FORT MYERS, Fla. – Oakland Athletics third baseman Josh Donaldson was inexplicably left off the American League roster at the 2013 Major League Baseball All-Star Game despite being in the middle of a season that ended with him finishing fourth in the AL Most Valuable Player Award balloting.
That slight didn’t repeat itself this year.
Donaldson is one of four Perfect Game alumni voted by fans to be a starter for the American League, joining Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout, Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones and Orioles catcher Matt Wieters. Wieters recently underwent Tommy John Surgery and was replaced by Kansas City Royals catcher Salvadore Perez in the AL starting lineup.
Two PG alumni will start for the National League team: Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen. With the addition of pitchers and reserves, a total of 26 PG alumni were selected for the event: 11 on the AL team and 15 on the NL squad.
The 85th MLB All-Star Game will be played July 15 at Target Field in Minneapolis. It will televised nationally by FOX and national radio coverage will be provided by ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes. The AL team is managed by John Farrell from the Boston Red Sox and the NL by Mike Matheny of the St. Louis Cardinals.
American League pitchers selected with Perfect Game ties include Oakland A’s left-handers Scott Kazmir and Sean Doolittle, and Tampa Rays lefty David Price. The National League’s pitching staff includes six Perfect Game graduates: left-handers Clayton Kershaw (Los Angeles Dodgers), Madison Bumgarner (San Francisco Giants) and Anthony Watson (Pirates); right-handers Zach Greinke (Dodgers), Pat Neshek (Cardinals) and Tyson Ross (San Diego Padres).
The Pirates’ McCutchen – winner of the 2013 NL Most Valuable Player Award – and the Giants Bumgarner were participants at both the Perfect Game National Showcase and the Perfect Game All-American Classic in 2004 and 2006, respectively. This is McCutchen’s fourth straight All-Star Game nod and the second straight for Bumgarner.
National League reserve first baseman Freddie Freeman from the Atlanta Braves was also at the 2006 PG National Showcase and PG All-American Classic.
The Angels’ Trout, the 2012 AL Rookie of the Year and runner-up in the AL MVP balloting in both 2012 and 2013, is making his third straight All-Star appearance. The Dodgers’ Kershaw – winner of the 2011 and 2013 AL Cy Young Award and the runner-up in 2012 – has been selected for the fourth time; it is the third straight selection for the Orioles’ Jones.
Donaldson, who was a first-round compensation pick of the Chicago Cubs out of Auburn University in 2007, is making his first All-Star Game appearance after last year’s snub. He was at three Perfect Game events in 2002 and 2003 and remembered the experiences well when he spoke with PG during spring training in March.
“That was kind of the time when I was trying to show myself to colleges and stuff like that,” he said. “I felt that I had a possibility to get drafted and that was just a great way to go out there and try to get some exposure for me.
“I had played against a lot of (good) competition growing up through all of the travel ball teams and stuff like that, but it was actually cool at those (PG events) to see how your tools lined up with a lot of the other kids, too.”
What follows is a list of this year’s MLB All-Stars that enjoyed Perfect Game experiences during their high school years, including their more prominent events:
American League starters
3B – Josh Donaldson, Oakland Athletics; 2002-03 PG WWBA, 2003 PG Underclass World Showcase
OF – Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels; 2007-08 eight PG WWBA
OF – Adam Jones, Baltimore Orioles; 2002 PG WWBA World, 2003 PG World Showcase
C – Matt Wieters, Baltimore Orioles; 2003-04 PG WWBA (injured and will not play)
American League Pitchers
LHP – Scott Kazmir, Oakland Athletics; 2000-01 PG WWBA World Championship, 2001 PG National Showcase
LHP – David Price, Tampa Bay Rays; 2003 PG WWBA World Championship
American League Reserves
C – Derek Norris, Oakland Athletics; 2006 PG WWBA World Championship
1B – Brandon Moss, Oakland Athletics; 2001 PG WWBA World Championship
OF – Michael Brantley, Cleveland Indians; 2004 PG WWBA World Championship
OF – Alex Gordon, Kansas City Royals; 2001 PG National Showcase
National League Starters
1B – Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks; 2004 PG WWBA
OF – Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates; 2004 PG National Showcase, 2004 PG All-American Classic
National League Pitchers
LHP – Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco Giants; 2006 PG National Showcase, 2006 PG All-American Classic
LHP – Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers; 2004-05 PG WWBA
LHP – Anthony Watson, Pittsburgh Pirates; 2002-03 PG Iowa Spring Wood Bat League
RHP – Zack Greinke, Los Angeles Dodgers; 2001-02 PG WWBA, 2001-02 PG World Showcase
RH P– Pat Neshek, St. Louis Cardinals; 1998 PG Fall Wood Bat League
RHP – Tyson Ross, San Diego Padres; 2004 PG National Showcase
National League Reserves
C – Jonathan Lucroy, Milwaukee Brewers; 2003-04 PG WWBA
C – Devin Mesoraco, Cincinnati Reds; 2004, 2006 PG WWBA
1B – Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves; eight PG events 2004-06, 2006 PG National Showcase, 2006 PG All-American Classic
2B – Daniel Murphy, New York Mets; 2002 PG WWBA
3B – Todd Frazier, Cincinnati Reds, 2003 PG WWBA
3B – Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals, 2002 Southern Top Prospect Showcase
OF – Charlie Blackmon, Colorado Rockies, 2004 PG WWBA