It's that time of year again.
Major League Baseball's elite will gather at Kauffman Stadium this Tuesday night for the 83rd All-Star Game.
|Photo by: Denny Medley|
The Texas Rangers have eight players on the roster, most of any team in the majors. Josh Hamilton, Adrian Beltre and Mike Napoli headline the group that will start for the American League.
Another AL powerhouse, the New York Yankees, send their fair share of All-Stars to KC as well. A total of four will be present with Derek Jeter, Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson starting. CC Sabathia will be at the game but will not play due to an injury.
Detroit's Prince Fielder makes the team in his first season as a Tiger, and Blue Jay outfielder Jose Bautista gets the nod as a starter. Fielder and Bautista will be the only AL position starters who do not play for either the Yankees or Rangers.
The only Red Sox player to make the squad is David Ortiz. He will be the starting DH.
Texas leaves its imprint on the bench as well with two players -- Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus. All-Star veterans Miguel Cabrera, Paul Konerko, and Joe Mauer are also reserves. The bench is rounded off by a group of players making either their first or second All-Star appearance. Matt Wieters, Mark Trumbo, Mike Trout, Adam Jones, Adam Dunn, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Kansas City's own Billy Butler complete the AL bench.
Pitching wise, the American League brings a group of guys that all seem to be Cy Young candidates every year. Justin Verlander, CC Sabathia, CJ Wilson, Jared Weaver, Chris Sale, Felix Hernandez, David Price, and Matt Harrison were all selected. The relievers include Ryan Cook, Jim Johnson, Joe Nathan, Chris Perez and Fernando Rodney.
The National League is led by a trio of Giants. San Francisco sends Buster Posey, Pablo Sandoval, and Melky Cabrera to Kansas City. The Cardinals send a pair of starters, Rafael Furcal and former Royal Carlos Beltran. The starting lineup is rounded out by Joey Votto, Dan Uggla and MVP runner-up Matt Kemp.
A star-studded outfield of Ryan Braun, Carlos Gonzalez, Andrew McMutchen, Jay Bruce, and Giancarlo Stanton headline the NL bench. Yadier Molina and David Wright are the only other reserves with All-Star experience. First timers Jose Altuve, Ian Desmond, Bryan LaHair and Carlos Ruiz round out the reserves.
The NL will trot out a group of young studs to the mound. A couple of feel good stories in RA Dickey and young phenom Stephen Strasburg. Cole Hamels, Matt Cain, Clayton Kershaw, and Lance Lynn round out a rotation of young guns. Aroldis Chapman, Joel Hanrahan, Craig Kimbrel, Wade Miley, Johnathan Papelbon, and Houston Street complete a bullpen of rising stars.
This year's All-Star game will not disappoint. The blend of youth and experience will give viewers the old faces we have all come to love along with fresh new faces that will become household names for years to come.