Fountain Of Youth: Next Generation Of MLB Stars On Full Display At All-Star Game
The next generation of MLB stars "has arrived," with players such as Angels LF Mike Trout, Nationals CF Bryce Harper and Orioles 3B Manny Machado "changing the complexion of the grand ol' game," according to Mike Fitzpatrick of the AP. Trout and Harper will start tonight's All-Star Game, as some of MLB's best players "are among the youngest on the field." Trout said, "It's good for the game. A lot of young guys are playing fearless and making a name for themselves at an early stage in their career." Fitzpatrick noted jersey sales for Trout, Harper and Mets P Matt Harvey "rank among the top 10 this season," and Machado's jersey ranked eighth even though he has "spent less than a year in the majors." But the league's youth movement is "not only Trout, Harper and Machado." Marlins P Jose Fernandez is an All-Star at 20 years old, while D'Backs P Patrick Corbin and Brewers SS Jean Segura made the team at 23 (AP, 7/15). In DC, Thomas Boswell notes exactly half of the 68 players in the All-Star Game are "first-timers," and counting those who "are all-stars but can’t play because of injuries, this year has produced 39 first-time all-stars." MLB has seen "changing of the guards and new waves and talent infusions in the past," but it may "never have seen anything like what is being celebrated" tonight here at Citi Field. What is "on display verges on being a new form of the sport" (WASHINGTON POST, 7/16). This year's All-Stars include 11 players "younger than 25 years old," while 44 of the 68 players who will be active for tonight's game "are younger than 30" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 7/16). USA TODAY's Paul White writes under the header, "Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Manny Machado: MLB's Poster Boys" (USA TODAY, 7/16).
ORIOLES, PIRATES SEEING RESURGENCE: In Baltimore, Dan Connolly writes the fact that Machado, 1B Chris Davis, SS J.J. Hardy, CF Adam Jones and P Chris Tillman were at the All-Star Game "together was what was significant for an Orioles team that had become accustomed to sending just one player nearly every year." Tillman said, "This is just awesome to see. I am happy for the fans. That's the most important thing, it's for Baltimore. Not Tillman or Jonesy or Davis. This is for the city of Baltimore." The Orioles "haven't had five players at an All-Star Game" since '97 (Baltimore SUN, 7/16). Meanwhile, MLB.com's Matthew Leach noted there is a "cadre of five Pirates at the All-Star Game, the most since" '72. That includes CF Andrew McCutchen, 3B Pedro Alvarez and Ps Jeff Locke, Jason Grilli and Mark Melancon. McCutchen said, "To have five representatives of the Pirates, we hadn't (even) had four in forever. ... It's great to be able to be a part of it and to be able to see it unfold. It's fun, just to see the transition from a few years ago to where we are now" (MLB.com, 7/15).