This week I’m providing my All-Star teams. The stats are as of Thursday, July 2nd. The All-Star Selection Show will be Sunday at noon on TBS.
My pick: Victor Martinez, CLE (.313 AVG, 14 HR, 57 RBI): Even though Victor’s batting average is well below Joe Mauer’s .392 batting average, Victor has 13 more RBI’s and 96 more at-bats. Both Mauer and Martinez have 14 home runs, so if Mauer wasn’t injured at the start of the season, he would almost surely be the starter, and not Victor.
It will be: Joe Mauer, MIN
My pick: Justin Morneau, MIN (.309 AVG, 19 HR, 64 RBI): Justin is 3rd among balloted AL first basemen in batting average, and is tied for 3rd in home runs, but he leads them all in RBI’s with 64, and that is the most important one, in my opinion. He is very good in all three major hitting categories, and I think that is worthy of being the starting first baseman in the All-Star Game.
It will be: Either Kevin Youkilis, BOS or Mark Teixeira, NYY
My pick: Aaron Hill, TOR (.301 AVG, 19 HR, 56 RBI): Aaron leads all AL second basemen in RBI’s with 56, and is tied with Ian Kinsler for 1st in home runs with 19. Also, out of all the AL 2nd basemen on the ballot with at least 225 at-bats, he leads them in batting average at .301. So he is either in first or tied for first in all three major hitting categories, so that makes him the obvious choice here.
It will be: Either Dustin Pedroia, BOS or Ian Kinsler, TEX
My pick: Jason Bartlett, TB (.362 AVG, 7 HR, 36 RBI): Jason obviously leads all balloted shortstops in batting average at .362, and then just to add to that, he is second only to Alexei Ramirez of the White Sox in RBI’s among AL shortstops. He is also 3rd in home runs. There isn’t too much competition at the shortstop position when it comes to All-Stars this year, which just makes this decision that much easier.
It will be: Derek Jeter, NYY
My pick: Evan Longoria, TB (.297 AVG, 16 HR, 63 RBI): Evan leads all AL third basemen in RBI’s by 11 and is 2nd in home runs, not to mention the fact that he is 4th in batting average. When you add all three of those things together, it sums up to an All-Star starter.
It will be: Evan Longoria, TB
My pick: Torii Hunter, LAA (.305 AVG, 17 HR, 59 RBI): Torii is 2nd among all AL outfielders in RBI’s, and leads the guy ahead of him in that category in batting average by 43 points. He also is in the top 5 in home runs among outfielders. He also is an outstanding defensive player. So far he has been the best all-around American League outfielder on the ballot, in my opinion, and so I think that definitely makes him a starter.
It will be: Jason Bay, BOS
My pick: Jermaine Dye, CWS (.294 AVG, 18 HR, 48 RBI): Jermaine is 4th among balloted AL outfielders in RBI’s with 48 behind Bay, Hunter, and Markakis, and is tied for 3rd in home runs with Curtis Granderson. And of those people ahead of him (or tied with him) in those two categories, only Hunter has at least 10 home runs and a better batting average than Dye.
It will be: Ichiro Suzuki, SEA
My pick: Jason Bay, BOS (.262 AVG, 19 HR, 69 RBI): Even though Jason is only hitting .262 so far this year, his power numbers make up for that, as he leads all American League outfielders in RBI’s by 10, and is tied with Nelson Cruz for the lead in home runs with 19. If it weren’t for his batting average, he’d probably be the top AL outfielder, but instead, he is only 3rd.
It will be: Josh Hamilton, TEX
My pick: Zack Greinke, KC (10-3, 1.95 ERA, 114 K): Zach leads all of baseball with a 1.95 ERA, and is tied for first in wins with 10 (and only three losses, which is really good). He is also tied for 2nd in the AL in strike-outs with Jon Lester. When you are only 16 strike-outs away from a pitching triple crown, like Grienke is, you’ve got to start in the All-Star game.
C: Joe Mauer, MIN (.392 AVG, 14 HR, 44 RBI)
1B: Kevin Youkilis, BOS (.314 AVG, 14 HR, 47 RBI)
Miguel Cabrera, DET (.331 AVG, 16 HR, 47 RBI)
2B: Ian Kinsler, TEX (.263 AVG, 19 HR, 51 RBI)
Robinson Cano, NYY (.300 AVG, 12 HR, 42 RBI)
SS: Derek Jeter, NYY (.307 AVG, 9 HR, 32 RBI)
3B: Michael Young, TEX (.315 AVG, 10 HR, 30 RBI)
Brandon Inge, DET (.275 AVG, 18 HR, 52 RBI)
OF: Nelson Cruz, TEX (.264 AVG, 19 HR, 47 RBI)
Adam Jones, BAL (.305 AVG, 12 HR, 44 RBI)
Ichiro Suzuki, SEA (.368 AVG, 6 HR, 18 RBI)
Nick Markakis, BAL (.298 AVG, 8 HR, 52 RBI)
Roy Halladay, TOR (10-2, 2.56 ERA, 95 K)
Felix Hernandez, SEA (8-3, 2.54 ERA, 104 K)
Kevin Millwood, TEX (8-5, 2.80 ERA, 74 K)
Justin Verlander, DET (8-4, 3.54 ERA, 130 K)
Edwin Jackson, DET (6-4, 2.49 ERA, 84 K)
Dallas Braden, OAK (6-7, 3.13 ERA, 67 K)
Brian Fuentes, LAA (3.49 ERA, 23 SV, 30 K)
Joe Nathan, MIN (1.44 ERA, 21 SV, 39 K)
Jonathon Papelbon, BOS (1.80 ERA, 20 SV, 34 K)
Mariano Rivera, NYY (2.76 ERA, 20 SV, 40 K)
David Aardsma, SEA (1.45 ERA, 16 SV, 47 K)
George Sherrill, BAL (2.51 ERA, 17 SV, 31 K)
Players per Team:
Detroit Tigers – 4
Texas Rangers – 4
Baltimore Orioles – 3
Boston Red Sox – 3
Minnesota Twins – 3
New York Yankees – 3
Seattle Mariners – 3
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – 2
Tampa Bay Rays – 2
Toronto Blue Jays – 2
Chicago White Sox – 1
Cleveland Indians – 1
Kansas City Royals – 1
Oakland Athletics – 1 (and I only have 1 because it’s required)
My pick: Brian McCann, ATL (.310 AVG, 8 HR, 33 RBI): McCann leads all National League catchers on the ballot with at least 100 at-bats in batting average by far, and is 2nd only to Bengie Molina of the Giants in RBI. Even though his stats aren’t that good, his poor competition makes him All-Star-starter worthy.
It will be: Yadier Molina, STL
My pick: Albert Pujols, STL (.337 AVG, 30 HR, 77 RBI): Albert leads all of baseball in both home runs and RBI’s, which is enough to make you an All-Star even if you were hitting .200, but he’s not doing that. He’s got the 4th best batting average in all of baseball at .337. That makes him a very, very obvious choice here.
It will be: Albert Pujols, STL
My pick: Chase Utley, PHI (.301 AVG, 17 HR, 52 RBI): Chase leads all NL 2nd basemen in home runs with 17 and is tied for the lead in RBI’s with Brandon Phillips with 52. That’s pretty good even without the .301 batting average, but with it, it pretty much makes him an All-Star lock, and a probable starter.
It will be: Chase Utley, PHI
My pick: Hanley Ramirez, FLA (.348 AVG, 13 HR, 58 RBI, 12 SB): Hanley leads all balloted NL shortstops in batting average. And in home runs. And in RBI’s. And in stolen bases. That is pretty amazing. And not only does he lead shortstops in batting average, he leads the entire National League in it. That is definitely the equation of an All-Star starter.
It will be: Hanley Ramirez, FLA
My pick: Pablo Sandoval, SF (.332 AVG, 11 HR, 40 RBI): Pablo is 2nd among NL 3rd basemen on the ballot with at least 100 at-bats in batting average at .332, only behind David Wright of the Mets. He is also tied for 3rd in that category in home runs and 5th in RBI’s. Even though he doesn’t lead any of those, he is the most balanced throughout those categories.
It will be: David Wright, NYM
My pick: Raul Ibanez, PHI (.312 AVG, 22 HR, 59 RBI): Raul leads all NL outfielders in home runs and RBI’s, and he is 4th in batting average among NL outfielders with at least 100 at-bats. That is definitely All-Star starter worthy.
It will be: Raul Ibanez, PHI
My pick: Ryan Braun, MIL (.330 AVG, 16 HR, 57 RBI): Ryan is 3rd among NL outfielders with at least 100 at-bats in batting average at .330, only 6 points behind the leader. He is also 3rd in home runs and 2nd in RBI’s behind only Raul Ibanez. To me, he pretty obviously deserves to start in the All-Star game.
It will be: Ryan Braun, MIL
My pick: Brad Hawpe, COL (.333 AVG, 13 HR, 56 RBI): Brad Hawpe is 2nd among NL outfielders with at least 100 at-bats in batting average behind only Carlos Beltran of the Mets (who is hitting .336), is 10th in home runs, and is tied for third in RBI’s with Adam Dunn.
It will be: Either Carlos Beltran, NYM or Alfonso Soriano, CHC (probably Beltran)
My pick: Tim Lincecum, SF (8-2, 2.37 ERA, 132 K): Tim Lincecum is 2nd in the National League in ERA, and leads all of baseball in strike-outs. He has a very good record to go along with that, too, as he’s tied for 5th in wins in the National League. To me, that is an All-Star starting pitcher, even though there are many deserving pitchers for this spot.
C: Bengie Molina, SF (.259 AVG, 10 HR, 46 RBI)
1B: Prince Fielder, MIL (.306 AVG, 20 HR, 74 RBI)
Todd Helton, COL (.312 AVG, 9 HR, 53 RBI)
2B: Brandon Phillips, CIN (.268 AVG, 11 HR, 52 RBI)
Freddy Sanchez, PIT (.315 AVG, 6 HR, 33 RBI)
SS: Miguel Tejada, HOU (.331 AVG, 6 HR, 42 RBI)
3B: Ryan Zimmerman, WAS (.296 AVG, 13 HR, 44 RBI)
Mark Reynolds, ARI (.270 AVG, 22 HR, 57 RBI, 13 SB)
OF: Carlos Beltran, NYM (.336 AVG, 8 HR, 40 RBI)
Adam Dunn, WAS (.260 AVG, 20 HR, 56 RBI)
Justin Upton, ARI (.309 AVG, 14 HR, 45 RBI)
Matt Kemp, LAD (.302 AVG, 10 HR, 41 RBI, 19 SB)
Matt Cain, SF (9-2, 2.48 ERA, 88 K)
Dan Haren, ARI (7-5, 2.19 ERA, 113 K)
Johnny Cueto, CIN (8-4, 2.69 ERA, 78 K)
Jason Marquis, COL (10-5, 3.87 ERA, 51 K)
Josh Johnson, FLA (7-1, 2.76 ERA, 97 K)
Ted Lilly, CHC (7-6, 3.35 ERA, 88 K)
Heath Bell, SD (1.34 ERA, 22 SV, 36 K)
Francisco Rodriguez, NYM (1.59 ERA, 21 SV, 40 K)
Jonathon Broxton, LAD (2.15 ERA, 19 SV, 62 K)
Francisco Cordero, CIN (1.85 ERA, 19 SV, 29 K)
Ryan Franklin, STL (0.87 ERA, 19 SV, 22 K)
Huston Street, COL (2.91 ERA, 19 SV, 39 K)
Players per Team:
Colorado Rockies – 4
San Francisco Giants – 4
Arizona Diamondbacks – 3
Cincinnati Reds – 3
Florida Marlins – 2
Los Angeles Dodgers – 2
Milwaukee Brewers – 2
New York Mets – 2
Philadelphia Phillies – 2
St. Louis Cardinals – 2
Washington Nationals – 2
Atlanta Braves – 1
Chicago Cubs – 1 (and I only have 1 because it’s required)
Houston Astros – 1
Pittsburgh Pirates – 1
San Diego Padres – 1
Come back next week for an interview with Fort Worth Star-Telegram Rangers beat writer Anthony Andro.