After each Major League Baseball season since 1959, The Topps Company, Inc. has named a Topps All-Star Rookie team to honor the most notable rookie players from the previous season. The 2013 Topps All-Star Rookie team included catcher Evan Gattis of the Atlanta Braves, first baseman Matt Adams of the St. Louis Cardinals, second baseman Jedd Gyorko of the San Diego Padres, third baseman Nolan Arenado of the Colorado Rockies, shortstop Jose Iglesias of the Detroit Tigers, outfielder Wil Myers of the Tampa Bay Rays, outfielder Yasiel Puig of the Los Angeles Dodgers, outfielder Christian Yelich of the Miami Marlins, right-handed pitcher Jose Fernandez of the Miami Marlins, left-handed pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and relief pitcher Jim Henderson of the Milwaukee Brewers.
Although the 2014 baseball season is only about half-way over, let’s look at the front-runners to be honored by Topps this year. Chicago White Sox first-baseman Jose Abreu (pictured above) is by far the most impressive rookie position player so far. He has a .276 batting average, 23 homeruns and 61 runs batted in. On the mound, New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (pictured to the right) has put up the most impressive stats for a pitcher so far. He has 11 wins and two losses with a 2.11 earned run average and 119 strikeouts. These two players lead my choices for the Topps All-Star Rookie team. My entire predicted team is below.
Catcher: Josmil Pinto, Minnesota Twins – Pinto has played in 43 games with a .222 batting average, 30 hits, seven homeruns, and 16 runs batted in.
First Base: Jose Abreu, Chicago White Sox – Abreu has played in 65 games with a .276 batting average, 71 hits, 23 homeruns, and 61 runs batted in. He leads all rookies in homeruns and batting average.
Second Base: Kolten Wong, St. Louis Cardinals – Wong has played in 45 games with a .228 batting average, 36 hits, 1 homerun, and 16 runs batted in. He also has nine steals which is third among all rookies.
Third Base: Brock Holt, Boston Red Sox – Holt has played in 45 games with a .323 batting average, 60 hits, two homeruns, and 17 runs batted in.
Shortstop: Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox – Bogaerts has played in 75 games with a .256 batting average, 72 hits, six homeruns, and 19 runs batted in. He leads all rookies in hits.
Outfield: George Springer, Houston Astros – Springer has played in 60 games with a .240 batting average, 55 hits, 14 homeruns, and 39 runs batted in.
Outfield: Billy Hamilton, Cincinnati Reds – Hamilton has played in 72 games with a .270 batting average, 70 hits, four homeruns, and 23 runs batted in. He leads all rookies in stolen bases with 31 and is second in all of Major League Baseball.
Outfield: Jackie Bradley Jr., Boston Red Sox – Bradley Jr. has played in 73 games with a .211 batting average, 49 hits, one homerun, and 24 runs batted in.
Right Handed Pitcher: Masahiro Tanaka, New York Yankees – Tanaka has started in 15 games with 11 wins, two losses, a 2.11 earned run average, and 119 strikeouts. He leads the majors in wins and leads all rookies in strikeouts.
Left Handed Pitcher: Roenis Elias, Seattle Mariners – Elias has started in 16 games with seven wins, five losses, a 3.74 earned run average, and 41 strikeouts.
Relief Pitcher: Jake Petricka, Chicago White Sox – Petricka has played in 33 games with a 2.11 earned run average, 32 strikeouts, and one save.
Many of these players will continue their hot start to their baseball careers, some may fizzle after the All-Star break, and others will step up to take their place. Whether they will be selected to the 2014 Topps All-Star Rookie team and get the special gold trophy on their 2015 Topps baseball card is up to them and of course The Topps Company.