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Kimbrel, Freeman, Teheran named All-Stars

Closer makes fourth appearance, first baseman makes second, righty debuts

Kimbrel, Freeman, Teheran named All-Stars

ATLANTA -- Craig Kimbrel and Freddie Freeman will be present to help Julio Teheran make the most of his first All-Star Game experience.

Fortunately for Teheran, he is going to have more time to prepare for this special experience than Kimbrel and Freeman did when they were first bestowed with the honor.

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The future of the Braves' organization will be on display as Kimbrel, Freeman and Teheran will represent the club at next week's All-Star Game in Minneapolis. Each were honored to know that their respective selections came courtesy of votes cast by other Major League players.

"I just feel happy to join those guys and go with them to the All-Star Game," Teheran said. "I feel the hard work I've been doing has been paying off. I just want to keep doing what I've been doing."

Justin Upton is one of the five National League players on the Final Vote Sponsored by Experian ballot. If he wins this like Freeman did, he will have a chance to join his three Braves teammates who are already on the NL roster.

This is the fourth straight selection for Kimbrel, who gained his first as an injury replacement after the Braves had already completed their final game before the 2011 All-Star break. Freeman received his first selection when he garnered a record-setting amount of votes in the Final Vote balloting process last year. Unfortunately, a badly bruised left thumb sustained three days before the game prevented him from playing.

"This is truly an honor to be voted by the players. It's something I don't take lightly," Freeman said. "Hopefully, we'll make it through these next seven games and get there healthy."

Teheran's first selection comes during his second full season at the Major League level. The 23-year-old right-hander sparkled as a rookie last year and has now established himself among the game's elite starting pitchers.

"This was my goal at the start of this season, I wanted to go to [the All-Star Game]," Teheran said. "It's something I've been watching since I was a little kid. I just feel now that my dream has come true."

Craig Kimbrel, RHP
Prior ASGs: 2011-13
ASG W-L: 2-1
ASG Stats: 2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 3 K, 1 BB
How he made 2014 AL/NL team: Player selection
Why He's an All-Star: It would be hard to find someone in the baseball world who does not consider Kimbrel to be one of the game's top three closers. The hard-throwing right-hander has experienced a few hiccups this year. But his numbers still rank among the game's best.
DYK?: Kimbrel struck out more than half the batters he faced in 2012 and he easily has the best career strikeout percentage (43 percent) among all closers who have recorded at least 150 saves. He also ranks third in save percentage among those who have recorded 150 saves.
Quotable: "This being the fourth one, it kind of sneaks up on you. But it's an honor and a great opportunity to go out there and have some fun." -- Kimbrel

Freddie Freeman, 1B
Prior ASGs: 2013
ASG W-L: 0-1
ASG Stats: DNP
How he made 2014 AL/NL team: Player selection
Why He's an All-Star: While Freeman might have been quiet throughout much of May and the early part of June, his numbers still were quite comparable to Paul Goldschmidt, who deservedly was voted to serve as the NL's starting first baseman.
DYK?: While he has shown he can hit for power, Freeman's willingness and ability to consistently put the ball in play in run-producing situations is what has set him apart. He and Miguel Cabrera lead all Major Leaguers (min. 100 at-bats) with the .388 batting average they've compiled with runners in scoring position dating back to the beginning of the 2013 season.
Quotable: " It's definitely been an up-and-down season for me. Just to have this happen again, you never think it's going to happen once, but to have it happen two times in a row, it's definitely something that will be special." -- Freeman

Julio Teheran, RHP
Prior ASGs: None
ASG W-L: N/A
ASG Stats: N/A
How he made 2014 AL/NL team: Player selection
Why He's an All-Star: Teheran has done anything but experience a sophomore slump. He has ranked among the NL's ERA leaders throughout the season and fully embraced the opportunity to establish himself as the ace of Atlanta's starting rotation.
DYK?: Clayton Kershaw, Adam Wainwright and Zack Greinke are the only NL pitchers who have made at least 40 starts and compiled a lower ERA than Teheran since the start of 2013.
Quotable: "He just kept getting better and better every time out and he has just continued that this year. You feel like he is one of those top pitchers in the Major Leagues and certainly in the National League. I'm so proud that he was named an All-Star because he should go, the way he has pitched in this first half and also last year. I think the league is noticing Julio Teheran and paying attention." -- Fredi Gonzalez

Immediately following the announcement of the American League and National League All-Star rosters on July 6, fans began voting to select the final player for each League's 34-man roster via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Experian. Fans can cast their votes from a list of five players from each League until the winners will be announced after the voting concludes on Thursday, July 10.

And the voting doesn't end. The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again have fans participating in the voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com and via Twitter in the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote Sponsored by Pepsi, and their collective voice will represent 20 percent of the overall vote that determines the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.

MLB.TV Premium subscribers, for the first time, will be able to live stream the All-Star Game via MLB.TV through FOX's participating video providers. Access will be available across more than 400 support MLB.TV platforms, including the award-winning MLB.com At Bat app. MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.

The 85th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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