MLB All-Stars: Five first-timers you need to know

8:51 p.m. EDT July 6, 2014  It will be known as Derek Jeter's final All-Star Game, but who's joining him July 15 at Target Field in Minneapolis? Lots of fresh faces. USA TODAY Sports' Paul White breaks down five first-timers you need to know:

Michael Brantley, OF, Indians

The son of former major league outfielder and hitting coach Mickey Brantley is known as Dr. Smooth – his teammates often wear T-shirts proclaiming as much. He's a center field-capable outfielder who plays left because Cleveland has the fleet Michael Bourn in center. Acquired as part of the 2008 deal that sent CC Sabathia to Milwaukee, Brantley debuted in the majors the next year and his stats have improved every season since he became a regular in 2011. His 13 homers this season are a career high – showing the power development that is the final part of his offensive arsenal. He's also on his way to career bests in batting average, on-base, slugging and RBI.


Josh Donaldson, 3B, Athletics

He was a catcher who had dabbled at other positions in the minors when, during 2012 spring training, Oakland third baseman Scott Sizemore tore up his knee. Donaldson seized the opportunity and the rise has been rapid. He got his first "who's-that?" reaction when he showed up fourth in last year's AL MVP voting.

He epitomizes the sum-is-greater-than-the-parts collection that is the A's but is the team's most productive all-around player. Donaldson was second in the AL only to Mike Trout – and, yes, ahead of MVP Miguel Cabrera – in wins above replacement last year. This season, he's No. 1 in defensive WAR at any position.


Todd Frazier, 3B, Reds

Come on, you remember Todd. He's been playing games on TV since 1998. That's when he pitched and batted Toms River, N.J. to the Little League World Series championship. His first-round selection in the 2007 draft underscored his continued blue-chip status, but solidifying himself as a major leaguer was more of a battle. He played every infield position and left field in the minors and managed to do the same in just 41 games when he got to the majors in 2011 as the Reds tried to determine his best spot. Now, he's entrenched at third, though he's helped at first recently with Joey Votto battling injuries, and is third in the league with 17 homers.


Jonathan Lucroy, C, Brewers

NL catcher is a spot owned by St. Louis' Yadier Molina so the Brewers decided to drum up support for their guy – after all, he's Top 5 in the NL in hits, batting average, on-base and slugging percentage – with a spoof of a political attack ad. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny (the All-Star manager, by the way) didn't see much humor in the ad. Lucroy leads NL catchers in caught stealings, but he also leads in stolen bases allowed (Molina remains No. 1 in percentage of runners caught stealing).

Still, Lucroy's wins above replacement – including defense – is third-best at any position in the NL, behind only fellow All-Stars Troy Tulowitzki and Giancarlo Stanton.


Dellin Betances, RHP, Yankees

Just three years ago, the future of the Yankees rotation supposedly was being built around some young guns, most notably Betances. But he fell off the prospect map with injuries and ineffectiveness – until now. He's back.

In fact, he's burst back on the scene as one of the game's most dominant set-up men. At 6-foot-8 and more than 250 pounds, his fireballing ways have been virtually unhittable. Try a remarkable 78 strikeouts and just 16 walks in 50 innings – and just 22 hits.

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