The A’s had a large number of players named to the 2014 All-Star game, seven to be exact! While only one of them, third baseman Josh Donaldson, will start the A’s technically have seven members on the 2014 All-Star game!
Third Baseman: Josh Donaldson aka the Bringer of Rain (@BringerofRain20)
Donaldson was snubbed from even being a reserve last All-Star game and instead closer Grant Balfour and starter Bartolo Colon represented the green and gold in the 2013 ASG. Donaldson deserved to go last year, he finished the year placing fourth in the MVP voting. This year the 28-year old is batting .244 (could be better) but he has 19 home runs and 62 RBI putting him well on track to have a 30-plus home run year and accumulate approximately 100 RBI making him one of baseball’s elite. Donaldson is also know for his incredible defensive skills. He has made a shocking 15 errors this season but he makes up for them either with his bat or by making some unbelievable catches to save runs from scoring. He is an all-around great player who deserves this starting place among baseball’s best, namely playing alongside the legendary Derek Jeter.
Starting Pitcher: Scott Kazmir (@ the hashtag I personally use is #TeamKaz)
Scott Kazmir, 30, was a force to be reckoned with when he came up in the league in 2004 and was a two-time All-Star in 2006 and 2008. He quickly declined and was out of baseball completely for the 2011 and 2012 seasons. He returned to baseball in 2013, playing for the Cleveland Indians, beginning to appear to be his old self again. A’s GM Billy Beane took a chance that Kazmir wasn’t done and that his play with Cleveland wasn’t a fluke, signing him to a two-year $24 million contract. As usual Beane was right. Kazmir is 10-3 with a 2.53 ERA and now he is head once again back to be a part of the 2014 ASG – his third career appearance!
1B/DH/OF: Brandon Moss
Moss, 30, spent parts of ten seasons in the minor leagues, even part of the 2012 season but in 2013 most shocked everyone coming out and hitting 30 home runs on the year and he hasn’t looked back. Already having hit 19 home runs (he is tied with Donaldson for the team league) he has established himself as a legitimate power hitter in the league. He plays solid defense both at first base and in the outfield and is hitting .272 on the year and is well on his way to a 100 RBI season with 62 RBI (also tied with Donaldson for the team lead.
Closer: Sean Doolittle (@WhatwouldDOOdoo and I like to use the hashtag #Doolittling – if you are an A’s fan you know what I mean).
Doolittle, a life long A’s fan hasn’t changed too much as you can see except for the beard of course! He has complied some insane statistics this year. He struggled in the beginning of April but hadn’t lost a game or blown a save since being named the official A”s closer until just last week against the Detroit. He was the first player since 1900 to have over 40 strikeouts before even giving up his second walk of the year. He also had a long scoreless inning streak going that began in May and ended, once again last week against Detroit. He came back from his two blown saves without a problem. The 27-year old left-hander now has a strikeout to walk ration of 60:2 or 30:1 if you reduce it! LOL! His current ERA is 2.83. Also keep in mind that Doolittle was changed from a first baseman into a pitcher in just 2011. He’s come very far, very fast. His recent contract extension keeps him with the A’s until 2020. They were smart to lock this guy down.
Outfielder: Yoenis Cespedes (@)
Cuban born Yoenis Cespedes successfully escaped Cuba and was to the surprise of many actually signed by the Oakland A’s in 2012. The 28-year old did not participate as an All-Star last season but he competed in the Home Run Derby and returned to Oakland the Champion! He is currently hitting ,264 with 14 home runs and 55 RBI, just behind Donaldson and Moss in those categories. But what has been getting Cespedes noticed lately is his arm strength. He has made two truly unbelievable throws from left field to get the runner at the plate that many analysts have said was the best they had ever seen.
Catcher: Derek Norris aka DNo aka Beast (@d_no36)
I predicted this on a podcast I did in late March. I knew Derek Norris was about to break out of his shell and have a great, breakout year. So far he has! Norris is currently hitting .302. He has eight home runs and 35 RBI. He’s established himself as one of the league’s premier catchers, almost surpassing the injured Matt Wieters for the starting spot for the 2014 ASG. He has also survived, without any serious injury, being hit four separate times, twice by Manny Machado alone, with the backswing of the batter. Norris truly is a beast!
The Athletics National League All-Star … Jeff Samardzija aka Shark
Most of you know that I mean one of the two newest members of the Athletics starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija. He made his first start for the A’s Sunday allowing just one run on four hits, a walk while striking out five. He is definitely a very welcome new member of the Athletics. Prior to Friday he was a member of the Chicago Cubs, holding down one of the league’s best ERA’s at 2.83 but his record was 2-7 thanks to a not so great Cubs team and a lack of run support. He was voted into the 2014 All-Star game as a member of the Cubs and is no longer eligible to play on the NL team. However, Samardzija had played like an All-Star all season and while he might not get to participate in the festivities, Samardzija is now a member of this A’s 2014 All-Star group! Welcome to Oakland Jeff!