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Freddie Freeman, José Altuve highlight 2018 All-Star Game rosters

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The 2018 All-Star Game rosters for the American and National Leagues were just unveiled. The “Midsummer Classic” will be held at Nationals Park in Washington, DC on Tuesday, July 17, 2018.

American League Starters

CWilson Ramos, Tampa Bay Rays

1B – José Abreu, Chicago White Sox

2B – José Altuve, Houston Astros

SSManny Machado, Baltimore Orioles

3B – José Ramírez, Cleveland Indians

OFMookie Betts, Boston Red Sox

OFAaron Judge, New York Yankees

OFMike Trout, Los Angeles Angels

DHJ.D. Martinez, Boston Red Sox

Altuve, now a six-time All-Star, led all players in votes with over 4.84 million.

The AL starters don’t have any first-timers. Ramos, Abreu, Ramírez, Judge, and Martinez are each attending their second All-Star Game.

American League Reserves

C – Salvador Pérez, Kansas City Royals

1BMitch Moreland, Boston Red Sox

2BGleyber Torres, New York Yankees

SSFrancisco Lindor, Cleveland Indians

3BAlex Bregman, Houston Astros

OFMichael Brantley, Cleveland Indians

OFShin-Soo Choo, Texas Rangers

OFMitch Haniger, Seattle Mariners

OFGeorge Springer, Houston Astros

DHNelson Cruz, Seattle Mariners

American League Pitchers

SPTrevor Bauer (R), Cleveland Indians

SP – José Berrios (R), Minnesota Twins

SPGerrit Cole (R), Houston Astros

SPJ.A. Happ (L), Toronto Blue Jays

SPCorey Kluber (R), Cleveland Indians

SPChris Sale (L), Boston Red Sox

SPLuis Severino (R), New York Yankees

SPJustin Verlander (R), Houston Astros

RPAroldis Chapman (L), New York Yankees

RP – Edwin Díaz (R), Seatlte Mariners

RP – Joe Jiménez (R), Detroit Tigers

RPCraig Kimbrel (R), Boston Red Sox

RPBlake Treinen (R), Oakland Athletics

National League Starters

CWillson Contreras, Chicago Cubs

1BFreddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves

2B – Javier Báez, Chicago Cubs

SSBrandon Crawford, San Francisco Giants

3BNolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies

OFNick Markakis, Atlanta Braves

OFBryce Harper, Washington Nationals

OFMatt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers

Freeman led the National League in All-Star votes with over four million.

This will be the first All-Star Game for Contreras, Báez, and Markakis. Markakis played in a record 1,928 games before being named to his first All-Star Game.

National League Reserves

CBuster Posey, San Francisco Giants

CJ.T. Realmuto, Miami Marlins

1BPaul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks

1BJoey Votto, Cincinnati Reds

2BOzzie Albies, Atlanta Braves

2BScooter Gennett, Cincinnati Reds

SSTrevor Story, Colorado Rockies

3B – Eugenio Suárez, Cincinnati Reds

OFCharlie Blackmon, Colorado Rockies

OFLorenzo Cain, Milwaukee Brewers

OFChristian Yelich, Milwaukee Brewers

National League Pitchers

SPAaron Nola (R), Philadelphia Phillies

SPMax Scherzer (R), Washington Nationals

SPJon Lester (L), Chicago Cubs

SPJacob deGrom (R), New York Mets

SPPatrick Corbin (L), Arizona Diamondbacks

SPMiles Mikolas (R), St. Louis Cardinals

SPMike Foltynewicz (R), Atlanta Braves

RPSean Doolittle (L), Washington Nationals

RPJosh Hader (L), Milwaukee Brewers

RP – Felipe Vázquez (L), Pittsburgh Pirates

RPKenley Jansen (R), Los Angeles Dodgers

RPBrad Hand (L), San Diego Padres

As always, these rosters are anything but locked in. At least a handful of players will drop out due to injuries, so if you feel a deserving player was snubbed, fear not — there’s a decent chance he will make the roster in due time.

Some current snubs include Brandon Nimmo, Jesús Aguilar, Trea Turner, Brandon Belt, Ross Stripling, Jeremy Jeffress and Adam Ottavino in the NL, and Andrelton Simmons, Eddie Rosario, Jed Lowrie, Andrew Benintendi, Blake Snell, James Paxton, Charlie Morton, Collin McHugh, and Héctor Rondón in the AL.

Report: Mike Trout as recognizable to Americans as NBA’s Kenneth Faried

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On Monday, the Washington Post cited Q Scores, a firm that measures consumer appeal of personalities, with regard to Angels outfielder Mike Trout. According to Q Scores, Trout is as recognized to Americans as NBA forward Kenneth Faried, who has spent seven seasons with the Denver Nuggets and is now a reserve with the Brooklyn Nets. Trout’s score was 22, which means just over one in five Americans know who he is.

We have talked here at various times about Trout’s lack of marketability. He has expressed zero interest in being marketed as the face of baseball. Additionally, based on the nature of the sport, it’s harder for baseball to aggressively market its stars since star players don’t impact teams the same way they do in other sports. LeBron James, for example, carries whatever team he’s on to the NBA Finals. James has appeared in the NBA Finals every year dating back to 2011. Trout, despite being far and away the best active player in baseball and one of the best players of all time, has only reached the postseason once, in 2014 when his Angels were swept in the ALDS by the Royals. Trout can’t carry his team to the playoffs and his team hasn’t helped him any in getting there on a regular basis.

Baseball is also more of a regional sport. Fans follow their local team, of course, and don’t really venture beyond that even though games are broadcast nationally throughout the week. The NFL schedule is much shorter and occurs once a week, so fans put aside time to watch not just their favorite team’s game, but other games of interest as well. A June game between the subpar White Sox and Tigers doesn’t have much appeal to it since it’s one of 162 games for both teams, and both teams will play again later in the season. Comparatively, a game between the Bears and Lions has more intrigue since they only play twice a year.

It’s kind of a shame for baseball that Trout isn’t bigger than he is because he is a once-in-a-generation talent, like Ken Griffey Jr. In fact, Trout is so good that he’s still underrated. He’s on pace to have one of the greatest seasons of all-time, going by Wins Above Replacement. Despite that, he’s anything but a lock to win the MVP Award at season’s end because the narratives around other players, like Mookie Betts, are more compelling.

Trout’s marketability is an issue that isn’t likely to be fixed anytime soon. Trout is who he is and forcing him to ham it up for the cameras would come off as forced and unnatural. Major League Baseball will simply have to hope its other stars, like Betts and Bryce Harper, can help broaden the appeal of the sport.