(Patrick McDermott/GETTY IMAGES)

“It would be nice to put our National League young phenom against an American League phenom, because they’ve been exciting our baseball world,” La Russa said. “It’s been really good for our game to see Trout and Harper come into it.”

Harper produced numbers that put him in clear contention for the All-Star Game, even though he debuted at the end of April. Harper put up a .282 batting average, .354 on-base percentage and .472 slugging percentage while playing all three outfield spots, helping to replace Jayson Werth and serving as a main catalyst for a first-place team.

But his allure as a brash, aggressive young player also played into the decision, as La Russa said. Harper played last fall in the Arizona Fall League with Trout, and Tuesday night they’ll be facing each other in the All-Star Game as two of the youngest players in the league. The story line was too good for La Russa to pass up.

After the jump, the All-Star Game lineups:

American League

1. Derek Jeter, SS

2. Robinson Cano, 2B

3. Josh Hamilton, LF

4. Jose Bautista, RF

5. Prince Fielder, 1B

6. Adrian Beltre, 3B

7. David Ortiz, DH

8. Mike Napoli, C

9. Curtis Granderson, CF

— Justin Verlander, SP

National League

1. Carlos Gonzalez, DH

2. Melky Cabrera, CF

3. Ryan Braun, LF

4. Joey Votto, 1B

5. Carlos Beltran, RF

6. Buster Posey, C

7. Pablo Sandoval, 3B

8. Dan Uggla, 2B

9. Rafael Furcal, SS

— Matt Cain, SP