Mike Piazza

Why he's an all-star: He worked as hard as anyone during the first half of the season, catching and playing first base and taking only two days off.

All-star highlight: Won the MVP in 1996.

Appearances: 10

First base

Albert Pujols

Why he's an all-star: Baseball's best young hitter continues to earn the seven-year, $100 million contract he signed during the offseason.

All-star highlight: His only career hit -- a single in 2003 -- drove in a run.

Appearances: three

Second base

Jeff Kent

Why he's an all-star: Aside from driving in 52 runs, he has continued to speak boldly about baseball's steroid problems. Last month, he suggested that former players might have used steroids even more than contemporary players.

All-star highlight: He doubled in 2001.

Appearances: four

Third base

Scott Rolen

Why he's an all-star: He has the lofty .342 batting average, sure. But he also is one of the best base runners and perhaps the best defensive third baseman.

All-star highlight: He singled and scored in 2003.

Appearances: three


Edgar Renteria

Why he's an all-star: Because he plays in the National League. Even though he has won Gold Gloves the last two seasons, he is probably the third-best shortstop starting in the All-Star Game, behind Jeter and Rodriguez.

All-star highlight: He's 0 for 5 in all-star games, but scored a run in 1998.

Appearances: four


Barry Bonds

Why he's an all-star: Making his 13th all-star appearance, Bonds has yet to show any sign of his age (39) as he chases Henry Aaron's record of 755 homers.

All-star highlight: Hit a home run in 2002 game, and Torii Hunter robbed him of another.

Appearances: 13


Lance Berkman

Why he's an all-star: He moves up to start with Ken Griffey Jr. injured. Berkman is hitting .299 with 16 home runs.

All-star highlight: Two-run single in the seventh inning in 2002 gave NL a 7-6 lead.

Appearances: two


Sammy Sosa

Why he's an all-star: Usually known for power numbers, Sosa has yet to make a fielding error this season.

All-star highlight: Still waiting. He is 1 for 11.

Appearances: seven