NEW YORK – All-Stars from all over the world are ticketed for the Twin Cities.
Still new to the majors, Masahiro Tanaka, Jose Abreu and Yasiel Puig are just a few of the foreign-born players almost certain to get selected for the July 15 showcase in Minnesota. All-Star rosters will be announced Sunday night, and this year’s game at Target Field figures to have a distinctive international flavor.
“I think it tells you something about how hard they’ve worked outside of our game to get to this point,” New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
“I think it tells you the level of baseball around the world and how good it is and the competition – and how hungry they are, in a sense, to be one of the best. They want to continue to play and make a name for themselves. So it’s pretty special what these guys have done.”
Yu Darvish (Japan), Koji Uehara (Japan), Yoenis Cespedes (Cuba) and Julio Teheran (Colombia) also have impressive stats, putting them in position to join familiar stars such as Miguel Cabrera (Venezuela) and Robinson Cano (Dominican Republic) from more common talent pools outside the U.S.
And some of these players, such as Tanaka (Japan) and Abreu (Cuba), have only been here for a matter of months.
“It’s not surprising that some of these guys are able to play at such a high level right when they come over here, because they’re just that good,” said Tampa Bay’s Ben Zobrist, a two-time All-Star.
“You think of a rookie generally as a young kid that is getting his first experience on a very tough stage, and these guys have already played on high international stages – even if it wasn’t the major leagues. And they’re very polished players.”
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