Every year I take issue with who is sent to the All Star Game in Major League Baseball. The reality is that this game is a mid-season popularity contest. I would have no problem with that if it wasn’t for the winner deciding who gets home field advantage in the World Series. I also do feel that the guys who put up the numbers and are most deserving should go. Yes, Matt Kemp was surreal the first month of the season. But he has been hurt for 2 months, and is actually on the DL right now. But he still gets voted as a starter for the All Star Game? C’mon.
If I had the power to pick the starters for each league for the Mid Season Classic, these would be my lineup cards.
C) AJ Pierzynski
He is the most hated man in baseball. But the man deserves credit where credit is due. He has put up the best numbers from the catcher position in the American League. He has been better than Mike Napoli who won the fan vote. He has 14 home runs and 45 RBI.
1B) Paul Konerko
Prince Fielder won the fan vote and will start. He and Paul Konerko have nearly identical stats. Fielder is hitting .294 with 12 home runs, 52 RBI, and has scored 42 runs. Konerko, meanwhile, is the American League’s second leading hitter (behind Mike Trout who he has 30 more at bats than) at .335 with 14 home runs and 40 RBI and 38 runs scored.
2B) Robinson Cano
Has there been a hotter hitter over the last month than Robby Cano? Not only is he the clear-cut starting second baseman, I think he and Josh Hamilton are the only real MVP candidate’s out of the American League.
3B) Miguel Cabrera
After slighting Prince Fielder at the first base position, I couldn’t possibly snub another Tiger. This is another close call. Adrian Beltre is obviously a better defensive third baseman but Cabrera has him beat in every offensive category except for runs scored. What is even more amazing is that Cabrera puts up these numbers in a cavernous field like Comerica.
SS) Elvis Andrus
I know I will get ripped here for taking Elvis. But what’s to hate on me about? Every team needs someone to lead off. With a lineup this potent (similar to the actual Rangers lineup) all Elvis needs to do is get on base and score runs.
OF) Josh Hamilton
This is the easiest selection of them all. Hamilton is in a contract year and is playing better than Roy Hobbs.
OF) Jose Bautista
Joey Bats hits dingers. Will he get 60?
OF) Adam Jones
Yes, I took Jones over Granderson. No, it’s not a slight to the Yankees. Adam Jones has just been a better all around player than Granderson.
DH) David Ortiz
The conversation about Cooperstown and Ortiz is getting more interesting by the day. But it will always boil down to whether he is better than Edgar Martinez or not. Edwin Encarnacion does deserve some recognition but I am obviously going to take care of my hometown guy.
Starter: Justin Verlander
A pitcher hasn’t dominated like Verlander has since Pedro Martinez was in his prime.
C) Carlos Ruiz
I am really close to naming Ruiz the best catcher in baseball. I have liked him for a few years now and he has really put it all together. The Phillies are 11 games out but it is through no fault of this guy.
1B) Joey Votto
Votto has numbers that would more properly reflect those of an average beer league slow pitch softball player. He is hitting .350 and has an on base percentage of .471. That is mind-boggling! He is essentially getting on base every other time he steps to the plate.
2B) Brandon Phillips
It was between BP and Aaron Hill for me. I do find it impressive that Hill was able to hit for the cycle twice so far this season, the first guy to do it since 1931. But I have always liked Brandon Phillips dating back to the days he was with the Buffalo Bisons and I was a bat boy for the Pawtucket Red Sox.
3B) David Wright
What’s funny is Wright was up by 464,000 votes going into the last day of voting and he lost. Giants fans took care of their guy, Mets fans didn’t. Truth is, Wright was wronged.
SS) Ian Desmond
Statistically, only Starlin Castro has been better in the National League. But the Nationals are in first place and the Cubs are the worst team in baseball.
OF) Carlos Gonzalez
The numbers speak for themselves.
OF) Ryan Braun
If anything Braun has proved he doesn’t need performance enhancing drugs to rake. Or he knows all the loopholes and how to beat the system and is still on them.
OF) Andrew McCutchen
McCutchen has put the Pirates on his back. They are in a pennant race for the first time since the days of Bonds, Bonilla, and Van Slyke. He is hitting .346 with 15 home runs, 51 RBI, and 14 stolen bases.
Starter: RA Dickey
I still don’t think this guy is for a real and is the definition of a flash in the pan. But if I am going to give AJ Pierzynski his due, I am sort of obligated to do the same for RA.
Like it? Hate it? Comment and feel free to rip me apart or praise me. Any feedback is greatly appreciated!
I can be followed on Twitter @ ScottieNTCF
Filed under: MLB