school of baseball.

In interviews following his All-Star game start, Wainwright told reporters that he put his first-inning, 1-0 pitch to Jeter on a tee:

Jeter laced a double to right field, adding yet another memorable moment to his illustrious 20-year MLB career. But because of Wainwright, that moment is tainted.

Sure, Jeter deserved a hit or two in his 14th and final All-Star game appearance. But he deserved only what he could achieve on his own.

You don’t tally 3,408 career hits because opponents grant them to you.

And on the other side, if you can muster the disrespect for the game to groove a pitch, at least keep your mouth shut.

Zip it. Lock it. Throw away the key.

The only decision worse than grooving the pitch was saying he did it.

By admitting to intentionally throwing a meatball in Jeter’s wheelhouse, Wainwright publiclyundermined the swing. He publicly undermined the double. Worst of all, he publicly undermined the moment because he authored the moment.

The Twitterverse exploded as reporters tweeted out Wainwright’s quotes. Some, like NJ.com’s Brendan Kuty, did not condemn Wainwright:

Although, Kuty would end up changing his mind about the situation. 

But there’s no justifiable stance in favor of Wainwright—Jeter’s deserving of reciprocation of integrity aside.

The All-Star game is fun—for the players and the fans. The result also determines home-field advantage for the World Series. As inane as that is, it’s also the truth.

Wainwright not only did Jeter a disservice; he also endangered his St. Louis Cardinals‘ chances of obtaining home-field advantage in the Fall Classic.

Jeter’s double catalyzed a three-run first inning.

St. Louis carried a 52-44 record into the All-Star break. That pits them one game behind the Milwaukee Brewers for first place in the NL Central. They’re also 0.5 games out of the wild card.

The Cardinals have a legitimate shot at reaching the World Series, and if they get there, Wainwright could have diminished their chances of winning.

But the World Series is still three months away. Tonight was about Derek Jeter.

And Adam Wainwright undermined the moment because he conspired to create it.

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MLB Futures Game 2014: Breaking Down Best Performances from Top Prospects

Look, we all know it’s silly to get excited about any All-Star Game in any sport. Even in MLB, where the game actually means something, the mood is jovial and players largely exhibit the intensity of a mid-March spring training game. 

That said, sometimes the All-Star festivities are all you have. Sometimes, looking down the barrel of another lost season as your team flounders out of contention, the one or two players selected to the Midsummer Classic become your whole world. And when you can’t form an attachment to those guys, well, sometimes it’s better to look at who could be coming down the pike.

Such was the case for those in attendance Sunday for the 2014 MLB Futures Game. The United States won 3-2, but that’s neither here nor there. Remembering the score of a Futures Game should be a part of the brain that is never accessed. If I were in possession of the neuralyzer from Men in Black, I’d zap us all as a favor to society.

Because what mattered was not the scoreboard but the individual performances putting runs—or preventing them—on the board. The Futures Game is an opportunity to glimpse into just that. The best young players spread across the minor leagues come together, oftentimes providing fans their only opportunity to see them in live action.

And some of them did not disappoint. Here’s a quick look at a few performances that stood out.


Joey Gallo (3B, Texas Rangers)

Listen. It wasn’t all great. Gallo had only one hit in his four at-bats. He struck out twice. At third base, you could affectionately call him functional. 

But oh my, this dude can hit when he actually puts wood on the ball. Gallo’s two-run home run in the sixth inning propelled the United States to victory, walloping a bomb off Astros prospect Michael Feliz that went well over 400 feet. In a contest mostly dominated by pitching, it was Gallo’s prodigious power that everyone walked away talking about.

Of course, that home run wasn’t Gallo’s only impressive feat. His batting practice display might have topped the entire nine-inning game from an excitement standpoint. He belted 15 balls over the Target Field fence, including one that shattered the windshield of a parked car.

“My first swing, I was up there just swinging and I hit a home run and heard people go kind of like, ‘Ohhhhhh,'” Gallo told Jim Callis of MLB.com. “I said, ‘I might as well put on a show. People are paying good money to be here, so I’ll give them what they want.’ I heard I broke a windshield, and I do feel bad about that.”

Gallo, 20, is currently tied with Cubs prospect Kris Bryant for the minor league lead with 31 home runs. Although his pedigree is questionable outside the batter’s box—MLB.com ranks him only the 73rd-best prospect in the minors—Gallo was impressive enough to make some rethink their outlook.


Julio Urias (P, Los Angeles Dodgers)

Everyone who participates in the Futures Game is young. That’s, like, kind of the entire point. And Julio Urias was a year-and-a-half or more younger than them all. The Dodgers farmhand, who does not turn 17 until August, came in against guys four and five years his senior and balled out.

Urias showed mid-90s speed on his fastball, solid breaking stuff and got through his one inning of work in short order. He struck out Nationals prospect Michael Taylor, got a line-out from Mets catcher Kevin Plawecki and induced a weak ground ball from Micah Johnson.

ESPN’s Keith Law (subscription required) ranks Urias the No. 14 prospect in baseball, where he ranks considerably younger than anyone else. Law also notes that the Dodgers signed him on the same trip that netted Yasiel Puig. To hear teammates and coaches speak about him is a window into what could be the greatest overseas trip in franchise history. 

“It’s hard to explain how a kid who’s 17 does everything he does,” Dodgers prospect Corey Seager told Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan“He’s unbelievably composed. His maturity is through the roof. He’s just very impressive. There’s nothing that frightens him. He doesn’t overreact when he gets a bad call. He doesn’t throw his glove. Nothing like that ever comes out of him.”

It will be interesting to see how the Dodgers choose to move forward with his progress. Moving up to the big leagues before his 19th birthday is a possibility, though highly unlikely given the franchise’s desire to control the pressure and keep his innings down over the long term.

Still. What we saw Sunday was impressive enough to make you wonder what if.


Javier Baez (SS, Chicago Cubs)

Baez entered the 2014 season as one of the best handful of prospects in baseball before a slow start in Triple A had some wringing their hands. He’s hitting only .240/.305/.449 for the season, strikes out a ton and has the patience of a toddler at the dish. When he’s on, though, Baez proves time and again why he’s going to be someone special.

The Cubs shortstop accounted for the World Team’s only two runs, drilling a two-run homer off Nationals prospect Lucas Giolito in the top of the sixth inning. He came into the game in the fifth after Cleveland’s Francisco Lindor got the start at short.

The Cubs will hope his trip to Minnesota sparks a strong second-half run. Baez, even with Starlin Castro on board, is very much a part of the future. Theo Epstein could move one of them to second base in the interim and have the most dynamic hitting middle infield in baseball someday. 

Baez will just have to work on his plate discipline. The 21-year-old slugger struck out in his second at-bat and didn’t look all that great in doing so.

But a home run is a home run. Hat tip to you, Mr. Baez.


Jose Berrios (SP, Minnesota Twins)

The starter for the World Team, Berrios came in and had zero problem with the top of the United States’ lineup. He sat the U.S. down 1-2-3, striking out Taylor, who did not have a very fun afternoon, and then getting consecutive fly outs to Dariel Alvarez.

The Twins prospect hung consistently in the mid-90s with his fastball while mixing in a plus curve and solid changeup. Berrios is still only 20, so his ceiling as a potential big leaguer is yet to be determined. It’s possible that he ends up being a top-of-the-rotation talent if his command improves, and he can get more reliable outs with his breaking stuff.

“He’s really good,” Rangers prospect Jorge Alfaro told Brian Murphy of the Pioneer Press. “His fastball is alive. It’s in the zone all the time. His curveball is fast; sharp break. And that change-up was awesome.”

Berrios‘ performance proved a special treat for the local fans in attendance. While the big club languishes in last place, 10.5 games behind the Tigers, Berrios gave a glimpse of what could be a future stud in the rotation.

And that’s all this game is about. Future. Hope. Getting away from the sadness of watching your team get pelted every night to take a gander at some of baseball’s best young talent. Now it’s time for these guys to get back to work so they don’t make these glowing paragraphs seem laughable in a few years.


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Derek Jeter’s Custom Jordan Cleats Reflect on Past All-Star Games

Derek Jeter will play in his final MLB All-Star Game on Tuesday night at Target Field, so it’s only fitting that Jordan Brand has created a pair of cleats that reflect back on the New York Yankees shortstop’s previous All-Star experiences.

Jeter has been named to 14 American League All-Star teams in his 20-year career. He has taken advantage of every opportunity he has had to play in the games, as he is a career .440 hitter in the Midsummer Classic.

The custom Jordan cleats list all of the cities where Jeter has played the All-Star Game. The cleats also pay tribute to Jeter’s 2000 MLB All-Star Game Most Valuable Player award.


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Derek Jeter’s 2014 All-Star Game Start Reflects Career over Season Achievements

The MLB All-Star Game is used to highlight the best players in baseball near the halfway point of the regular season. Derek Jeter is not one of these players, but he still is worthy of his spot in the starting lineup for the American League.

In most cases, the positions on the All-Star team are for the players who have excelled throughout the first part of the season. Almost everyone in the starting lineup and certainly the reserves have put up big enough numbers to warrant their inclusion in the Midsummer Classic.

On the other hand, Jeter has struggled throughout most of this season in all phases of the game. The shortstop has put up a triple slash line of .272/.324/.322 with just two home runs and six stolen bases. His on-base plus slugging percentage of .647 is the lowest of his career, with the exception of last season when he played just 17 games.

According to ESPN.com, the New York Yankees star has contributed a WAR of just 0.5 this year, which ranks 13th among American League shortstops. This means that 12 of the other 14 teams in the AL have a player who has been more valuable this year, yet Jeter is the one representing the AL at Target Field.

Neil Paine of FiveThirtyEight broke down the veteran’s season from a historical perspective, noting he is one of the worst All-Star starters of the past 40 years. Since 2000, only five players have been less productive before getting a starting nod at this prestigious event.

Interestingly, the worst player on the list is first-ballot Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. In reality, this is the best comparison for what Jeter is going through—a player who does not deserve the spot based on the season’s numbers but is nevertheless being rewarded of an extended career of achievement.

Before he retires at the end of the season, the 40-year-old legend is set to complete his 20th year in the major leagues, all with the Yankees. This feat alone deserves recognition in an age where so many players bounce around to different places in free agency.

Of course, Jeter has been quite good in that time, accumulating 3,408 hits, 14 All-Star appearances, five Gold Glove awards, one Rookie of the Year award and five World Series rings. Putting him into one extra All-Star Game is not the biggest crime, even if a player like Alexei Ramirez or Erick Aybar might be more deserving of a start.

However, the important thing to remember is that Jeter being in this game is not just for him; it is for everyone else involved. Fans might be tired of hearing about the fact that this will be his last appearance on this stage, but the players are certainly enjoying themselves.

National League starting pitcher Adam Wainwright discussed the honor it will be just to face Jeter in this matchup, saying, “I have been in the big leagues for nine years. I’ve never faced him. I’m very excited about it, just to say I faced the best. And he is undoubtedly one of the best to ever play his position, one of the greatest Yankees of all time,” via Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com.

Yasiel Puig, who has become quite a star himself, also noted his excitement, via Bob Klapisch of The Record:

While the players turn into fans on the field, the actual fans will also be enjoying themselves. Whether you love Jeter or hate him, his appearance will certainly be more memorable than almost any other player on the field. Ripken’s final showing was undeserved, but he did create one of the top moments in All-Star Game history:

Additionally, there seems to be a universal respect for Jeter, which puts him in a class above others in the game. The latest Jordan commercial seems to capture this perfectly:

Even the biggest Red Sox/Orioles/Mets fans will be able to enjoy the moment that Jeter takes on the field on Tuesday night. Like everyone else, they will hope that something incredible happens.

The shortstop has created so many great plays over the past two decades. Although some of them might have been praised just a bit too much, they remain part of the history of baseball. If fate has anything to say about it, he will come through with one more big one.

By the numbers, Jeter should not even be in attendance at Target Field. However, we all know that the superstar deserves to be standing between second and third base on the big stage one last time.


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MLB All-Star Game 2014: Live Score, Highlights and Reaction

Keep it locked right here as we bring you live coverage of the 2014 All-Star Game! 

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Yasiel Puig Strikes Out at 2014 Home Run Derby, Fails to Go Yard Once

Yasiel Puig entered the 2014 Home Run Derby with some implicit expectations on his shoulders.

Being 23 years old and built like a brick outhouse, Puig came into the ball-spanking competition with the general assumption that he would wow the crowd, if not win the competition.

So it came as a none-too-tiny surprise when Puig, a decent power hitter by any measure, failed to hit a single home run in the Derby on Monday night.

According to Mike Oz of Big League Stew, the young Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder arrived at the event without a designated pitcher and opted to have Robinson Cano’s father, Jose Cano, step in to throw. Puig managed to grab hold of a few pitches but pulled them hard into foul territory.

Oz points out that players who hit Jose Cano’s pitches haven’t had success in the Derby.

“The last Home Run Derby competitor to get shut out was Robinson Cano in 2012,” Oz writes. “As coincidence would have it, Cano’s dad, former big-league pitcher Jose Cano, was the one pitching to Puig on Monday, just like he did Robinson in 2012.”

Was it the Jose Cano curse that ruined Puig’s night? Or just shoddy concentration and nerves bearing down on a young player at his first Derby?

We’ll never know, but the Dodgers maintain that Puig is saving his runs for Tuesday’s All-Star game.

Puig didn’t seem too distressed by his goose egg. He posed with Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, who walloped the bomb of the night in the first round.

At the risk of sounding like a Puig apologist, I’ll take this time to remind you that the Home Run Derby means nothing. It’s a lawless night where baseball fans cast aside their rigid principles and allow players to gawk at the sexiest, big-ticket moment the sport has to offer.

Still, Puig and his bear arms could’ve given the people a little more cowbell. The Roman masses in the stands at Target Field came to see giant men put baseballs out of their misery—and a Puig clean sheet was the last thing they wanted.


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MLB All Star Game 2014: Best and Worst Lineup Decisions for Midsummer Classic

It’s impossible to put together a bad starting lineup at the All-Star game. After all, we are talking about nine of the best players in both the American and National League, but some moves do raise an eyebrow in a good or bad way. 

The job for AL manager John Farrell and NL manager Mike Matheny is to put their best foot forward and give their team a chance to win, thereby securing home-field advantage for their league in the World Series. 

Now that we have seen the lineups that will start the game on Tuesday, it’s time to offer a critique about the job Farrell and Matheny did. 

National League Lineup

Best Move: Andrew McCutchen leading off

The American League has a well-deserved reputation as being better for hitters, thanks mostly to the DH, but this year’s National League lineup is stacked from top to bottom without a weak spot. 

For proof, all you have to do is see that Andrew McCutchen, the reigning NL MVP who is slugging .575, will be the first hitter of the game against AL starter Felix Hernandez. Pittsburgh’s superstar also has a .420 on-base percentage, so he’s perfectly fine as a table-setter for Yasiel Puig, Troy Tulowitzki and Paul Goldschmidt

It also doesn’t hurt that McCutchen has been white hot since the start of June, as noted by ESPN.com’s Mark Simon in a heat map:

McCutchen already has 50 extra-base hits and leads the NL with 115 total hits. The Pirates superstar is the perfect choice to kick things off against the best pitcher the AL has to offer. 


Puzzling Move: Aramis Ramirez hitting sixth

While we can praise Matheny for loading the top of his lineup, the bottom half of the order gets sketchy. The problem begins—and largely ends—with Milwaukee third baseman Aramis Ramirez in the sixth spot. 

Ramirez was an odd choice to start the All-Star Game because he’s only played 70 games and has an unremarkable .288/.336/.459 slash line. There were plenty of better players at third base, like Cincinnati’s Todd Frazier, but the format says whoever the fans vote gets to start. 

Inserting Ramirez into the lineup directly behind Giancarlo Stanton and ahead of Chase Utley (.349 on-base percentage), Jonathan Lucroy (.879 OPS) and Carlos Gomez (41 extra-base hits, .510 slugging percentage) is puzzling. 

In the scheme of things, it might not make much difference, especially if Frazier is in the game during the later innings with a chance to hit a big home run, but, given the star power behind Ramirez, his name in the sixth spot raises a lot of questions. 


American League Lineup

Best Move: Derek Jeter leading off

Like the NL, we go to the leadoff spot for the best move. On numbers and talent, Derek Jeter no longer belongs at the top of a lineup with a roster as loaded as the AL’s. 

However, there’s more to the All-Star game than simply trying to win. It’s a showcase for the best that Major League Baseball has to offer. No one has garnered more respect or admiration over the last 20 years than New York’s shortstop. 

As ESPN’s Numbers Never Lie noted on Twitter, Jeter’s final All-Star bow shares some similarities with another icon from the previous generation:

If Jeter can hit a home run on the first pitch from Adam Wainwright, he will end his All-Star career exactly like Cal Ripken. With just two homers and a .322 slugging percentage in the first half, that doesn’t seem likely. But baseball is a funny game. 


Puzzling Move: Josh Donaldson ahead of Salvador Perez

Unlike the NL, there isn’t one real weak spot in the AL lineup. You can say Jeter is the one soft area, but his presence in the leadoff spot is pure nostalgia. 

The one minor quibble to have with Farrell’s lineup is near the bottom, with Josh Donaldson hitting ahead of Salvador Perez. Kansas City’s catcher only got the starting nod because Baltimore’s Matt Wieters, who was voted the starter, is injured and unable to participate. 

Donaldson looked like a potential MVP candidate through May, hitting 15 home runs and slugging over .500 in the first two months, but has scuffled with just five homers and OPS totals in the .500-.550 range since June 1. 

Meanwhile, Perez continues to be a rock with the bat and behind the plate. He’s got 11 home runs this season, just two shy of a career high, and dazzled in June with a .918 OPS. In the small sample size of July, the 24-year-old hit a rough patch with a .618 OPS, but no one will lose sleep over a bad two weeks compared to two months. 

Swapping the eighth and ninth hitters isn’t going to make a significant difference in predicted run production, so Farrell shouldn’t be condemned for the choice. 


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MLB All Star Voting 2014: Breaking Down Leaders After Final Results Tally

The 2014 MLB All-Star Game rosters are officially set. 

Injuries and other players being deemed unavailable may send managers John Farrell and Mike Matheny scrambling for some last-minute replacements, but for the most part, we know who will be taking part in the Midsummer Classic at Target Field. 

The starters are set, the reserves and pitchers have been selected and Chris Sale and Anthony Rizzo have won the final spots in the fan vote, which, as Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan argued, was the right decision: 

Let’s take a complete look at both rosters. 


American League

Note: Matt Wieters (injury) replaced by Salvador Perez in starting lineup.

Note: Edwin Encarnacion (injury) replaced by Kyle Seager.

Note: Masahiro Tanaka (injury) replaced by Koji Uehara.


National League

Note: Jeff Samardzija elected as member of Cubs but traded to Athletics on July 4. Will be inactive.

Note: Yadier Molina (injury) will be replaced.


AL Top Vote-Getter: Jose Bautista, Toronto Blue Jays

Considering how stacked the American League outfield is, it was quite impressive Jose Bautista was able to rack up the most votes in the majors. 

As ESPN Stats & Info noted, it’s the second time he’s earned the accomplishment: 

Joey Bats is certainly deserving of his fifth consecutive All-Star nod. He’s hitting .292/.412/.510 with 17 home runs and 57 RBI. While those are the popular numbers, though, Bautista‘s patience at the plate is a trait that flies way too far under the radar.  

Of qualified hitters, he’s leads the majors in walks, is third in walk percentage, is third in on-base percentage and is one of just three players to have drawn more free passes than strikeouts. Bautista, the two-time home run champ, is far more than just a power hitter. 

But, you know, he’s that, too:

His ability at the plate is a large reason why the Blue Jays currently sit at the top of the AL East and are in the top seven in the league in average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and OPS. 

A heart of the order featuring Bautista, Robinson Cano, Mike Trout and Miguel Cabrera is just downright unfair. 


NL Top Vote-Getter: Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado Rockies

Troy Tulowitzki‘s Rockies are struggling to stay out of the cellar in the National League, but no individual player has been better than him over the first half of the season. 

It has been a video-game-esque season for Tulo. He is first in the majors in runs (70), first in batting average (.350), first in on-base percentage (.441), first in OPS (1.057), second in slugging percentage (.616), sixth in homers (20), sixth in walk-to-strikeout ratio (0.92) and 10th in walk percentage (13.6). 

“This is Tulo‘s fourth [All-Star Game selection], and every one of them is really special,” manager Walt Weiss said, via The Denver Post‘s Patrick Saunders. “He’s the leading vote-getter, and rightfully so, for the first half he’s put together.”

At least on paper, the American League looks like the better squad. But don’t be surprised if Tulo puts the NL on his back with an MVP performance. 

It would be right in line with everything he’s done so far this year. 


Note: Stats courtesy of Fangraphs and updated as of games played on Thursday, July 10.

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MLB All-Star Lineup 2014: Predicting Stars Likely to Shine at Target Field

Predicting the MVP of the MLB All-Star Game is like sticking your hand in a beehive and trying to guess which of the little suckers is going to sting you first.

There’s probably some rhyme or reason to it, but mostly, it’s pretty random.

Nevertheless, we’ll take a look at the list below and try to focus on three players most likely to do damage on Tuesday at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota.


Yasiel Puig

Puig is a man of the moment. He’s proved that time and time again in his brief major league career. In this, his first opportunity to shine bright at the Midsummer Classic, expect Puig to stand out in a major way.

Whether it’s by hitting a big home run or by making a sparkling defensive play, Puig has the tools to not only give fans some memorable moments, but to win the game’s Most Valuable Player Award.


Jose Abreu

Hands down, the best rookie so far this season is Abreu. In fact, according to this tweet from ESPN Stats & Info, Abreu’s rookie campaign is set to be one of the best of all time.

He has since hit his 28th home run. At the rate he’s going, he could have 30 by Tuesday.

Abreu has the type of demeanor that makes you believe he could handle the spotlight the All-Star Game brings. Longtime Chicago White Sox player and former All-Star Paul Konerko talked about his 27-year-old teammate.

Abreu will not participate in the Home Run Derby on Monday, but he might put on his own display during the game.


Carlos Gomez

There are several ways to impact a game. Like Puig, Gomez has the skills to be a factor in almost every aspect. How dynamic is the National League outfield with Gomez, Puig and Andrew McCutchen?

You’d be hard-pressed to find a more athletic threesome in any outfieldAll-Star Game or traditional rosters.

The 28-year-old has really come into his own over the last two years. Aside from hitting 24 home runs last season and 13 in the first half of this campaign, Gomez has stolen 15 bases and made several amazing plays in the outfield.

He is a showman and a good bet to play well on Tuesday.

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2014 MLB All-Star Game: First-Time Selections Who Will Become Mainstays

The 2014 MLB All-Star Game will take place Tuesday from Target Field in Minneapolis. While Derek Jeter will be participating in his 14th and final All-Star Game, there’s a large group of players who will be making their debuts in the Midsummer Classic.

At least three of them figure to be perennial All-Stars in their careers, provided injuries or other issues don’t derail their careers.


Jose Abreu, Chicago White Sox

Most knew that Jose Abreu projected as a big-time power hitter, but almost no one expected the 27-year-old Cuban to be this good. Abreu has been one of the lone bright spots in a dim season for the Chicago White Sox. Through 78 games, he is tied for the major league lead in home runs with 28. 

Unless Abreu inexplicably doesn’t play in the second half of the season, or forgets how to hit, he seemingly has the American League Rookie of the Year wrapped up. While he is an old rookie, he’s still young enough to play another 10-plus years at a high level in the major leagues.

Bet on Abreu playing in a good number of All-Star games during that time.

Abreu’s teammate, veteran and multiple-time All-Star Paul Konerko, had this to say about the beastly rookie, per longtime baseball writer, Peter Gammons:


Masahiro Tanaka, New York Yankees

Despite the fact that Tanaka is headed for the disabled list with an elbow injury that could be serious, there’s no disputing he was as good as advertised in the first half of the season for the New York Yankees.

The 25-year-old Japanese star is 12-4 with a 2.51 ERA and a WHIP of 1.01 in 18 starts. Assuming his arm checks out and nothing career-altering has taken place, this season was just the beginning of a stellar career in the majors.

At 25, he arrived in the majors with enough maturity and youth to have a long and stellar run in the Bronx. That will likely include regular appearances in the All-Star Game.

We can only hope Tanaka’s injury doesn’t deprive fans of seeing what he could become.


Yasiel Puig, Los Angeles Dodgers

Without question, Puig is one of the most electrifying and polarizing players in the game today. When you mix in his natural charisma with his immense talent, Puig looks like the type of player who will be amongst the top five vote-getters for the next 10 years.

The 6’2″, 235-pound freakishly gifted athlete is having an even better year in 2014 than he did last season.

Through 86 games, Puig is hitting .307 with 12 home runs and 50 RBI. If he doesn’t miss any time, he could eclipse the 100-RBI mark for the first time in his career. That will likely be the first of many times he accomplishes that feat.

As well, this will be the first of several All-Star appearances.


All player stats and info per Baseball Reference.

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