This Sunday, the MLB All-Star teams will be announced at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN, and there will be some crazy names on there, people you would have never imagined, just three months ago, would ever sniff an All-Star roster. Our Cliff Corcoran made his roster calls, as did MLB.com's Mike Petriello, and let's just say if you had Corey Knebel, Logan Morrison or Brad Hand on your preseason rosters, congratulations on having the last name Knebel, Morrison or Hand.
This is not to say those players don't deserve it. It's just that no one could have ever seen them coming, and future projections are, well, questionable. Any player can get hot for a first half and sneak in an All-Star Game, which, of course, is half the fun of an All-Star Game. We want to see the biggest names, of course, but it can be just as exciting to see someone who can't stop pinching themselves that they're hanging out with all these superstars. Remember a few years ago, when Jason Grilli, at the age of 36 -- and after breaking into the Majors in 2000 before actually being out of the game for a couple of years -- reached the Midsummer Classic at Citi Field? No one was happier to be there than him.
The randoms are as enjoyable to watch as the stars. Thus, in honor of Sunday's roster announcement, here's a look at the most surprising, out-of-nowhere All-Stars for each MLB team this century. The only requirement is that each of these players only made the All-Star team once. You won't believe that some of these guys were All-Stars. But they'll never forget it.
Baltimore Orioles: Ty Wigginton, 2010. Wigginton had 14 homers at the All-Star break for a team that ultimately went 66-96. Amusing note: The Orioles' manager at the time Wigginton was selected was Juan Samuel. (Buck Showalter would be hired after the All-Star break.)
Boston Red Sox: Brock Holt, 2015. Holt hasn't been the same since a concussion; he's still suffering vertigo and was shut down from baseball activities last month. At this point, you're worried less about his baseball career and more about his personal well-being.
Chicago White Sox: Jesse Crain, 2013. Crain gave up only three runs in 36 2/3 innings in 2013 before heading to the disabled list on July 3, causing him to lose his spot on the roster. (He still counts as an All-Star, though.) Here's the sad part: Crain never pitched in the Majors again. In fact, other than six games in the Arizona Fall League in 2015, he never pitched at all, at any level. Crain's All-Star selection wasn't just the peak of his career. It was also its end.
Cleveland Indians: Ronnie Belliard, 2004. It was tempting to go with either Bob Wickman (2004) or Matt Lawton (2004) here, but each of them, amazingly, made All-Star rosters with other teams at different times in their careers. Belliard's best season would actually come four years later, with Washington.
Detroit Tigers: Robert Fick, 2002. When your team loses 106 games, somebody still has to make the team, and that somebody was Robert Fick. Fick hit 17 homers in 2002 but would be out of Major League Baseball by 2007.
Houston Astros: Will Harris, 2016. Harris has still been a key part of the Astros' bullpen this year -- he has arguably been better than he was last year -- but suffice it to say, the Astros have plenty of candidates to fill any spot Harris might want to take in the mid-to-long-term future.
Kansas City Royals: Aaron Crow, 2011. Crow had a 2.08 ERA at the break in his rookie season, sneaking on as the Royals' lone representative. He was a first-round pick for the Royals but never quite harnessed his stuff and was out of baseball by 2014.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: Jordan Walden, 2011. Walden was at one point a dominant reliever, with his big arm and crazy, halting throwing motion, but injuries got to him, like they get to all pitchers eventually.
Minnesota Twins: Eduardo Nunez, 2016. Nunez is precisely the sort of useful-but-unspectacular player who rarely makes an All-Star Game, so it was nice of the Twins to be so bad last year that he had a chance to sneak in.
New York Yankees: Mike Stanton, 2001. Stanton pitched for 19 years in the Majors, for eight different teams, but he only got on one All-Star roster for a stacked Yankees team that had six other All-Stars. Amusing factoid: Stanton pitched in 1,178 games and started only one, in 1999, also for the Yankees. He pitched four shutout innings in a bullpen game before giving way to Jason Grimsley (!) and Mariano Rivera.
Oakland A's: Ryan Cook, 2012. Cook had a 1.41 ERA with eight saves in the first half of 2012, and he pitched a perfect seventh inning in the All-Star Game. He was traded to Boston three years later, got released and was last seen hanging around the Mariners' Arizona Fall League team.
Seattle Mariners: J.J. Putz, 2007. The world is a better place for having Putz make an All-Star team. I fear baseball has not been the same since he left.
Tampa Bay Rays: Lance Carter, 2003. Maybe the most random All-Star ever, Carter actually had a 4.05 ERA when he was selected, simply because he was the team's closer and there was no one else to select. He was in Japan three years later and hasn't pitched since.
Texas Rangers: Matt Harrison, 2012. Harrison was fantastic in 2012, even finishing eighth in the AL Cy Young Award voting. The Rangers signed him to a five-year, $55 million contract after that season, but then his back gave out, and he pitched a total of nine games over three seasons after that before being traded to the Phillies in the Cole Hamels deal. He never pitched a game for the Phillies and is now retired, where he happily cleans up dog poo.
Toronto Blue Jays: Steve Delabar, 2013. Delabar won the Final Vote contest in 2013 and struck out Buster Posey in the All-Star Game. He was with the Indians organization this year but got suspended for 80 games after violating MLB's drug testing program.
Arizona Diamondbacks: Junior Spivey, 2002. The terrifically named Spivey looked like a potential 20-20 guy when he reached the All-Star Game in his first full season, but he never quite got his strikeouts under control and was out of baseball by 2005.
Atlanta Braves: Jonny Venters, 2011. Remember when Venters and Craig Kimbrel were the most dominant 1-2 bullpen combination in the sport? Well, since he made the All-Star Game, Venters has had four Tommy John surgeries. The Rays actually signed him to a Minor League deal before the season, and there aren't many better guys to root for to make it back.
Chicago Cubs: Bryan LaHair, 2012. The best example of this phenomenon that you'll find on this whole list.
Cincinnati Reds: Alfredo Simon, 2014. Simon's All-Star appearance was after he was both acquitted of involuntary manslaughter and sued for rape. He reached a financial settlement with the accuser in 2015 and now pitches for the Long Island Ducks.
Colorado Rockies: Brad Hawpe, 2009. A guy who you always thought was going to break out and be a Larry Walker type, but it just never happened.
Los Angeles Dodgers: Takashi Saito, 2007. He didn't come to the Majors until he was 36 but was fantastic every year he was here until he finally blew up in Arizona in 2012, at the age of 42.
Miami Marlins: Gaby Sanchez, 2011. It's amazing how many of the players on this list were on teams that lost 90 or more games. Here's one cool thing about Gaby Sanchez: He married a sportswriter.
Milwaukee Brewers: Derrick Turnbow, 2006. Turnbow had one of the best headshots of all time.
New York Mets: Matt Harvey, 2013. You honestly think he's going to make another All-Star Game anytime soon?
Philadelphia Phillies: Domonic Brown, 2013. This was that brief window that you thought it was all going to come together for Brown. He's still rattling around, playing for the Rockies in Triple A.
Pittsburgh Pirates: Evan Meek, 2010. He popped up back in baseball in 2014, trying to hang around in the Orioles' pen, but if you can't make it in the Orioles' pen, you probably don't have much career left.
St. Louis Cardinals: Edward Mujica, 2013. He had a nice run as the Cardinals closer before giving way to Trevor Rosenthal and Carlos Martinez come World Series time. He ended up signing with the Red Sox, and he's now pitching for the Tigers' Triple-A team.
San Diego Padres: Everth Cabrera, 2013. Cabrera once led the National League in steals, but the guy just couldn't draw a walk, and he was out of the Majors before his 30th birthday. He was suspended in the Biogenesis investigation a month after the All-Star Game.
San Francisco Giants: Marco Scutaro, 2013. Scutaro was 37 when he finally made an All-Star Game. He'll forever be beloved in San Francisco, so much so that the Giants even signed him to a contract so he could finish his career with them.
Washington Nationals: Matt Capps, 2010. Capps had 42 saves in 2010, and, frankly, the Nationals surely miss him right about now.
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